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Will the Assembly elections be held under Prez rule?

india Updated: Dec 11, 2006 01:18 IST
M Hasan
M Hasan
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THE PREVAILING political uncertainty has created a piquant situation in the State. Will the forthcoming Assembly polls be held under President’s rule is the question being hotly debated in political and administrative circles in the State?
While the opposition parties have joined hands against Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav to ensure the election is held under Central rule, the ruling Samajwadi Party (SP) has been gearing up to turn the tables on the rivals on the issue. Moreover, the demand for President’s rule is also being seen with suspicion in the State.  

Even though Governor TV Rajeswar has completed his exercise to pave way for the removal of the SP-RLD coalition government, the Centre appears to be reluctant on bestowing “hallow of martyrdom” on the Chief Minister. The Centre’s assessment is reportedly based on intelligence input, which has indicated that Yadav had the potential to turn tide in his favour if he was sacked. It could also further dampen the electoral prospects of the Congress in the State.

While the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leaders have already met President Abdul Kalam to demand imposition of President’s rule in the State, there is a feeling in the two parties that prolonged Central rule could prove advantageous for the SP.

Even though BSP chief Mayawati has been demanding chief minister be sacked, it appears to be only to woo the masses. The BSP, which is quite confident of coming back to power, wants election under the present regime so it could maximize on anti-incumbency factor. “If the President’s rule is imposed it should not be more than two months”, commented a senior BSP leader.

The state Congress, which has stopped short of demanding dismissal of the government, has repeatedly said that the elections would not be free and fair under Yadav regime. “It is for the Election Commission and Central Government to ensure fair elections”, commented UPCC chief Salman Khurshid. 

The bureaucracy and the police officers have been waiting for an outcome of the ensuing bout between the opposition and the SP over imposition of Central rule. Sensing possible change, the ‘spineless’ officers have started queuing up at the Raj Bhawan.

It is learnt that a high profile IAS officer recently fell at the feet of ‘Mahamahim’. Large-scale transfers and postings of IPS and PPS officers were also aimed at having pliable officers in the field during the election.

But the police officers feel that in the event of Central rule, the process can be reversed. “By default, blue brigade (officers close to BSP) will be in the field”, commented an IG. Yadav’s move to take vote on account for next fiscal has also led to speculations in the official circles about the fate of the government.