Resentment is brewing against the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh, especially among the BJP's own legislators, sources said.
"It began shortly after he was sworn in when Yogi Adityanath told officers that they need not work under pressure from MLAs. Since that day, the bureaucracy has gone berserk. The officers do not listen to elected representatives and we have no answers for the people who come to us with their grievances. We thought things would improve, but the situation seems to be going from bad to worse," said a BJP MLA from eastern UP.
According to sources, party legislators have tried to communicate their grievances to the Chief Minister on several occasions, but there has been no redress.
With officers refusing to pay attention to MLAs and corruption at the police station level increasing in spite of the Chief Minister's zero tolerance policy, the anger among legislators welled up to such a level last month that about 100 MLAs staged a sit-in in the state assembly on December 17.
The protest was initiated by Nand Kishore Gurjar, BJP MLA from Loni in Ghaziabad, who said that the Chief Minister's "zero-tolerance policy against corruption" was being mocked by corrupt officials in his constituency.
The Ghaziabad officials reacted by releasing the crime history of the legislator who is booked in 12 cases.
Sources claim that the revolt-like situation was actually fueled by a lobby within the UP BJP that does not like Yogi Adityanath.
After this protest, the Chief Minister assured the MLAs that their problems would be addressed but a few days later when nothing changed visibly, Hardoi MLA Shyam Prakash posted a suggestion on social media that a "union" of legislators was the need of the hour. Prakash had targeted the UP government and state officials, claiming that more than "95 per cent" of the officials were corrupt.
Harshvardhan Bajpai, the MLA from Allahabad North, termed the protest as "unity against corruption".
Kaushal Kishore, BJP MP from the Mohanlalganj Lok Sabha seat, has also made serious allegations against the Lucknow Police. Recently, he slammed the police out for its negative attitude and said that criminals were ‘out of control'.
"Murder and loot are going on unabated," he stated.
BJP MLA from Tindwari, Brajesh Prajapati, was apparently so aggrieved by the denial of ‘proper' treatment by officials in his home district Banda that he wrote a letter to CM Adityanath complaining against the superintendent of police.
"If this continues, many of us will not be in a position to get re-elected in 2022. The situation at the ground level is worrisome but the chief minister is shown only what the officials want him to see. An example of this was when the chief minister went on a surprise inspection of shelter homes in Lucknow. As soon as he returned, the blankets given to the homeless were taken away. The inmates had been threatened with dire consequences if they made any complaints before the chief minister. When the matter was reported by the media, an FIR was lodged but no action has been taken yet," said a legislator
Another MLA was more candid when he said, "Article 370, CAA, NRC and Triple Talaq are good issues for debates on television, but when you go to contest elections, it is the smaller issues that decide your fate. The government is not responding to such issues and some officials even try to block our accessibility to the chief minister."
Leader of Opposition and senior SP MLA Ram Govind Chaudhary said that resentment was growing alarmingly among BJP MLAs.
"The BJP legislators tell us that we are better off in the opposition because we can, at least, raise our voices in the Assembly. They admit that they are not in a position to face their own voters because no work is being done. The Chief Minister should start addressing the problems of his own legislators," he said.
Meanwhile, sources said that BJP Organization Secretary Sunil Bansal and state president Swatantra Dev Singh would soon be meeting party legislators on a regular basis to resolve issues.
BJP's state spokesperson Manoj Mishra, however, denied reports of resentment among MLAs and termed the reports as a "figment of media's imagination".
"The party and the government are working in perfect coordination and there is absolutely no resentment. Some statements are being twisted out of context by the media," he said.