OffStumped For All Things Right of Center, Bringing a Right of Centre Reality Check to Indian Politics, News Media Reporting and Opinion now in Hindi अब आप के लिये हिंदी मे.

The Congress on Wednesday decided to withdraw support to the Mulayam Singh Yadav Samajwadi Party, SP, government in Uttar Pradesh.  Addresing a press conference in Lucknow, Congress’ state president Salman Khursheed said that his party has decided to withdraw its outside support to the Yadav government. This comes close on the heels of Ajit Singh’s Rashtriya Lok Dal, RLD snapping ties with the Mulayam Singh Yadav government. The congress is also cornering Mulayam on multiple fronts. The UPA government has rejected Uttar Pradesh’s proposal to categorise ‘Machhua’ and around 15 sub-castes OBCs involved in fishing and boating as scheduled castes.

As the Mulayam Singh Yadav Government faces a vote of confidence on thursday in the state assembly, Offstumped takes a critical look at the political games being played out in Lucknow and in New Delhi.

The Congress which had long extended support to the Mulayam Singh Yadav Government has finally found it fit to withdraw support having exhausted what little usefulness the love hate relationship provided. The Congress however is a minor player in the UP Assembly with 15 members in the 403-member House. Ajit Singh’s RLD the other opportunistic player in Uttar Pradesh with a talent for landing political office whichever way the wind blows is also a minor player with 15 odd members. Together the Congress and Ajit Singh while giving crucial support to Mulayam did not exactly carry him over the half way mark. That distinction goes to a motley group of Bahujan Samaj Party, BSP rebels of unattached status.

Numbering 33 in total these rebel BSP MLAs switched over to Mulayam’s aid and kept him in business over the years. The beauty of the anti-defection law is its reliance on Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. So when you apply the Theory of Relativity to the Anti-Defection Law what you get is that a defection is not exactly a discrete event in time but from the Speaker’s Frame of Reference the defection is work in progress as time slows down for the Speaker. Meanwhile in human time for the rest of us on planet earth the defection could take months and even years as in the case of Uttar Pradesh to be completed.

The BSP case however is with the Supreme Court and a  Bench, comprising Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, Justices H.K. Sema, A.R. Lakshmanan, P.K. Balasubramanyan and D.K. Jain, reserved verdict after marathon arguments on Tuesday. The apex court in March 2006 directed the 37 MLAs to sit as a separate group till the matter was disposed of. Five MLAs, who resigned from the Ministry and the post of chairmen of various boards (subsequent to the High Court order) and who decided to function as BSP MLAs, were disqualified by the Speaker. They also moved the apex court against the Speaker’s order and they too were allowed to sit as a separate group.

To fully appreciate how Einstein’s Theory of Relativity played out in the Speaker’s mind consider the sequence of events concerning the BSP MLAs. Initially, the strength of the breakaway group was only 13 and the BSP filed a petition before the Speaker seeking their disqualification. But the speaker got magically transported at speeds close to the speed of light and time slowed down for him and he kept the issue pending. Meanwhile back on earth in human time the strength of the breakaway group went up to 37. Thereafter, the Speaker’s magical soiree at speeds of light ended and he returned to human time to recognize the split as complete. So he declined to disqualify the 13 MLAs, passed two orders recognising the breakaway group as LBD and their merger with the Samajwadi party on the same day.

The legal argument here is that the split need not be a one-time event and even cumulative defections could culminate in a split. The Speaker’s decision to recognise the split and the subsequent merger should not be interfered with.

With the principal opposition BJP, BSP and the Congress, RLD determined to vote against Mulayam the question is not so much so if Mulayam has the numbers but how much Einstein is willing to stretch his Theory of Relativity in the interest of Social Justice.

Offstumped Bottomline: The Congress is trying to have it both ways in Uttar Pradesh. Before it takes the moral high ground by withdrawing support on negligence in Nithari it must explain why it indulged the Mulayam regime all these years and has now found it fit to dump with elections around the corner. Whether Mulayam survives the trust vote or not the political games in Uttar Pradesh have thoroughly exposed the dubious and hollow nature of “secular” politics as being nothing more than political opportunism and convenience.

Communal Socialism may earn the UPA brownie points with muslim vote bank brokers but it is unlikely to win it Uttar Pradesh.

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