As the electioneering gets momentum people are reminded of the SP’s Jungle Raj—open land grabbing and extortion by SP goons, 1035 riots in 58 months, hollow claims of development, and Mayawati’s silence on atrocities against Dalits
Ajay Mittal, Meerut
Over-burdened with the anti-incumbency developed due to the acts of omission and commission of his government, UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has entered into an electoral alliance with the Congress Party, which was finding itself in doldrums, out of power as it has been for well nigh three decades. Five months ago, Congress began its campaign with the slogan: ‘Sattaais Saal-UP Behaal’ (27 years of Misgovernance in UP). Obviously enough, five years of Akhilesh government were perceived by it as forming part of a suffering UP. Rahul Gandhi himself led the campaign with his ‘Khaat Sabha’ (meetings on cots spread on an open ground). But sooner than later, he realised that it was beyond his mettle to revive the party in the state. So contacts were established with the Samajwadi Party (SP) to work out an alliance. Akhilesh, himself realising impossibility of a return to power on his own, agreed, although some drama was enacted before clinching the partnership. As per the terms, the SP is contesting 298 seats and the Congress remaining 105.
But the shrewd politician as he is, although he deceives by his appearance, Akhilesh, under covert guidance of his clever father Mulayam Singh, had chalked out a scheme to enable himself cast off the burden of his misgovernance, corruption, appeasement and what not. Scapegoats were found in his uncle Shiv Pal Singh Yadav, Amar Singh and some other old guards of the party. Entire blame of all the ills of his government was attempted to be thrown on their doors. This cunning stratagem meant to provide a make-over for the CM, is said to be the idea of an American Professor who has been acting as more than a Prashant Kishor for him in terms of being a think tank and strategist.
But people of the state have seemingly seen through the game of the father-son duo. They fail to forget the Jungle Raj ushered in by Akhilesh for which none other can be blamed but he himself. This is entirely in keeping with the democratic dictum that the Chief Minister arrogates to himself both credit and discredit arising out of actions of his government. Even beyond that Akhilesh can, in no way, escape the consequences of his performance in Ministries exclusively under his control, the most important being the Home Ministry whereby he was responsible for maintenance of law-and-order in the state.
Jungle Raj in the eyes of High Court
The widespread feeling among UP masses about Akhilesh government”s Jungle Raj has found powerful echo in Allahabad High Court’s various judgments, which unfortunately have fallen on the deaf ears of powers that be. In two cases, resulting from inaction on the part of UP police against rapists, the Court delivered almost similar judgments on July 6, 2015 which say, inter alia: “This situation we find almost in every third case coming before this court. Probably it is the laxity on the part of Police, which is causing increase of crime rate extremely in state of UP. VIRTUALLY EVERY PERSON IN THIS STATE IS AFRAID THAT ANYTHING MAY HAPPEN AT ANY TIME ANYWHERE. There is lack of confidence in law enforcing machinery. THE LAW AND ORDER SITUATION IS VERY VULNERABLE. Learned Additional Advocate General, present in the Court, at one point of time, finds himself optionless but to concede about deteriorating condition of law and order in the state and also failure on part of police not only in prevention of crime but also detection/investigation and persecution. It reminds us a situation where a legal luminary in the Apex Court (Hon’ble V R Krishna Iyer, J) had to observe “Who can police the Police?”
“TODAY PEOPLE ARE FRIGHTENED MORE WITH POLICE THAN CRIMINALS…Judicial cognizance can be taken of several heinous crimes committed almost daily many a time with THE NEXUS OF POLITICIANS/ CRIMINALS/ POLICE PERSONNEL MAKING COMMON AND INNOCENT PEOPLE TARGET.”
Situation noticed above, depicts a very sorry state of affairs of maintenance of law and order situation in the State and points a grim picture in which the State is functioning, ignoring one of the most important aspects of administration. i.e., public safety, security and maintenance of law and order. The highly critical comments of the High Court target the police department, which was directly controlled by Akhilesh Yadav himself.
Kairana-Kandhla, et al
The fear psychosis generated by the Police in cahoots with criminals and their political masters in power led to people, particularly the Hindu community, escaping their hearths and homes to take refuge at places even outside UP. This fact has been confirmed by the National Human Rights Commission in its report on Kairana. The point to be noted in this connection is that Akhilesh government tried its level best to suppress these facts.
