Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and his deputy Keshav Prasad Maurya are clearly at loggerheads. First, Yogi found faults in the working of PWD and Road Maintenance – the department headed by Keshav Prasad Maurya – and weeks later Maurya retaliated by saying that corruption plagued the Lucknow Development Authority – which is headed by the Chief Minister himself.
The action and the reaction have become the talk of the town. The corridors of Lok Bhawan – the power centre in Lucknow – are agog with speculation over the allegedly strained relationship between the Chief Minister and one of the two Deputy Chief Ministers.
The first indication of the brewing discord had surfaced in October this year when the CM reviewed the working of the PWD and Road Maintenance department. But the PWD Minister and Deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya skipped the meeting and was conspicuous by his absence.
In that meeting Yogi Adityanath expressed dissatisfaction over the condition of roads in Uttar Pradesh and set a deadline to the officials to make the roads pothole free. He also alleged corruption in the PWD.
One of the officials who attended that meeting told this reporter that the CM was so angry with the condition of roads that he asked the Principal Secretary of the PWD to get an FIR lodged against the concerned officials in the districts, where funds have been withdrawn but construction had not begun.
CM did not stop there but ordered an audit of tenders issued by the PWD , Urban Development and Irrigation departments in the last two years.
On November 13 – almost a month after the CM’s stinging remarks – Keshav Maurya has shot back and wrote a letter to the Chief Minister on alleged corruption in Lucknow Development Authority.
In his letter Maurya wrote about a scam in allotment of commercial plots, irregularities in apartment construction, forgery in amalgamation of schemes and disappearance of documents and files from the LDA. “This was done to benefit private builders,” Maurya wrote in his letter.
To buttress his point, Maurya pointed out that LDA officials favoured a particular builder even though a case against him had been registered at a local police station. The builder is absconding but the officials cleared his project on Sultanpur Road,” he said.
Maurya also pointed out that companies found guilty of irregularities in the construction of Parijat, Panchsheel, Smriti, Srishti and Sahaj apartments, were not blacklisted and were even given more work. “Firms that were barely nine days old had been allotted commercial plots even though the rules state that the firm should have a three-year standing,” he said.
He even attached clippings from local newspapers to support his charges.
Bureaucrats say that this letter was meant as a reply to the CM’s review meeting where he found holes in PWD working. Those living in glass houses should not throw stones at others, remind Maurya’s supporters..