Politics: UP Heading For Early Polls

Faisal Fareed
Daijiworld Media Network

Lucknow, Oct 5: With heads tumbling at a rapid pace the grapevine in political circles at UP claimed that assembly polls may be preponed. The news gained momentum following the sacking of two minister Ranganath Mishra and Badshah Singh by Chief Minister (CM) Mayawati after their indictment by Lokayukta on Wednesday.

The Lokayukta of UP Justice NK Mehrotra has recommended sacking of Ranganath Mishra and initiating enquiry against him after he was found guilty of land grabbing and assets disproportionate to his income.

CM Mayawati not only sacked him but also initiated vigilance enquiry against him. "Usually the Lokayukta report has to be discussed in Vidhan Sabha but CM Mayawati took strong note and has dismissed Mishra from the cabinet. It shows her resolve for not tolerating corruption at any level," said state president and cabinet minister Swami Prasad Maurya on Wednesday.

Another minister Badshah Singh held labour portfolio and enquiry against him was pending with the Lokayukta. With initial investigation suggesting that he was also guilty, CM Mayawati took the step before Lokayukta could send his report. Badshah Singh is a strongman of Bundelkhand region and has on several occasion openly declared that he will take retirement from politics-the remarks which he disowned. He was also in the news for raising Insaf Sena, a private army in Bundelkhand. He was seen as BSP's strongman in Bundelkhad on whom the party relied for tilting the scales of political fortune in its favour.

The Lokayukta in UP NK Mehrotra has thus claimed four scalps in the government. Two other ministers Rajesh Tripathi and Awadhpal Singh Yadav also lost their berth following Lokayukta recommendations.
Enquiries against several other ministers, MLAs, MPs are pending with the Lokayukta.

The other two minister who were removed by the CM Mayawati include Babu Singh Kushwaha and Anant Kumar Mishra. Both were removed following multi crore scam in National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) and a series of murders claiming the lives of two Chief Medical Officers (CMO) and a Deputy CMO. 

Kushwaha is a close aide of CM and was even allotted bunglow at 6-Kalidas Marg which is next to official CM residence, 5-Kalidas Marg. Mishra on the other hand was a product of social engineering (Dalit + Brahmin) and is a relative of another BSP stalwart Satish Chandra Mishra.

With half a dozen ministers already sacked and several others in queue political analysts claimed that CM may prepose the assembly elections in the state. "With further delay there are likely chances that axe may fall on some other ministers further humilating the government. So an early poll cannot be ruled out," said a senior official.

BSP has earlier also shown door to its MP Dhananjay Singh, denied ticket to MLA Rajdev Singh who Dhananjay Singh, MLA Jitendra Singh Bablu, minister Anand Sen Yadav etc. MLAs as FM Kidwai, Sher Bahadur have already left the party on their own.

In these circumstances, it is hard for the CM Mayawati to hold her flock together and also keep them clean. She took oath as CM on 13 May 2007 and polls are due anytime in February 2012.


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Title: Politics: UP Heading For Early Polls

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