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Mulayam Faces Crisis:POLITICAL SCENE IN U.P. HOTS UP, by Insaf, 1 March 2006 Print E-mail


New Delhi, 1 March 2006

Mulayam Faces Crisis


By Insaf

A shrewd political move by Mulayam Singh Yadav has helped the Chief Minister to save his Government in U.P., at least for now.  Soon after the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court set aside the recognition of 40 breakaway BSP MLAs by the, then, Speaker Kesri Nath Tripathi of the BJP, Mulayam Singh moved a confidence motion in the Assembly which luckily for him is in session. He won the motion with the support of the 40 rebel MLAs.  The BJP and the BSP staged a walk-out, while the Congress abstained.  Mulayam Singh and his Samajwadi Party have undoubtedly won a respite, but political scene is hotting up in Lucknow.  Former Chief Minister and the BSP supremo Mayawati has claimed that her rebel MLAs were willing to return back to the party.

The Congress too has questioned the validity of the trust motion and demanded Mulayam Singh’s resignation.  The BJP Chief, Rajnath Singh has also demanded dissolution of the Assembly and imposition of President’s rule.  Ajit Singh and his Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), the partners in the coalition Government, too are unhappy with Mulayam Singh’s style of functioning.  Their support is now crucial for the survival of the Government.  The ball is now in the court of the present Speaker, Mata Prasad Pandey of the Samajwadi Party.  Pandey has reportedly stated that the case of rebel BSP MLAs “would be decided as per the law”.  With the future of the 40 MLAs still in balance and Mayawati dangling carrots before them, Mulayam Singh is certain to spend the next few days counting his supporters.

Already, credibility crisis looms over UP’s most powerful political duo, Mulayam Singh and Amar Singh. The disclosure of tapes reportedly quoting their conservations spells trouble for them, notwithstanding Amar Singh getting a Supreme Court order against the publication of the contents in the CDs.  More explosive is Amar Singh’s alleged conversation with Mulayam Singh on 40 BSP MLAs’ disqualification case. The duo had reportedly talked in terms of getting the verdict of the High Court in the rebel BSP case “fixed”.  Such alleged conversations have the potential to invite political reactions.  Already, the Samajwadi Party has been shocked by internal dissensions. Amar Singh’s woes have only served to add to the party’s problems.

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Roundtable On Kashmir

The much-hyped Prime Minister’s roundtable on Kashmir, without participation of almost all the separatist groups, in New Delhi over the week-end has received a mixed reaction in political circles. If Manmohan Singh termed the “mahapanchayat” as the beginning of a larger process aimed at evolving a consensus among different sections of the society, the main Opposition at the Centre, the BJP has called it a “big blunder”.  The party leaders, led by former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee have vehemently opposed the idea of self-rule and autonomy for the State, thrown up at the meeting by the PDP Chief Mehbooba Mufti and the National Conference President Omar Abdullah.  In fact, the BJP Chief Rajnath Singh has written to the Prime Minister that decentralization of powers for quicker decisions must not be confused with autonomy and self-rule. 

The Prime Minister, on his part, considers the first roundtable as the beginning of a process to resolve the Kashmir imbroglio and hopes to get the separatist leaders to the next meet scheduled at Srinagar in May.  The PM is keen for the separatist leaders’ participation in the next round, even though former Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed dismissed them as “minuscule opinion”. At last week’s roundtable, the Prime Minister stressed that the J&K autonomy and self-rule can be achieved within the “vast flexibilities” of the Constitution of India.  In fact, as the Centre’s interlocutor in Kashmir, N.N. Vohra, stated at the meeting: “Self-rule is embedded in Article 370”.  However, the Centre’s strong articulation of a Kashmir solution within the Constitutional framework, while co-opting the secessionist demand of self-rule, is a clear indicator of New Delhi’s disdain of Pakistan President Musharraf’s “self-governance” proposal which has so far remained unexplained.

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Naxal Terror in Chhattisgarh

The Naxalite terror is fast picking up in Chhattisgarh, despite Chief Minister Raman Singh’s several initiatives to tackle the menace.  His effort to support a retaliation “Salva Judum” campaign against the Left Wing extremist organization took a direct hit on Tuesday last when the militants used a landmine to blast a convoy of trucks carrying the Judum activists. Twentyfive people were killed on the spot and 40 injured, according to official figures.  Unofficial figures are much higher.  More than one hundred people are believed to have been killed and about the same number injured.  This is the first time that the Judum campaign was attacked by the Naxalites.

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Jayalalitha Strikes

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalitha has taken a major political step to disturb the Dravidian groupings in the run-up to the Assembly elections.  She has finalized an electoral alliance between her AIADMK and the Dalit Panthers of India (DPI).  The latter has been allotted nine seats.  The arrangement would be a major setback to the DMK of Karunanidhi.  With the DPI joining the AIADMK and the PMK remaining with the DMK, the two smaller parties are likely to fight it out between themselves.  Both have a sizeable support base in atleast eight districts of the State.  The DPI’s move to fight nine seats in alliance with the ruling AIADMK is sure to cause some discomfiture to the PMK, whose founder, S. Ramdoss was keen to have on board the DPI in the DMK-led Democratic Progressive Alliance (DPA).

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Kumaraswamy’s Target

Karnataka’s new Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy has set for himself a target of three months to bring about a qualitative change in the infrastructure of Bangalore which has been neglected for long.  A special task force is being constituted for the purpose.  The force will comprise retired senior officials known for their integrity and representatives of various agencies and major industries.  The force will be empowered to monitor the implementation of all projects. To start with, the condition of roads will be improved and traffic congestion eased.  High priority has been given to the improvement of infrastructure because major industries of the country, such a Siemens and SemIndia, were hesitating to initiate their new projects in Bangalore because of what they called the “crumbling infrastructure” in the city.

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Farmers’ Friend In High Court

The impoverished farmers of the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra have found a valuable friend in the State High Court.  After a spate of suicides, the Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court has taken exception to the “casual” approach of the State Government in handling the Vidarbha debt crisis and slapped notices on the concerned officials in response to a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by some NGOs.  The petition alleged that the Government has “systematically” encouraged the cultivation of Bt. cotton whose expensive seeds sunk the farmers because of successive crop failure. The Bt seeds were allegedly promoted under pressure from multinationals.  To add to the farmers’ woes, banks and money-lenders too did not spare them. They went on recovering debts by force, leading to suicides by several farmers.

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Soil Health Cards in Rajasthan

Rajasthan’s Chief Minister, Vasundhara Raje of the BJP, has initiated a welcome farmers’ welfare plan: “Agriculture renewal and renaissance”.  The State Government will distribute about ten lakh “soil health cards” to small and marginal farmers. These are intended to provide them with vital information on the presence of biological elements in the sands and the requirement for fertilizers and micronutrients in their land to get a good crop yield. The Government has also decided to establish six working groups for different agro-climatic zones in the State. Independent experts will head each of these groups.  The experts would examine various aspects of land and soil health improvement and water management. ---INFA


 (Copyright, India News and Feature Alliance)


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