Akhilesh sets fresh rules for SP workers, says don’t cross ‘Lakshman Rekha’

March 17th, 2012 - 1:29 am ICT by IANS  

Lucknow, March 16 (IANS) Haunted by the spectre of a repeat of hooliganism that marred the the 2004-2007 tenure of the Samajwadi Party government, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav Friday issued fresh guidelines with regard to putting up of hoardings and use of party flags on vehicles and asked them to remain within the ‘Lakshman rekha’.

According to the diktat, the chief minister has put a blanket ban on putting up of hoardings - congratulatory and otherwise in the state capital. Mujeeb-ur-Rahman, the city president of the Samajwadi Party (SP) said he “had direct orders from Akhilesh Yadav to crack down on any such party worker” who used the party symbol on flags, buntings, banners and hoardings.

“Such hoardings we know are being put up by shady elements, mafias and land grabbers and we have passed on instructions to the Lucknow Municipal Corporation officials to remove such hoardings and penalize them as per the law,” a close aide of the chief minister told IANS.

The missive from the chief minister also bans putting up of cutouts, posters and distribution of pamphlets with his picture or that of the party national president Mulayam Singh Yadav.

Fighting hard the image of the ‘return of hooliganism’, a charge levelled by former chief minister Mayawati, Akhilesh Yadav also issued late night instructions to police officials to take action against all people who flaunt the party flag on their four wheelers and breaking traffic norms and “act in an unlawful manner”. Only a day ago, party workers supporting an MLA had tried to run over their SuV on a constable at Aminabad.

The chief minister has directed the party office bearers to ensure that the party flags are only put up on vehicles of members of the national executive of the party, members of the state executive, Member of Parliament (MPs), former MPs, MLAs, MLCs and former MLAs and MLCs. Other than this, people authorized to use the party flags on vehicles include, district and city presidents of the party, vice-presidents, general
secretaries and treasurers.

In his brief interaction with some party functionaries Friday, Akhilesh Yadav made it clear that no indiscipline or any form of hooliganism would be tolerated and after an initial warning, errant party workers would be shunted out of the party. Violence and unruly behaviour by party workers and supporters - right from the day of the party winning a massive mandate till the swearing-in of the ministry Thursday - has embarrassed the SP leadership time and again.

The chief minister also ordered expulsion of 10 overzealous party office bearers who, after the swearing in, had broken tables and chairs on the stage where he and the Governor B.L. Joshi had sat, and had ransacked the dias where Akhilesh Yadav and his 47-member ministry had been sworn in.

Those expelled include Ram Sahay Yadav, Shiv Poojan Singh, Satish Kumar ‘Sunny’, Jalim Singh, Sattar Yadav, Babloo Ansari, Aabaad Mansoori, Akmal, Naem and Rais.

The fact that Yadav took out time for party matters, from his pressing schedule with the bureaucratic reshuffle and other things, political observers feel, was a clear cut signal that the party would not be allowed to hold the government hostage of its past.

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

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