Mayawati backtracks on special force to guard memorials

Lucknow, May 28 (IANS) Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati Friday withdrew a bill as well as a parallel ordinance for raising a special security force for her dream project – memorials and statues of Dalit icons, inluding herself – in Lucknow and Noida.

The decision was taken at an emergency meeting of the state cabinet here.

The state government’s reason for the withdrawal was stated to be the ‘absence of women among ex-servicemen’ who were to form the new outfit designated the Special Zone Security Force. This was meant to guard eight memorials and scores of statues in Lucknow and Noida.

‘The security of these places would now be entrusted to home guards,’ a government spokesman told media persons here.

‘Since women tourists too would be visiting these memorials and statues in large numbers, it was pertinent that the security force meant to guard these places must also include adequate number of women,’ he added.

However, official sources attributed the decision to the central government’s adverse view on the legal opinion sought by state Governor B.L.Joshi before whom the bill was pending after it was passed by the state assembly in February.

The Mayawati government then issued an ordinance on the same issue in April. However, the governor referred the bill as well as the ordinance to the central law ministry, which pointed out certain serious lacunae in the bill, rendering it absolutely ‘unconstitutional’.

When this was conveyed to the state government, Mayawati chose to withdraw the legislation.