Illegal occupations of public & private lands by SP goons
Throughout the tenure of this government, public and private properties were continued to be grabbed by ruling party politicians and goons. Even Mulayam Singh was constrained to warn them against this time and again. But to no avail. The zenith of this land grabbing was seen at Jawahar Bagh, Mathura, where hundreds of acres of precious government land remained under illegal occupation of one Ram Vriksha Yadav and his brigandage, until vacated on the orders of the Allahabad High Court. Had the Court not intervened, the Akhilesh government would have succeeded in its plan to hand over the property to the illegal occupiers on lease for 99 years. Akhilesh Yadav was directed by the Governor Ram Naik to produce a White Paper on the incidents of illegal land grabbings and the resulting loss to the state exchequer. But he did nothing.
Akhilesh government stuck to the past infamy of SP dispensations throwing the state into a whirlpool of communal violence. There were 1035 riots during its 58 months so far. The root cause of most of them has been either molestation, abductions and rapes of Hindu girls or attacks on Hindu religious processions or killing of cows. The largest riot was of course that of Muzaffarnagar-Shamli (2013) for which the Supreme Court held the negligence of Akhilesh government responsible in its judgment delivered on March 26, 2014.
Sham development plank
The uninterrupted noise created by Akhilesh Yadav regarding his so-called development works also sounds hollow. His government brought down the state’s GDP from 6 per cent to minus 5.3 per cent, a downfall of 11 percentage points. On the agriculture front, the state saw a downward trend from 5.2 per cent to minus 2.5 per cent, a fall of 7 per centage points. No wonder, the number of farmers committing suicides increased 45 per cent during the past 5 years. Bundelkhand is the worst sufferer. And Akhilesh rubbed salt on the wounds of the region by distributing cheques of Rs. 23 and 24 to the suffering farmers there. And while the whole UP groaned under one problem or the other, the Chief Minister and his family never missed the extravaganza of Saifai fest for which hundreds of crores go down the drain every year. Incidentally, this government brought to a close the famed Ramayan Mahotsav of Ayodhya, the brain child of Dr Ram Manohar Lohia.
The hype about the most prestigious development project of Akhilesh government, viz., Lucknow-Agra Express Highway, is also misplaced and open to criticism. The Chief Minister, unable to keep up with the pre-announced time-table for the same, inaugurated it prematurely in an incomplete state. But the most ludicrous claims of the gentleman are in regard to metro projects one of which is still far from complete in Lucknow, and others not even begun in Varanasi, Kanpur, Meerut, etc.
Guardian of corrupts
Despite his lately exercise to make him look distanced from the corrupt and the bullies, the reality remains quite the opposite. In the recent past, he tried his level best to prevent a CBI probe into the misdeeds of Yadav Singh, engineer-in-chief of NOIDA, Greater NOIDA and Yamuna Express Highway. But the Supreme Court thwarted his move. He never could have a good relationship with the honest bureaucracy. He kept on transferring two upright IAS officers – Durga Shakti Nagpal and VK Anand every 3-4 months. He even suspended Nagpal for daring to take action against mining mafia, having local SP leaders on their back.
Akhilesh has distributed party tickets to at least a dozen persons with known criminal background recently. Just look at the list: Pawan Pandey from Ayodhya, Om Prakash Singh from Jamaniya, Ram Murti Singh from Dadraul, Mehboob Ali from Amroha, Rameshwar Singh from Ali Ganj, Manoj Paras from Nagina, Abhay Singh from Gosaaiganj, Durga Prasad Yadav from Azamgarh, Ravidas Mehrotra from Lucknow central (he was recently declared an absconder by a court), Vijay Singh from Farrukhabad and Azim-ul-Haq from Tanda. Does he think that he has covered himself with glory by such distribution?
Dilemma of Mayawati
The BSP supremo has always remained in a dilemma whenever there is clash of interests between her Dalit constituency and the Muslims. Azam Khan got bulldozed a Valmiki Basti in Rampur for the sake of beauty of a Mall. Behanji did not speak a word. Azam Khan even called Dr Ambedkar a land mafia! But she didn’t protest. Arun Mahor, a Dalit youth of Agra was murdered in cold blood by the cow smugglers. She didn’t even demanded adequate compensation for the bereaved family. So there is an increasing feeling among the SCs that Mayawati has all but forgotten and forsaken them for the sake of appeasement politics.
People in the state want genuine development and not the hollow promises which they have been experiencing for several decades. The party, which ensures them real development will get their votes in this poll. n