U.P. Governor consults legal experts

Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee president Salman Khurshid outside the Raj Bhavan after a meeting with Governor T.V. Rajeswar in Lucknow on Friday.

Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee president Salman Khurshid outside the Raj Bhavan after a meeting with Governor T.V. Rajeswar in Lucknow on Friday.   | Photo Credit: Photo: Subir Roy

Atiq Khan

To send report to Centre on Opposition memorandum

LUCKNOW: With the Opposition parties demanding dismissal of the Samajwadi Party-led Government in Uttar Pradesh following the disqualification of 13 Loktantrik Bahujan Dal MLAs by the Supreme Court, State Governor T.V. Rajeswar on Friday held consultation with legal experts on the apex court's verdict.

Highly placed sources said the Governor's report, incorporating the legal opinion and relevant excerpts relating to the apex court's judgment from the memorandums submitted to him by the Congress and the Bahujan Samaj Party was being sent to the Centre on Friday night.

Friday's exercise on seeking legal opinion followed Thursday's meeting between the Chief Minister, Mulayam Singh Yadav and the Governor. Though the Chief Minister told newspersons on Thursday that he had come to hand over the resignations of the six Ministers to Mr. Rajeswar, it is understood that the Supreme Court verdict figured in the talks between the two. Mr.Yadav was in Raj Bhawan for about 40 minutes.

Sources said the Governor held discussions with some legal luminaries and Constitutional experts. The president of the Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee, Salman Khurshid and the national general secretary of Bahujan Samaj Party, Satish Chandra Mishra, are also understood to have met the Governor on Friday. Mr. Khurshid and Mr. Mishra were associated with two mainstream Opposition parties in the State, but they met the Governor in the capacity of legal experts as both are Supreme Court lawyers and Mr. Mishra is a former Advocate-General of Uttar Pradesh, sources pointed out.

In fact, the process of seeking legal opinion was initiated by Raj Bhawan on Wednesday after the apex court delivered its verdict. Sources said among those whose legal opinion was sought by the Governor were the Additional Solicitor-General, Ashok Nigam and Chandra Bhushan Pandey, who was the legal advisor to the former Governor, Moti Lal Vora. Mr. Nigam who was in Allahabad on Wednesday returned to the Capital on Thursday.

The State Congress president was summoned by the party high command to New Delhi on Friday. Prior to his departure to Delhi, Mr. Khurshid said the decision on the Governor's report has to be taken by the Centre, as of now the Governor was seeking legal advice on the apex court's judgment. Reiterating that the "illegally formed" Mulayam Singh Yadav Government had no right to remain in power and should be dismissed, Mr. Khurshid , however, said that the alliance partners of the Congress in the UPA Government have to be convinced before any decision is taken.

Even as the UPA Government weighed the pros and cons of the possible dismissal of the Samajwadi Government, Congress insiders said that there were two opinions. A dominant section of the party wanted to delay the decision-taking process as it would affect the party's prospects in the Uttarakhand elections on February 21, 2007.

In the midst of political uncertainty in the State, the possibility of Mr. Yadav himself resigning and recommending the dissolution of the Assembly when it meets on February 26, 2007 has not been ruled out in political circles here.

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