Efforts by the BJP to associate with the cause of the aspirants and students agitating against the alleged mishandling of affairs at the Uttar Pradesh Public Service Commission (UPPSC) does not appear to be cutting much ice with the latter.
The aspirants alleged that the BJP top leadership had promised immediate action against the Commission chairman, Anil Yadav, in the run up to the Lok Sabha elections in 2014, but have failed to deliver on the same.
Beginning late Wednesday night, at least two BJP MPs, Vinod Sonkar (Kaushambi) and Keshav Maurya (Phulpur), started a sit-in outside the District Magistrate’s residence here. They alleged that the policemen misbehaved with Sonkar when he had gone to see the injured aspirants at Beli Hospital on Allahabad-Lucknow Road.
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Leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) and other BJP activists also joined the sit-in with a three-demand list —- action against the errant police officers, removal of UPPSC chairman, and CBI inquiry in connection with various irregularities in the Commission.
Earlier on Wednesday, violence had erupted when some aspirants tried to reach the Commission headquarters here and the police used force to disperse them.
DM Bhavnath Singh met the leaders late in the night, but the issue could not be resolved. The negotiations between the leaders and the administration continued on Thursday.
The BJYM, too, had been holding protest meetings at Balsons Chauraha since April 9 on the issue. They were removed late Wednesday night by the police on the ground that they did not have valid permission.
However, BJYM district president Narsingh claimed that they had the permission. The sit-in has now shifted to in front of the DM’s residence.
The students and aspirants, however, are not impressed. “When Rajnath Singh held a meeting at Allahpur while campaigning for Lok Sabha election last year, he clearly said that as soon as his government came to power, an inquiry into the alleged mess at UPPSC would be ordered. Now, it is nearly one year, but the Centre has done nothing on the issue.
The students have sent reminders and also met Rajnath Singh, now Union Home Minister, through a delegation. What they are doing now is nothing more than a party activity. We are on our own and we will see what more can be done,” said Kaushal Singh, a law student and a civil services aspirant heading the Bhrashatachar Mukti Morcha, which has been formed by the aspirants to fight against the UPPSC. The Morcha, along with several others, was involved in a violent agitation outside the UPPSC office on April 1.
Rajesh Singh of Pratiyogi Chhatra Sangh said: “This dharna and sitting outside DM’s residence is a preparation for the (2017) Assembly elections. If the students are angry with the Samajwadi Party, they are no less angry with the BJP. The simple reason is that the Centre has done nothing on the issue so far”.
Early this month, peeved at no response from the Centre, the aspirants had started a campaign to renounce the BJP membership. “We sent postcards addressed to BJP president Amit Shah, in which it was mentioned that we are renouncing BJP membership as they have forgotten their promises. Nearly 3,000 postcards were sent,” said Singh.
Sonkar, however, tried to downplay the students’ anger and said, “We are constantly fighting for this cause and BJP has not given up on the issue. We will continue to put pressure on the state government for a CBI inquiry”.
Putting the protesting aspirants and the Uttar Pradesh government in the dock he said, “Those preparing to become IAS and PCS officers should know that a CBI inquiry can be ordered only when the state government recommends it or when the High Court or the Supreme Court orders it”.