UP CM vs. babus: horse blaming the cart

There is nothing new in Yadav junior’s contention that bureaucrats in the state are corrupt, but the leadership always knew the ways of keeping them tamed

akash

Akash Deep Ashok | January 21, 2013



Less than a year after taking over the reins of Uttar Pradesh after his historic poll victory, chief minister Akhilesh Yadav’s laggard legacy comprises only this much: an ugly blame game between the horse and the cart. Yadav has held state bureaucrats responsible for the failure in implementing various projects that formed part of the Samajwadi Party's (SP) poll manifesto prior to the assembly elections early last year. But the bureaucracy wonders as much as I do if the state is still headed by a democratically elected government.

Speaking on the inaugural day of IAS Week on Thursday, the young chief minister said he had cleared several welfare projects but the administrative officials failed to implement them and asked them to better their poor image. He also advised the IAS officers to think why their empanelment was not taking place or why occasions like IAS Week were not being held for the past six years.

The bureaucrats, I guess, would not agree with the CM. According to media reports, bureaucrats have instead alleged that the state ministers were forcing them to indulge in unethical activities. They alleged that the CM wants to listen to only minister and party leaders and believes the second-hand information about the bureaucrats (more here).

There is nothing new in Yadav junior’s contention that the bureaucrats in the state are corrupt —cases of former health secretary Pradeep Shukla, who was in jail for months, and former chief secretary Neera Yadav who was (in December 2010) sentenced to four years rigorous imprisonment after being convicted of misusing her official position to fraudulently allot land in Noida, are living testimonies. As late as two decades ago, this writer has clear memory of bulk transfers being a regular feature in Lucknow’s newspapers and the UP IAS Association voting for the most corrupt official every year. Neera Yadav by the way also won that controversial election hands down.

But the leadership somehow always knew ways of keeping them tamed. The same set of bureaucracy behaves like a work horse in the regime of BSP supremo Mayawati. So to say it directly, the problem actually lies in Yadav junior not being able to play David to the Goliath of SP’s corrupt bigwigs who care two hoots about the young leader — more so since the image at the political altar is his while the moolah is all theirs.

The Yadav junior’s current lamentation against corrupt babus is a continuation of the events from when the SP chief had lashed out at the performance of the Akhilesh Yadav government. On 17 January, Mulayam Singh had said that none of the ministers in the government were doing their job properly and that the bureaucrats were calling the shots in the state. According to the son the bureaucrats are not working. According to the father, the ministers are not working. That makes one thing pretty clear: in UP, everybody is partying!

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