THE euphoria proved to be short-lived. Six days after winning the trust vote in the Lucknow assembly amidst large-scale violence, UP chief minister Kalyan Singh's credibility and tactics employed to cobble together a majority stood questioned. At the core of Kalyan's troubles is the 93-member jumbo cabinet he has set in place, studded as it is with ministers with a dubious past.
Not only is his cabinet the largest ever in independent India, but at least 17 members of Kalyan's team have a criminal background. In an obvious effort to reward all who voted in his favour, he seems to have chosen his ministers with a blindfold on. At the end of his first fortnight in office, Kalyan had lost whatever high ground he had gained by wresting the advantage from the BSP. Now his well-publicised promise—
"kanoon ka raj hoga, bhay mukta samaaj hoga" (the law will prevail without fear)—rings hollow.
The gigantic ministry is proving to be a jumbo embarrassment, with the value-based politics the...