Thursday, December 8, 2011

[ZESTCaste] UP Chief Minister considers dissolution of Assembly

Posted on 08 December 2011

UP Chief Minister considers dissolution of Assembly

Mayawati wants to avoid elections to municipal bodies before Assembly
polls, fears losing Rajya Sabha seats

Maya rubbishes Opposition allegations of political mileage

UP Cabinet approves Mayawati's 'divide UP' proposal
Divide and Rule. That is Maya's Mantra

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati is believed to be considering
dissolution of Assembly after addressing a Tahkur-Vaishya-Muslim rally
here on 18 December where she is expected to explain to voters the
reason for dissolving the House. Mayawati has already organised
rallies of Brahmins, Dalits and Other Backward Classes. The 18
December rally will be the last caste-based gathering before the 2012
Assembly polls.

The term of the 15th Assembly ends on 20 May. The Bahujan Samaj Party
(BSP) government wants Assembly elections in February for several
reasons. The first challenge for the government, according to sources,
is to avoid elections to municipal bodies before Assembly polls as
directed by the Allahabad High Court. The terms of the urban local
bodies ended on 16 November. The state government had appointed
administrators in all urban local bodies. However, the order had to be
withdrawn as the Allahabad High Court (HC) directed that the term
would be counted from the day of the first meeting of the elected
urban local body. In most of urban local bodies, close to 700, that
date has expired as well.

Coming down heavily on the UP government for dilly-dallying over
municip al body elections, the Lucknow bench of the HC on 5 December
had asked the state government to issue notification for holding
elections by 19 December. The HC had also directed that "in case, the
state government did not comply with the order, the UP State Election
Commission would send a report to the Governor, who could proceed to
uphold the Constitution in accordance with the law".

The state government has decided to challenge the HC order and file a
Special Leave Petition (SLP) in the Supreme Court. Recently, a team of
state officials was send to Delhi only to return on 7 December.
Sources said that the team had come back to make "some more
preparations" for the SLP. The UP government is expected to plead for
holding local body polls after Assembly elections as the official
machinery for both is same.

The BSP, which has little support in urban areas, made two amendments
in the UP Municipalities Act last year to hold elections without party
symbols with the objective to conceal its rout in the polls. Later,
the BSP government amended the Act for indirect election of the Mayor
in 14 municipal corporation cities of UP. However, the HC quashed both
the amendments. Currently, the Mayor is elected by direct vote as in
the case of Assembly and Parliament.

Election to 10 Rajya Sabha (RS) seats, due in March, is also worrying
the party. As many as 10 RS members are retiring on 2 April. According
to the Representation of the People Act, the Election Commission (EC)
will complete the election process within March. If the Assembly is
dissolved in March, the EC will have no option but to hold elections
after the 16th Assembly is constituted.

"As per its strength of 220 MLAs in UP Assembly, the BSP can win at
least five RS seats provided all its MLAs give their 'first
preference' vote to the official candidate. Since the BSP has denied
tickets to over 50 sitting MLAs and many more could meet the same
fate, their loyalty cannot be taken for granted. "The ruling party
would never like to face the embarrassment of its candidates losing
the RS polls with Assembly elections underway," said RP Pandey, former
Principal Secretary, UP Assembly.

The RS members retiring on April 2 are Naresh Agarwal, Munkaad Ali,
Ganga Charan Rajput, Rajpal Singh Saini and Pramod Kureel of the BSP;
Kalraj Mishra and Vinay Katiyaar of the BJP; and three others.

BSP sources said that besides helping the party to face mounting
challenges from Mayawati's political opponents, the move to recommend
dissolution of Assembly would also generate sympathy among the
electorate and consolidate the CM's Dalit vote bank. "Mayawati will
continue as the caretaker Chief Minister till elections are completed
and the Opposition's charges of corruption could be easily handled as
another political stunt ahead of polls to malign the Dalit CM and her
party," a political commentator said.

According to a senior BSP leader, the recent allegations of former
Bharatiya Janata Party CM Uma Bharti against Mayawati's brother Anand
Kumar accusing him of money laundering has alarmed the party chief.

Due to the ongoing Central Bureau of Investigation probe into the
National Rural Health Mission scam and the recent tour of Bundelkhand
by the Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission Montek Singh
Ahluwalia for on-the-spot verification of utilisation of the Rs 3,000
crore-plus fund granted under a special package sanctioned by the
Centre, Mayawati apprehends that the Central government—particularly
the Congress—could corner and embarrass her government further ahead
of the crucial Assembly polls. "Further embarrassment for the
government could be prevented and opposition parties could be
effectively checkmated if Assembly is dissolved," a ruling party
leader told Tehelka.

Meanwhile, UP's Chief Electoral Officer Umesh Sinha had said that the
"EC will publish the final electoral roll on 1 January and elections
can be held any time within the last six months of the State


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