Friday April 27, 2018
Home India How politics ...

How politics of Uttar pradesh has a huge effect on the neighbouring Bihar

0
//
225
Republish
Reprint

Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav during a Police Week programme  in Lucknow, on Feb 28, 2015. (Photo: IANS)New Delhi: For the present, the Akhilesh Yadav government in Uttar Pradesh has bought peace with the family of the slain journalist, Jagendra Singh, with a Rs.30 lakh compensation and the promise of government jobs for his two sons.

It, however, remains open to question whether the government will be able to keep its third promise of bringing the guilty to book.

The doubts arise because while the policemen implicated in the murder have been suspended – the time-honoured official ploy to deflect attention – the prime accused, Minister of State for Backward Classes Welfare, Ram Murti Verma, remains free.

The delay in apprehending him is believed to be the ruling party’s disinclination to annoy the Kurmi community to which he belongs. In fact, the state’s Minister for Public Works, Shivpal Singh Yadav, lost no time to say that Verma will not resign till the death was “thoroughly” investigated. Since the Kurmis comprise nine percent of UP’s population, they cannot be ignored.

Now that the journalist’s death is being described as a case of self-immolation, the chances of the minister being put behind bars have become even more remote. As a Samajwadi Party (SP) member confessed, the forensic report which referred to the alleged suicide bid means that the “exercise” of defending the minister has been completed. Clearly, the law has not been allowed to take its own course.

This episode typifies the breakdown of law and order in one of India’s largest states under a government in thrall to caste-based politics.

It was Jagendra Singh’s articles about the minister’s alleged wrongdoings which angered the latter and led to the journalist’s horrifying death. It was on the basis of his dying declaration that the policemen were caught, and a FIR was filed against the minister.

If Akhilesh Yadav has acted after being inactive for nearly two weeks, the reason perhaps is that the grisly incident has occurred at an awkward time for the nascent Janata Parivar, a combination mainly of the parties of backward castes of the Hindi belt.

Since its chief is SP supremo, Mulayam Singh Yadav, the opprobrium of the ghastly tragedy will fall not only on the SP, long known for its association with hoods, but also on the Parivar.530

At a time when the latter’s two important constituents – Janata Dal-United (JD-U) and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) — are gearing up to fight the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Bihar, the shock and revulsion over the journalist’s gruesome death cannot but undermine the electoral position of the two parties to a considerable extent.

During the polls, the backward caste angle will feature prominently in the discourse on the horrific incident, not only because all the important players in the tragedy belong to the backward caste, but also because caste has always been a crucial element in the so-called cow belt.

As parties dependent almost entirely on the support of the backward castes, the Yadavs and Kurmis, the JD-U and the RJD cannot, but be discomfited by the unfolding developments in neighbouring UP, which will continue to be in the limelight in the foreseeable future since the Supreme Court has decided to intervene. The Allahabad High Court is also probing the tragedy.

In contrast to the unease in the JD-U and RJD camps, the BJP’s base among the upper castes, who make up a sizable 14 percent of Bihar’s population, will be further strengthened since the party is bound to play up the spectre of lawlessness in the neighbouring state.

Fears in this regard have been further accentuated by the arrest of a JD-U MLA, Anant Singh, on charges of kidnapping and murder in Bihar.

nitish-kumar-bihar-cm_1The two incidents will revive memories of the “jungle raj”, in the words of the BJP and its former ally, the JD-U, which prevailed in Bihar between 1990 and 2005, when the RJD was in power. In that period, Bihar’s main claim to fame was that virtually its entire infrastructure – roads, bridges, power lines – fell into disrepair, as kidnappers roamed the land in search of victims who would fetch large ransoms.

But burning alive a critic is in a different category. It is closer to the activities of another notorious politician of UP who is suspected of feeding those who earn his displeasure, to crocodiles in a pond in his estate.

UP’s descent can be contrasted with Bihar’s brief regeneration under the government of the JD-U and BJP between 2005 and 2013, when lawlessness was curbed, and the first steps towards development were taken.

After the rupture between the two parties, however, it is back to square one as far as the hopes for economic growth are concerned. Although Nitish Kumar has become chief minister again after briefly stepping down to atone for the JD-U’s defeat in last year’s general election, he is now too busy propping up his fragile alliance with the RJD, to focus on development.

He will now have to dispel fears about the return of the jungle raj. But the two incidents in UP and Bihar will make his task extremely difficult. (IANS)

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2015 NewsGram

Next Story

Is UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath losing his shine?

