Mayawati, centre head for showdown over special force


Lucknow : The Uttar Pradesh and the central governments are headed for a showdown over Chief Minister Mayawati’s determination to create a special force to guard statues and memorials to Dalit icons in the state despite New Delhi’s frown.

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Mayawati is now apparently ready to take on Governor B.L. Joshi, who is set to reject her proposal for creating a special force to protect her dream project – memorials and statues dedicated to ruling Bahujan Samaj Party’s icons, including herself, in Lucknow and Noida.

According to highly placed sources, the governor has already received the centre’s advise not to give his assent to a bill seeking to raise the new security force.

Joshi had sought the central government’s legal opinion on the bill, that was also followed by an ordinance.

“The legal opinion was against the creation of such a parallel police force with powers to arrest and prosecute,” said a source in Raj Bhavan where the communique was received Monday.

The State Special Zone Security Force is designated to guard various memorials and statues being raised by Mayawati at a whopping cost of more than Rs. 6,000 crore.

These include Ambedkar Memorials at Lucknow and Noida besides Kanshi Ram Memorial, Kanshi Ram Sanskritik Sthal, Ramabai Ambedkar Maidan, Buddha Vihar and Kanshi Ram Green Eco Garden in the state capital.

“We will have the new outfit in place within the next one month, as we had commenced the recruitment exercise a couple of months ago,” disclosed state police chief Karamveer Singh.

“Since the entire recruitment was to be made out of ex-servicemen whose list had been sought from the local soldiers’ welfare board, the process would not take time,” he said.

As per the plan, the new force of about 1,000 men would be headed by an officer of the rank of inspector general of police assisted by a superintendent of police and few deputy superintendents of police.

Asked how the state proposed to go ahead with its plans in the event of the governor’s refusal, a top official said, “The state government does not necessarily require an enactment for raising a special force; that could be done through a simple administrative order which has already been issued.”

The bill for the special force has been passed in the state assembly.