Ministers delighted with Yogi emerging as a ‘weak’ CM

<b>While the media is ecstatic, most people in UP also claim to be happy under Yogi Raj in the state. But while they are unable to explain why, all the glitter does not seem to be gold</b>

Photo by Ashok Dutta/Hindustan Times via Getty Images
Photo by Ashok Dutta/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

Biswajeet Banerjee

With Adityanath Yogi completing a month in office as chief minister on Wednesday, the media, TV channels specially, have gone overboard in recalling ‘the 30 major decisions’ taken by the state government in 30 days. The fact is that even within the BJP the impression has gained ground that he is a ‘weak’ chief minister taking orders from New Delhi.

Nripendra Mishra, the Prime Minister’s Principal Secretary and a former UP cadre bureaucrat, is said to be calling the shots and key postings are being filled up with officers returning from central deputation. But the chief minister is unable to exercise much control over ministers and lawmakers, who, say insiders, have ceased to take him seriously.

“So, the policemen are happy because they can stop couples, ask for phone numbers and let them off after extorting some money; ministers are happy because they have realised that the CM’s looks and words are deceptive and people are happy for they know not why,” is how a retired bureaucrat in Lucknow put it.

What is even more worrying is that the chief minister has said or done little to allay the apprehension in the minority community. After all he has been known for delivering anti-Muslim speeches. And his only administrative experience so far has been to run the affairs of a temple, its land and its property including Trusts running schools and colleges.

A month is too short a time to judge the performance of a Government. And in all fairness the BJP government should be given more time. But what is becoming clear in the state after a month of Yogi in office is that the novelty of having a head priest as the chief minister is wearing off and people have started speaking up with some complaining that they feel let down.

People had indeed hoped that under Yogi Adityanath, the bureaucracy would become more receptive, the public utilities would improve and people would have the benefit of more power supply. But they seem destined to wait far longer.

  • The chief minister had directed ministers and bureaucrats to submit their property details within 15 days. But even after a month the compliance has been partial, forcing him to extend the deadline.
  • BJP came to power with a promise to improve law and order. But audacious crimes continue to take place, kidnappings and murder cases have gone up and so have attacks on policemen. But though criminals are calling the shots in the state, media by and large have turned a blind eye to the ‘jungle raj’.
  • The chief minister’s statements on people maintaining silence on the issue of triple talaq and on the Uniform Civil Code have done nothing to assuage the apprehensions of the minority community.
  • Despite the rhetoric of ‘More Power to All’ and the release of a fancy roster promising 18-hour supply to villages, 20 hours in tehsils and 24 hours in district headquarters, it turned out that the roster was an old one and issued by the earlier SP Government.
  • Farmers are out on streets complaining that they have been betrayed because the farm-loan waiver leaves out those who had secured loans to buy equipment.
  • While the Government declared a minimum support price for potatoes a fortnight ago, distress sale of potatoes continue while those who can afford it have put them in cold storage. There is apprehension that the Government may miss the target of procuring one lakh MT of potatoes.
  • While BJP had promised that sugarcane arrears would be cleared within 15 days of coming to power, a month later Government spokesman Shrikant Sharma concedes that the arrears still amount to ₹ 2,500 crore.

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