The Uttar Pradesh Vidhan Sabha has not only met in the midst of elections, it has even held a sitting and passed the finance bill during election of members to the new House. As Vidhan Sabha remains in session while elections are going on, there are strong possibilities that the House may hold its sitting anytime till the end of term on May 14, 2007.
So, after a gap of 50 years the Vidhan Sabha would meet not only in the midst of elections, but also possibly after the final phase of voting. A visit down memory lane shows that the first Vidhan Sabha had met after the election of new members to the Vidhan Sabha in 1957. Many similarities can be cited in the first House and the 14th though much water has flown down the Gomti since.
The last meeting of the first House was held on March 27, 1957 after announcement of poll results. So the second Vidhan Sabha was constituted merely after four days on April 1, 1957. “Election is over.
New House will meet after some days. New members will come here. They will get an opportunity to work. I hope that their path will be smoother by what we have done. This will be helpful in someway or the other. Some of us will not be there in the new House,” said the then Chief Minister Dr. Sampoornanand while bidding adieu to members in the last sitting of the first House on March 27, 1957.
A day before the last sitting of the House the then Minister for Finance Hafiz Mohammad Ibrahim had even moved the UP Appropriation (vote on account) Bill 1957 in House. By this time, the parliamentary conventions had already begun taking shape. This becomes evident from the address of the minister who quoted the proceedings of 1952 to point out that there should be no debate on vote on account.
Significantly, the then Speaker Atmaram Govind Kher too referred to members who had lost the election. “I am sorry for those who have not been elected and will not be there in the next sittings of the House. Those who have lost the election should, however, not think that they did not work or their working was faulty. It so happens that when one wrestler wins, the other loses. But the loser regains his strength and defeats the winner again.”
A comparative study would indicate that if there are some stark similarities after 50 years, the situation might not be the same this time. Opposition was present in the House in 1957. There may not be any opposition member in the House in 007 if the Vidhan Sabha meets next month. The BSP and the Congress have already announced the resignations of their members.
Leader of Opposition Lalji Tandon said there was no justification in holding a sitting of the House at this stage.
“We will take an appropriate decision if the House meets now,” he said. This was not so in 1957 when the Leader of Opposition Gainda Singh took part in the proceedings of the House on March 27, 1957. “Leaders upheld high democratic values in the first House. The situation is different now,” says Tandon.