MULAYAM FIDDLES AS U. P. BURNS.
LAWLESSNESS rages unabated in Uttar Pradesh but Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav doesn't have the inclination or time to castigate or chastise the ministers of the government running the show. "I am neither going to seek your resignation nor going to punish you. You shouldn't worry about anything," Mulayam told all 57 of Uttar Pradesh ministers as he began a long- overdue and keenly watched meeting in Lucknow on Sunday. And all this on a day when a woman MP of the Bharatiya Janata Party alleged she was fired upon by four men in Fatehpur, a BJP leader from Uttarakhand was found brutally murdered in Bareilly, another gang rape rocked Badaun, and the cousin of a minister was belatedly arrested for murder.
The six- hour meeting did see the usual words of encouragement on development and pro- poor policies. Mulayam had no questions, however, on the unabated crime wave in the state or on the SP's worst- ever poll outing since its formation in 1992. Starting from the Muzaffarnagar riots late last year, it's been a short but bloody journey to violence and lawlessness in Uttar Pradesh that even the United Nations has expressed concern at. Over half- a- dozen women and minors have been raped-- some hanged after-- in Uttar Pradesh during the last month. The state has also witnessed a similar number of political murders in the aftermath of the Lok Sabha elections.
That should have been enough for any state government to pull itself up by the bootstraps.
But there's the power bit too: from 23 seats in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls, the SP was reduced to just five seats in 2014. Mulayam, however, declared at Sunday's meeting that he had no problem with his party leaders and the government.
His son, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, told his ministers at the same meeting that they must maintain a clean image and avoid doing anything that may impact the party's prospects. SP sources told M AIL T ODAY that Akhilesh told his ministers that he would review their performance and attitude as ministers and SP workers again after six months. Akhilesh also issued a directive to SP office- bearers, telling them to be their offices every Monday and listen to the problems of the common people.
Akhilesh didn't display any interest either in cleaning up his own council of ministers, a fourth of which is tainted by a criminal or otherwise dubious past.
Akhilesh has had an earlier chance to start fixing the law and order situation under his watch, meeting with the state's senior officialdom on June 10. He didn't take it.
Mulayam has held at least 20 meetings of the ministers and SP leaders in last two years and every time he has given them a few months to mend their ways. This shows that he has grown old and the strength to run the party," said one SP leader on condition of anonymity. "The SP chief had said his last meeting a fortnight ago that he had reports against some the ministers and would like to his son Akhilesh to remove them to send a message across that there would be zero- tolerance against any leader who was engaged in honest effort to strengthen the party and the government.
There are many senior leaders of the party who had registered complaints against over two dozen ministers. But Mulayam appears helpless and weak," the leader added.
It is also widely believed that a diffusion of responsibility and an overlap of power within the SP is another reason behind Mulayam's helplessness. "While some leaders close to Akhilesh, some others close confidants of SP general secretary Ram Gopal Yadav or PWD minister Shivpal Singh Yadav. Obviously, taking any strict action against a minister would be extremely tough for him Mulayam)," the SP leader added.
Reacting to the apparent weakness of the SP chief and his son's remarkable tolerance for criminals, BJP spokesperson Vijay Bahadur Pathak said, "Mulayam no control over his criminals wrongdoers. He has lost the strength to run a party. The chief minister, enjoying cost state. minister Pradesh.
than in the party minister, on the other hand, is enjoying the luxuries of life at the of the law and order in the state. He is the worst chief minister we have ever seen in Uttar Pradesh. In fact we expect worse than what is happening presently the state because the SP is a party of criminals." Congress spokesperson Dwijendra Tripathi was even more blunt. "There is something grossly wrong with Mulayam and Akhilesh. The way they are ignoring the rise of crime in the state is really alarming. They also disregard development and prefer gimmickry. They have lost the moral right to stay in power," Tripathi told MAIL TODAY .
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