Overzealous Samajwadi Party workers celebrated the birthday of Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Sunday. They cut cakes,distributed sweets and also placed some advertisements in newspapers. But the birthday boy was in no mood to celebrate. The reason being that Akhileshs birthday is on October 24,while July 1 is wrongly mentioned as his birthday in official record. The error occurred when Akhilesh was first admitted to school back in Etawah,and was never corrected.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Azam Khan has assured the legislature several times that the honour and respect of public representatives will be maintained by the SP government. But he himself got a taste of the ways of certain officers recently. These officers did not take his calls made on their official numbers. Azam Khan kept a record and,on Saturday,conveyed the same to the Chief Minister. In his list are District Magistrate of Bulandshahar,Director of Secondary Education,Chief Development Officer of Hardoi and some others. Azam Khan has specifically mentioned the date and time when the call was made on the CUG (closed user group) numbers of these officials.
Aspirants are anxiously waiting for appointments to government boards,corporations and commissions,but Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav is giving preference to those who helped him in the election campaign. Alka Saxena,wife of his friend Anurag Saxena,Javed Abedi and Ramvriskha Yadav have been appointed members of the UP Pollution Control Board. Anurag handles the social networking accounts of SP and is responsible for the partys internet presence. Yadav and Abedi often accompanied Akhilesh on his Kranti Rath yatra. Naved Siddiqui,who had quit his job as a radio jockey to help in the campaign,is likely to be made Chairman of the Sangeet Natak Academy.
The Sitarganj by-election in neighbouring Uttarakhand,from where Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna is tying to enter the Assembly,is the only topic of discussion at the UP Congress office these days. Vijay Bahugunas sister Rita Bahuguna Joshi,who is UP Congress president,younger brother Shekhar Bahuguna and his wife – all three are campaigning in Sitarganj. Other Congress leaders are also planning a trip to Sitarganj. Since nothing will happen in UP Congress until the presidential election is over,it is better to show your face in a state where the party has its own chief minister,they say. Besides,a few days in the hilly state will provide welcome relief from UPs unrelenting heat.
Lessons from the veteran
Pradeep Mathur may have been appointed leader of the Congress Legislature Party,but it is veteran Pramod Tiwari,whom he replaced,who still seems to be the de-facto leader. It was Tiwari who raised the demand for a judicial inquiry into the burning of Muslim houses in Asthan village in the Assembly. On Saturday,it was Pramod Tiwari who led the Congress walk-out,not the CLP leader. Once Tiwari stood up and decided to leave,the Congress MLAs just followed him. Congressmen say the new CLP leader is not acting like a leader,although he had enough opportunity to learn during his stint as the deputy leader under Tiwari. They say that Mathur is yet to outgrow his constituency Mathura and develop a knack for seizing issues of wider importance.
History of harassment
IPS officers Shailja Kant Mishra,Prabhat Kumar and N K Srivastava retired on Saturday and,as usual,the DGP office organised a farewell. While Prabhat Kumar and Srivastava were present,Mishra was missing. But his absence did not surprise many. For,Mishra had conducted the inquiry which led to scrapping of the recruitment of more than 18,000 constables and suspension of 25 IPS officers during the Mayawati regime. Later,the high court quashed the dismissal of constables and passed strictures on Mishra. When the government filed an appeal,the Supreme Court refused to stay the high court judgment. But the harassment of IPS officers continued. Among those who suffered were Prabhat Kumar and B P Jogdand,assistant to the DGP.