Lokayukta appointment, MLCs nomination on table as CM Akhilesh meets Gov Naik

Sources also said Naik does not appear to be in favour of referring the Lokayukta issue for presidential consideration.

By: Express News Service | Lucknow | Updated: December 10, 2015 1:59 am
Akhilesh Yadav, Ram Naik, Lokayukt appointed, MLCs, lokayukt, lucknow news Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav greets Governor Ram Naik during a meeting at Raj Bhavan in Lucknow on Wednesday. (Express photo by Vishal Srivastav)

Struck by stalemate over several key issues, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and Governor Ram Naik Wednesday met at Raj Bhavan to discuss the pending bills and ordinances.

Among other issues put on the table were the pending appointment of Lokayukta, selection of five MLCs as well as the delay in calling the Winter Session of the state assembly, a Raj Bhavan release said.

Even though the meeting was described as “a courtesy visit”, the official spokesperson for the Governor’s House confirmed discussions were held on these issues.

On the assembly session, the government is reported to have told the Governor the Winter Session was unlikely to be convened before January 20 due to the ongoing repair work inside the assembly building. The CM, however, was yet to fix a date on when the session would begin.

Significantly, since the term of at least 35 MLCs will end on January 15, this “delay” appears to be the government’s move to ensure it has a sizable strength in the Upper House when it presents the pending bills.

On the appointment of Lokayukta, pending for over a year now, the Governor is believed to have told the chief minister to “find a way out” after discussing the issue with Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court D Y Chandrachud, sources said. The Lokayukta amendment bill, which seeks to remove the requirement to consult the Chief Justice in the selection process, is pending with the Governor, creating scenario for the inordinate delay in the appointment.
Sources also said that the Governor does not appear to be in favour of referring the Lokayukta issue for presidential consideration as it will only prolong the matter.

Incidentally. the Supreme Court had last week issued a notice to the Akhilesh government asking why contempt proceedings should not be initiated against it for “non-compliance” of its order to appoint a new Lokayukta in the state. Even as the scenarios causing the delay in the appointment have risen, the government is learnt to have received its “legal opinion” which it had sought earlier, and is now reported to convene the meeting of the selection committee soon, sources said.

Among other issues, the Government appeared very keen on bypassing the need to present the Uttar Pradesh Revenue Code (amendment) Ordinance 2015 before the assembly for a discussion, and instead attempting to get it cleared by the Governor. With the BSP already expressing its unhappiness over the ordinance, the ruling party anticipates strong opposition in the House. In the past, the the Governor has questioned the state government’s “urgency” over sending the ordinance when the Winter Session of the assembly could begin any time. But in light of the recent development, the government is reported to have told the Governor it would soon inform him about present status of the ordinance.

The ordinance in question, which aims to modify land reforms by repealing 31 land-related rules, regulations and Acts, would also allow Dalits to sell their lands to non-Dalits even if they have less than 3.5 acres left with them.
Sources also informed that on the issue of the selection of MLC candidates, who are to be nominated, the Governor has made it clear the government would have to “send fresh names for consideration”.

Other pending Bills including one proposing to make Chief Minister as the Chancellor of the Saifai Medical University and another proposing to make Chief Secretary as the Chancellor of King George’s Medical University besides one related to urban local bodies were also discussed.

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