Much activity in run-up to resignation | india | Hindustan Times
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Much activity in run-up to resignation

VIRENDRA BHATIA?S resignation from the coveted post of advocate general of UP was preceded by much activity in KGMU?s private ward number D-5, where he was recovering from a hip-joint operation.

india Updated: Mar 14, 2006 01:28 IST
PADM Kirti

VIRENDRA BHATIA’S resignation from the coveted post of advocate general of UP was preceded by much activity in KGMU’s private ward number D-5, where he was recovering from a hip-joint operation.

Doctor-in-chief OP Singh had issued a strict warning to reduce the number of visitors. Bhatia’s junior Vivek Shrotriya was implementing it, much to the annoyance of VIP visitors.

On Saturday, Bhatia had 65 visitors, majority of them belonging to the Samajwadi Party. There was also a brief visit by Amar Singh and two MLAs from eastern UP. As a result, the media began to sense that there was more to all this than met the eye.

On Sunday, the number rose to over a 100. Most of them wanted to meet Bhatia in private. Though Dr Singh and Shrotriya fumed, Bhatia did not turn any visitor away.

It was in the evening that Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav’s visit to Bhatia became imminent. Around 7pm, the security drill, led by new SP (West) DK Roy, started. The CM’s personal security staff also swung into action. Speculation was rife. Some said Bhatia was not happy with the SP supremo and wanted to resign. The other group was sure that Mulayam wanted to discuss the prospect of mid-term polls with Bhatia, as the High Court had already issued notices on a PIL that prayed for President’s rule in the state.

Bhatia, like a mature politician, neither confirmed, nor denied any rumour. He smiled, but did not utter a single word against Mulayam or Amar Singh.

Mulayam cancelled his visit at 10 pm on Sunday, giving rise to more speculation. At that juncture, Bhatia did not even confide in his son Gaurav, who, too, had no answer to mediapersons.

It was at 11.45 am on Monday that Bhatia disclosed he had sent his resignation to the chief minister due to ill health. Nobody believed the reason, but all accepted the fact that he had resigned. There was much speculation in judicial circles about the ruling party’s fate and Bhatia’s successor.

Around 3 pm, ruling party sources claimed Bhatia was being offered a seat in the Upper House. However, there was no word about his successor. Partymen lauded Bhatia’s contribution to the party and the judiciary and denied that he had differences with either Mulayam Singh, or Amar Singh.

As for Bhatia’s successor, rumour mills worked overtime, trotting out names like Umesh Chandra, VK Singh, Kazmi, Rizwi, IP Singh etc.