VS passes Bill; all eyes on Guv now

THE ONGOING war of attrition between the Raj Bhawan and the Mulayam Government is all set to intensify following passing of the controversial Uttar Pradesh State Legislature Prevention of (Disqualification) Amendment Bill-2006 in the Vidhan Sabha on Thursday despite strong objections by the Opposition. The governor has three options: to give his assent, to keep it in abeyance or refer it to the President.

india Updated: Mar 10, 2006 02:06 IST

THE ONGOING war of attrition between the Raj Bhawan and the Mulayam Government is all set to intensify following passing of the controversial Uttar Pradesh State Legislature Prevention of (Disqualification) Amendment Bill-2006 in the Vidhan Sabha on Thursday despite strong objections by the Opposition.

The governor has three options: to give his assent, to keep it in abeyance or refer it to the President.

But sources who know the governor’s style of functioning say the governor, who had not given his assent to two earlier controversial bills passed by the Vidhan Sabha, is unlikely to give his assent to this Bill, too. One of the Bills related to setting up of the Jauhar University at Rampur and life vice-chancellorship of the proposed university to Azam Khan and another had provision of a government nominee in every committee constituted for selection of vice-chancellors in the state universities,Significantly, the governor has already referred the issue to the Election Commission seeking disqualification of Azam Khan because he has been holding an office of profit as chairman of the Jal Nigam.

Interestingly, the Bill, which is clearly aimed at pre-empting any move to disqualify those holding office of profit, would come into effect from January 2003.

The post of chairman of as many as 79 government bodies have been brought under the ambit of the Bill, including that of UP Vikas Parishad headed by Amar Singh, UP Film Development Council chaired by Jaya Bachchan, the Mandi Parishad, which is being headed by Mulayam’s brother Shivpal Singh Yadav, the UP Jal Nigam chaired by Azam Khan and the UP Irrigation and Flood Control Commission where Anuradha Chaudhary is the chairperson. The posts of chairmen of all the 79 government bodies would no more be treated as office of profit under the new Bill passed on Thursday.

The opposition, particularly the BJP, was on their feet to oppose the Bill but the voice of dissent was ignored by Azam Khan and Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav, who were present in the House to ensure smooth passage to the Bill.

Leader of the opposition Lalji Tandon said the Bill was shameless effort of the Government to protect its supporters and friends from being disqualified.

The leader of the opposition said that it would lead to a lot of confusion as various corporations included in the bill had their own independent acts.

Lakshmi Kant Bajpai dubbed the Bill as ‘Sarkar Bachao Bill’ and demanded it be referred to the Reference Committee.

Hukum Singh of Bharatiya Janata Party said a new provision of ‘allowances and honorarium’ to the chairmen had been added.

This would result in additional financial burden on the state exchequer though the Bill had not been introduced as Financial Bill, he added.

Later, talking to HT here on Thursday, Senior Bharatiya Janta Party said the State governor should never give his assent to the Bill which was against the spirit of the Indian Constitution and the Bill was introduced with the sole purpose of protecting some friends of the CM Mulayam Singh
Yadav from being disqualified.

First Published: Mar 10, 2006 02:06 IST