His failure to deliver on his promise to get all pot-holed roads fixed by a given deadline last year; the rollback -- under pressure -- in privatisation of the power sector in five cities

0
//
18
Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh
Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath. IANS

Is Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath — in power for just over a year — fast losing his lustre?

Many here feel so.

A litany of complaints about his public conduct, his behaviour with colleagues as well as common people is fast eroding the aura he had built up as the five-time Lok Sabha MP from Gorakhpur who was catapulted to the Chief Minister’s office of a socially diverse and politically volatile state of 220 million people.

Adityanath Yogi is known for his aggression and excellent oratory skills.
Adityanath Yogi is known for his aggression and excellent oratory skills.

Last week, 24-year-old Ayush Bansal shocked many when he broke down in front of media in Gorakhpur and disclosed how the monk-turned-Chief Minister mocked him during a “junta darbaar” where he had gone to complain about a land-grab case in which independent legislator from Nautanwa, Amanmani Tripathi, was involved.

He also accused the Chief Minister of calling him “awaraa” (wayward) and pushing him while throwing his file in the air. “Maharaj ji angrily snapped at me and said my work will never be done and that I should get out of his sight,” Bansal told IANS.

While officials got down to damage control and said the matter was being looked into, the fact that Adityanath behaved in a manner unbecoming of a Chief Minister was neither contradicted by officials nor denied by the ruling party.

Barely had the din over this episode died down when two MPs of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) complained of similar behaviour. In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP MP from Robertsganj Chhote Lal Kharwar, accused Adityanath of “scolding him and asking him to get out”. The MP said he was deeply pained at the behavior of the Chief Minister as he tried to draw his attention to issues faced by the party faithful.

Ayodhya
In the picture, Yogi Adityanath addressing a rally at Raipur. Wikimedia Commons

“Never did the local administration listen to my plaints and when I went to meet the Chief Minister twice over many issues, ‘unhone mujhe daantkar bhaga diya’ (he scolded me and chased me away),” the lawmaker said in his letter.

The BJP leader has also shot off a letter to the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, seeking help. Lal also says that definite proof of wrong-doing and corruption presented by him went unheard and unaddressed. What is surprising is that all this happened to a man who is the state president of the BJP’s SC/ST Morcha.

While Modi is learnt to have assured Lal of action, there are other similar murmurs about Adityanath’s rough behaviour. Etawah MP Ashok Dohre has also written to Modi accusing the state police of lodging fake cases against SCs and STs during the Bharat Bandh. When asked why he did not petition the Chief Minister, Dohre said he considered Modi his leader, and thus petitioned him.

Also Read: Little Known Facts About U.P. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath

Alarmed by the sudden “unease” among the party’s lawmakers, Amit Shah summoned Yogi to New Delhi over the weekend and is learnt to have asked him to mend his ways. Adityanth also met Modi. Interestingly, Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya, who party insiders admit doesn’t see eye to eye with Yogi, was also called to Delhi at the same time.

Ironically, till not long ago, the 45-year-old Chief Minister was being venerated by the party faithful as a man next only to Modi. Insiders, however, now admit that not only has Adityanath failed to show his “pakad” (hold) on the party, but is also “awkwardly arrogant in his public conduct”, and not very able in his administration.

“He may be a busy man, so have been his predecessors… he remains inaccessible and uses foul and unacceptable language at times,” conceded a senior minister who did not wish to be named. Though stopping short of calling the Chief Minister arrogant, he suggested that “Yogi-ji is better advised to be more courteous and improve his time management”.

A senior party functionary too noted “the changing ways of Maharaj-ji”, though he felt “mood swings and the tongue-lashings could be because he has to handle a big state like Uttar Pradesh”.

Yogi Adityanath
Yogi Adityanath is losing his shine. (IANS)

A senior bureaucrat also alleged that the Chief Minister often “goes off the handle” and could be very acerbic in his dealing with officials. The Chief Minister’s loyalists, however, point out that he does not like people to hang around him and wants officials to deliver fast and work within the system that has been set up. When there is any breach, he loses his temper, a close aide told IANS.

His failure to deliver on his promise to get all pot-holed roads fixed by a given deadline last year; the rollback — under pressure — in privatisation of the power sector in five cities; the poor showing in the Phulpur and Gorakhpur Lok Sabha by-polls and reports that he and his deputy, Keshav Prasad Maurya, don’t get along well have already rung alarm bells in the establishment, sources said. IANS