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Mayawati withdraws controversial UPCOCA

By Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow
September 04, 2008 21:12 IST
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Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati on Wednesday decided to withdraw the state's plea for the enactment of the Uttar Pradesh Control of Organised Crime Act.

The chief minister shot off a letter to the Union Home ministry, seeking immediate withdrawal of the UPCOCA. The state government had been waiting for the Presidential assent for the bill.

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At a press conference at her residence, Mayawati said, "The special law was sought to contain the large scale lawlessness perpetuated by the organised crime mafia, under the misrule of my predecessor Mulayam Singh Yadav."

She said, "What I inherited from Mulayam Singh Yadav in May 2007 was a regime rampant with organised crime, under the blatant patronage of the political masters of the day. Therefore the need was felt for a special law to bring them under check."

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"Since such a law was already in existence in Maharashtra, we felt that it would be effective in Uttar Pradesh as well. But the Home ministry continued to put hurdles in our path and did not allow the bill to be cleared," she said.

Mayawati added, "In our bid to control the prevailing lawlessness and terror in the state , we got down to instilling the fear of law in the minds of the otherwise unbridled outlaws."

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"We succeeded in doing so by ensuring strict enforcement of the existing laws , which sent many outlaws on the run, and as of today  we do not even need any special law to deal with it," she claimed.

Notwithstanding her proclamations, it was quite evident that the move was prompted due to the persistent opposition to the new law by the minority community. With the general elections not too far away, the ruling Bahujan Samaj Party did not want to take any steps which might alienate the community.

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However, Mayawati slammed the 'Centre's double-standards' for her decision.

Flaying the United Progressive Alliance government, she said, "While the Centre was of the view that such a law was not needed , I fail to understand why it had failed to withdraw the law in Maharastra, which took the lead in introducing such an anti-terror law."

She even urged the central government to repeal the legislation in Maharashtra.

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Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow