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New CM a Vajpayee man
U.P. Muslims feels releived

Muslims of Uttar Pradesh feel at least relieved, if not exalted upon the exit of Mr. Ram Prakash Gupta from the chief minister’s post and his replacement with a person who, at least out of compulsion, is trying to toe Vajpayee line of politics. The outgoing chief minister septuagenarian Gupta, a Vajpayee choice himself, had turned himself a leader caring least for decency and decorum of the secular administration, proving out and out an RSS-brand leader while running a state like Uttar Pradesh, where 25 percent of the total population of Indian Muslims lives.

Leave alone the visible things such as posting of officers belonging to Muslim to at least portray the government as working secular, Gupta on one hand tried hard to demoralize the community by linking them with the ISI and branding organization like Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) as an anti-national one, and on the other hand, not only put a blind eye and ear to the activities of communal elements within the RSS-periphery but also tried to appease them by whatever means.

Gupta's last act before bowing out office was repealing of the ‘Uttar Pradesh Hindu Public Religious Institutions (Prevention of Dissipation of Properties) Act, 1962. Though a ‘temporary measure,’ the Act was in force for about forty years and serving as a deterrent factor in the dissipation and regulation of transfer of the properties of Hindu Public Religious Institutions in the State. Gupta earlier also leased out prime land to Sadhvi Rithambara on a token amount per annum.

‘On the demand of certain classes of the society it was decided to repeal the said Act’, says the Statement of Objects and Reasons of the Act repealing Bill, placed in the State Legislature as a follow up of the issuance of an Ordinance on 26 August 2000 for the purpose. 

Just a meeting of sadhus in Haridwar, which the Chief Minister had attended, was sufficient enough for Mr Gupta to repeal the Act, while the C.M turned a deaf years to the popular demand of simply withdrawing from the Centre the ‘Uttar Pradesh Public Religious Places and Buildings Regulation Bill, 2000’ aimed at checking the new construction and even the repairs of the religious places and madrasas in the state.

Contrary to the outrageous and almost contemptuous desire and display of action by Mr. Gupta, the new Chief Minister Mr. Rajnath Singh is initially courteous enough to have his nameplate at 5, Kalidas Marg, the official residence of the Chief Minister also in Urdu, though in tooti-phooti zuban. He also did not follow the tradition of the BJP leaders, either it be the C.M or the party chief to visit the disputed Ramlalla temple at Ayodhya after assuming office. 

Although he had not disclosed his mind about the withdrawal of the highly- controversial and objectionable U.P Religious Buildings Bill, the new CM is expected to toe Vajpayee line of politics in the state which is very very crucial for the survival of the party and the power at the Centre. Mr. Singh evaded a direct reply to media on Ayohdya visit but strangely enough media has so far did not posed any question about the contentious U.P. Public Religious Buildings Bill. 

About the construction of Ram temple on the disputed land in Ayohdya, the new C.M said that the land had been acquired by the Centre and it was under its disposal. The Uttar Pradesh government does not come into the picture. ‘Only my action will speak’ was the cryptic reply of Mr. Singh when asked about his plan to deal with the situation arising out of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) threat to go unilaterally for the construction of temple originally the Babri Mosque site at the acquired land in Ayodhya.

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