Congress’s Jaiswal favours President’s Rule in UP, retracts (Lead)

February 23rd, 2012 - 6:13 pm ICT by IANS  

Bahujan Samaj Party Kanpur, Feb 23 (IANS) Union minister and senior Congress leader Sriprakash Jaiswal Thursday said Uttar Pradesh will have President’s Rule if the Congress fails to win majority in the state assembly, a remark that sparked a row forcing him to retract later.

“We will declare President’s Rule,” Jaiswal said when a journalist asked what would happen if the Congress fails to win the ongoing assembly elections.

“We are confident of winning sufficient seats to form the next government in Uttar Pradesh, and even if we were to remain short by a handful of seats, we would still emerge as the single largest party to be in a position to stake claim to form the government,” Jaiswal told reporters after casting his vote here.

Jaiswal later said the statement, which drew huge political reactions, was twisted by the media.

“I never meant to say that there would be President’s Rule in case Congress does not get a clear majority. My contention was that in case no political party gets a majority, the only constitutional answer would be President’s Rule,” Jaiswal said, but not before his earlier remark opened up a barrage of reactions lambasting the minister for the “unconstitutional” statement.

The entire opposition was up in arms against the minister, accusing the Congress of not only being insolent but also of sabotaging the democratic process.

In Allahabad, Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) veteran Lal Krishna Advani said “the statement is highly unconstitutional”.

“(It) needs to be taken serious note of since this was the first time that a central minister has blatantly defied the constitution.”

Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav said the statement reflected the “frustration of the Congress”.

The Congress, he said, “has now realised that it is not even in the race”.

“What the union minister has done amounts to intimidation of the common voter as well as the election commission.”

Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MP Vijay Bahadur Singh said: “It is best to ignore the Congress because the party is irrelevant.”

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