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Judgement day today

IT?S JUDGEMENT day tomorrow for the Mulayam Singh Yadav government. The high court is expected to deliver its long awaited verdict on the disqualification of 39 BSP MLAs some time during the day.

india Updated: Feb 28, 2006 01:38 IST

IT’S JUDGEMENT day tomorrow for the Mulayam Singh Yadav government. The high court is expected to deliver its long awaited verdict on the disqualification of 39 BSP MLAs some time during the day.

Several options and possibilities are open both before the Mulayam Singh led coalition government and the Opposition, notwithstanding the fact that the aggrieved party would certainly rush to the apex court for relief.

The single question haunting everyone today, however, is –Will the government survive? Leader of Opposition in the UP Assembly Lalji Tandon says, “We want the government to go, but it seems difficult. It is not without a reason that Assembly session is on for the past three months though only ten sittings have been held. The Government will move a confidence motion to prove its majority on the floor of the House”.

In other words, the Governor will have no role to play though both the Congress and the BSP are heavily banking on the Raj Bhawan’s in the post verdict scenario. However, the Opposition euphoria over the government’s going hardly matches their actions as neither the parties have summoned their MLAs nor a joint meeting has been held to evolve any serious strategy.

On the other hand Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav is fully geared up for the action-filled day. He has already summoned a meeting of all his MLAs at 10 in the morning tomorrow. Compare it with the BJP leaders’ comment, “Our MLAs will be there, where is the need to summon them”. Thus if Mulayam springs a surprise by moving a confidence motion, the Opposition may not be present in the House in full strength. Already in political circles speculations are rife about the BJP bailing out the Mulayam Government in this crucial hour. The House resumes its session at 11 in the afternoon, the time when the court is likely to deliver its verdict.

However, going by the numerical strength of the political parties in the post verdict scenario, it is certain that the political fight would be very close in either of the situations.

The scenarios
First, if the 39 BSP rebels are not disqualified. The government then survives till mid May.

Though the term of the government is till Feb 2007, the first sitting of the house was held in May. The government gets three more months to face elections.

Second, all the 39 MLAs are disqualified. The government survives. The ruling coalition’s strength falls from 251 to 212 in a House of 363. However, this is possible only if Mulayam manages to retain the support of 15-member RLD, five unattached, all the 16 Independents, two each of CPI and UP Loktantrik Congress, one of Akhil Bhartiya Congress and 16 of the Congress, which in all possibility would be the first to withdraw support in case the judgement goes against the government.

What happens if RLD withdraws support? The government gets into a tight spot as its strength reduces to 181 as against 182 of the Opposition, which will comprise the BJP( 83),the BSP(67), the Congress(16),the Rashtriya Lok Dak (15) and one of Hindu Mahasabha. Here the possibility of some Independent members too playing smart at the eleventh hour cannot be ruled out.

The third scenario is, if the court sends back the ball in the Speaker’s court on technical grounds or if it quashes former Speaker Keshari Nath Tripathi’s orders accepting split in the BSP and merger of the splinter group with the SP at the time of government formation. Then the question would arise about the status of the BSP rebels. Yet another view is that the court may actually decide the fate of only 13 MLAs, while referring the case of other 27 MLAs back to the Speaker on the ground that their case is yet to be decided by the Speaker.
Wait until tomorrow, then!

First Published: Feb 28, 2006 01:38 IST