While Monday's Supreme Court order reinstating 18,000 dismissed Uttar Pradesh policemen came as a bolt from the blue for Chief Minister Mayawati, it has left her predecessor and Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav all pepped up as the recruitments were made during his regime .
No sooner than she assumed office in May 2007, Mayawati scrapped the entire process on the plea of 'large scale irregularities, corruption and extensive flow of underhand money'.
Yadav told media persons at his party office in Lucknow, "The Supreme Court's order has further reinforced my contention that the recruitments were absolutely in order and that the Mayawati government's decision to terminate the services of 18,000 policemen was done out of prejudice and malice."
He said, "Considering that all her allegations about irregularities in the recruitment have fallen flat before the highest court of the land, Mayawati must herself step down from office, failing which we will be compelled to make a representation to both President and the state Governor demanding her government's ouster."
The recruitments were made during the preceding regime headed by Mulayam. Mayawati claimed to have unearthed large scale bungling in the recruitment process, following which bulk of the recruits lost their jobs.
However, even after a hot legal battle, the state government failed to prove its point. Yet, it kept sitting over an order of the Allahabad High Court that clearly directed the state government to take back all the dismissed policemen. Some victims moved a contempt of court petition following which the high court fixed May 27 as the deadline for implementation of its order.
UP Director General of Police Vikram Singh, who is known for being more loyal than the king, preferred to challenge the order before the apex court, which however proved counter productive.
Meanwhile, there is much jubilation among the dismissed cops and their families. "I have been waiting for this day for two years as I had arranged the marriage of my daughter with one such recruit who had lost his job; at last I can get her married," remarked a cop posted close to the chief minister's residence.
Interestingly, while Mayawati was bent upon ensuring the ouster of the young recruits, she did not hesitate to reinstate all officers belonging to the elite Indian Police Service who had earlier been suspended for committing alleged irregularities in the recruitment process.
The chief minister had also initiated a fresh process for making new recruitments in order to fill up the huge backlog of vacancies in the state police force.