By Pradeep Kapoor
LUCKNOW: Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath appears to be in deep trouble after the humiliating defeat in Kairana and Noorpur by-elections.
Both Yogi and state BJP president Mahendra Nath Pandey have been summoned to Delhi by party president Amit Shah to seek a firsthand report on the defeat. Both Yogi and his government have been facing sharp criticism from some senior cabinet ministers, party MPs and MLAs.
Om Prakash Rajbhar, senior cabinet minister and president of BJP ally Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party, openly blamed the chief minister for the defeat in Kairana and Noorpur as well as the previous round of Lok Sabha by-elections in Gorakhpur and Phulpur. Rajbhar said that the dalits, backward classes and minorities had voted for BJP when the state party was under the leadership of Keshav Prasad Maurya, who, according to him, should have been made the chief minister.
An angry Rajbhar complained that whatever work done by the government for the welfare of poor and backward classes was not being publicised by the administration, pointing his finger at the officials. He attributed the defeat to the callous attitude of the state bureaucracy, which failed to implement the welfare schemes and this made voters angry with the government.
Rajbhar also demanded implementation of the MBC through a system of quota within quota, which was evolved when Rajnath Singh was the chief minister. The senior minister also blamed non-payment of dues to sugarcane growers in western UP as the reason for the defeat in Kairana and Noorpur. He has been repeatedly complaining against an increase in corruption from the thana level onwards.
Similarly, dalit MP Savitri Bai Phule blamed the BJP government at the Centre and Yogi government in the state for the problems being faced by dalits. MLA Surendra Singh from Bairia assembly constituency in Ballia said that if certain cabinet ministers were not removed, nobody can stop the downfall of the party.
“First it was Gorakhpur and Phulpur and now in Kairana and Noorpur,” he said and blamed Yogi Adityanath for all the losses. But he also put the blame at the doors of certain ministers, who were equally responsible as they were not willing to change their style of functioning. “We’re not meeting with people, especially the poor people,” he said.
Shyam Prakash, another BJP MLA from Gopamau (SC) Hardoi, posted a satirical poem on Facebook after the defeat of the party in Kairana and Noorpur.
The BJP central leadership has realised the great resentment that prevailed among ministers, MPs and legislators against the style of functioning of Yogi and his ministers as well as the state’s bureaucracy, which has a feudal mindset.
With the entire Opposition uniting to form a grand alliance, the BJP leadership will have to show that the Yogi government and the bureaucracy are more people friendly.
After the defeat of the party candidates in Gorakhpur, which is the home turf of Yogi, and Phulpur, the seat held by deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya, Amit Shah had visited Lucknow to interact with ministers and key office-bearers of the party. It was expected that large scale changes would take place in the ministry as well as in the party set-up following the discussions. Similarly a major shake-up of state bureaucracy was expected. But to the utter disappointment of party workers and people, no visible change took place in governance or the working of the party.
Now the party is banking on possible cracks in the coalition of Opposition to help it in the 2019 Lok Sabah polls. It is keenly watching the developments relating to the leadership of the coalition and has been encouraged by Mayawati’s silence on the victory in Kairana and Noorpur. (IPA Service)