Akhilesh firefights as ministers, officials embarrass government (Uttar Pradesh Newsletter)

May 13th, 2012 - 1:59 pm ICT by IANS  

Bahujan Samaj Party Lucknow, May 13 (IANS) “Even if god forms a government in Uttar Pradesh, crime cannot be controlled,” said minister Durga Prasad Yadav. Samajwadi Party leader Mohammad Azam Khan wants former governor T.V. Rajeshwar to be hanged in public. “Had my daughter eloped, I would have either shot her or committed suicide,” so said Saharanpur Deputy Inspector General of Police Satish Kumar Mathur.

When the Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party took over the reins of Uttar Pradesh nearly two months ago, it had a mountain of hopes to scale and numerous promises to fulfil. But actions and inappropriate remarks by his party leaders and officials have made his task even more difficult, putting the government in embarrassing situations repeatedly.

This started as soon as the party registered a landslide victory in elections riding an anti-incumbency wave. Incidents of violence were reported from many places as party activists “cut loose” to celebrate.

Now, the party leadership is fuming and fretting over senior ministers and officials dishing out uncalled for statements.

The first salvo came from the mercurial Azam Khan, a cabinet minister with many portfolios who enjoys the number two position in the party, when he lashed out at Imam Bukhari of the Delhi Jama Masjid, calling him a “do kaudi ka aadmi” (a man with no value).

The verbal spat that ensued thereafter left the Samajwadi leadership running for cover, and the minority vote bank of the party seemed headed for a vertical split, forcing party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav to firefight.

No sooner had the matter settled than Khan spewed venom on former governor Rajeshwar, accusing him of stalling the proposed Jauhar University in Rampur. In a scathing comment, he said Rajeshwar should be hanged in public.

Minister for Stamp, Court Fees and Registration Durga Prasad Yadav recently said there was no way crime could be controlled in the state. “Even if god forms a government here, crime will not be curbed.” he snapped.

In other controversial remarks, Wasim Ahmad, the basic education minister, told IANS that the Congress was making terrorists out of innocent Muslims.

There are other cases of Samajwadi leaders firing at each other, threatening a policeman in Allahabad, following which an FIR was lodged this week.

The latest was the utterance of Deputy Inspector of Police (Saharanpur) Satish Kumar Mathur, who told a man whose daughter had eloped to kill her or consume poison himself.

The officer was quickly removed by the government for his uncharitable remarks.

While sources in the chief minister’s office said Akhilesh Yadav was aware of the developments and had written a letter to party MPs and legislators to mend their ways and live up to the expectations of the people, they admit in private that “by and large even the CM was helpless”.

“The CM is sad at what his partymen are doing, specially since he is doing everything to change the party’s image of goons and hooligans,” said a close aide of the chief minister.

The aide further told IANS that the chief minister was monitoring such acts from time to time and chastening the leaders.

While Akhilesh Yadav off and on does take “corrective measures”, the ministers are not red faced.

Waseem Ahmad, one such minister, said he was saying nothing against party line and he meant it when he said that the Congress was making innocent Muslims terrorists.

Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader Swami Prasad Maurya finds nothing unsual in the conduct of Samajwadi leaders.

“This is nothing strange; it is SP’s genetic conduct as it is a party of terrorists and goons,” Maurya told IANS.

Vijay Bahadur Pathak of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said people holding high posts should not use harsh language.

“It is a complete paradox. The chief minister is very well mannered while his ministers are in stark contrast,” he mused.

(Mohit Dubey can be contacted at mohit.d@ians.in)

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