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CWC in favour of President's rule in Uttar Pradesh

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February 19, 2007 23:33 IST
Apparently setting the stage for possible imposition of President's rule in Uttar Pradesh, the Congress Working Committee tonight left it to the Central government to take a decision on the state, an euphemism for removal of the government, holding that Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav has lost the moral right to continue in power.

After a three-hour meeting of the party's highest policy making body, AICC General Secretary Janardhan Dwivedi told reporters that there was "consensus" that situation was "serious" in UP and people were "apprehensive" that after the Supreme Court judgement Yadav government has lost "moral right" to continue in power.

The Congress stand on UP came even as CPI on Monday joined CPI-M in making it clear that the Left parties would not support dismissal of Yadav government and imposition of President's rule.

However, reliable coalition sources said that a meeting of the Union Cabinet could be convened shortly for a decision on use of Article 356 in UP.

Last week, the Supreme Court had disqualified 13 breakaway MLAs loyal to the ruling Samajawadi Party.

The CWC, attended by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi, has left it to the government to take a decision on UP after the Supreme Court verdict which has made it untenable for Yadav government to continue in power, Dwivedi said.

Ahead of the meeting, senior party leader and Union Minister Kapil Sibal had dropped enough hints that "action" would be taken in UP without directly saying anything on President's rule.

"All aspects of the situation were discussed. Naturally, it has been left to the government to take stock of the situation," Dwivedi said.

On Sunday after some initial hesitation, key UPA constituent DMK came out in open support of toeing the Congress line on UP.  Another ally, LJP had also made it clear that it was not averse to President's rule in the state.

Coalition sources said NCP may also not oppose any decision to impose President's rule. The prime minister and Gandhi who had talked to Karunanidhi on Sunday had also conferred with NCP President Sharad Pawar.

The RJD has already said that Central rule was the only option after the Supreme Court judgement.

The Samajwadi Party, which is at the receiving end of the Congress charge, on Monday said the whole Congress plan was to neutralise the SP and Left votes from UP in the Presidential elections, scheduled in July, by imposing Central rule thus obviating the need for assembly polls in the state.

Otherwise the present term of the UP assembly is to expire on May 14 for which elections have to be held much before that.

Dwivedi ducked questions whether any ally or supporting parties had a right to veto any decisionof the coalition. This was significant in the backdrop of the Left opposition to the dismissal of the Yadav government.

"I have been saying continuously that this is not the Congress government. This is a coalition government. If government has to take any decision, it has to be with the support of other parties," he said.

Asked whether the Left opposition to the Central rule also came up for discussion, Dwivedi said, "We cannot discuss" that here.

He brushed aside a question whether the CWC felt that it UP was a fit case for imposition of President's rule.

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