With Anandiben Patel being appointed as the Governor of Uttar Pradesh, she will be first woman Governor in the state after Sarojini Naidu who was the Governor of United Provinces in 1947. Sources in the Raj Bhawan said that since January 1950, when the State was formally notified as Uttar Pradesh, there has not been any woman Governor, so far. Notably, Patel, who has been transferred from Madhya Pradesh, was also the first woman chief minister of Gujarat after Narendra Modi resigned from the post to become Prime Minister.
While the Congress might still be in the process of reviving itself in UP and trying to re-build its cadre, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s prompt response to the Sonbhadra killings has given the party an edge over others as neither SP chief Akhilesh Yadav nor BSP supremo Mayawati or BJP ministers made it to the spot. Priyanka’s detention by the BJP government and her refusal to leave without meeting the families of the victims not only forced Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to react immediately, but also ensuring that he visited the village and meet the families, a day after Priyanka left. Priyanka’s assertiveness and dharna not only ensured that the administration made a special arrangement for her meeting the families in Mirzapur district itself, the visuals of her spending the night at a guesthouse without electricity and consoling women of the victim’s families energised her party cadres to hold a statewide protest after a long time. Sources in the Congress say that this was her first attempt towards her direct confrontation with the BJP government in the state and there would be more as the 2022 Assembly elections draw near.
Rampur District Magistrate Aunjaneya Singh has made a fanbase for himself among the state bureaucrats who hail him as an IAS officer with ‘guts’. The reason being Singh going after one of the political heavyweights of UP, Samajwadi Party leader and MP Azam Khan. In the past four months, the DM has been instrumental in lodging 44 criminals cases against Khan, declaring him a land mafia and putting his name on the government portal. While those in the corridors of power say that Singh was picked up by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to tighten noose around the SP leader, some officers believe that Singh has taken up the confrontation head-on with Khan since he is a Sikkim cadre IAS officer and does not bother of regime change with SP coming to power in the state. Singh is on deputation here, and will return to his home cadre anytime, his colleagues say.
A senior IPS officer of the UP cadre, who holds a key security post, is said to be enjoying huge power as no one dares to stop him from issuing diktats to any official across the state. The officer is considered close to the Chief Minister and is known to have direct access to the CM office or his residence. Officials say that due to his proximity to the CMO, the IPS officer does not bother about the hierarchy in the police rank.
Glass Half Full
In a unique move, Speaker Hriday Narayan Dixit directed Assembly staffers to fill the glasses only half in an attempt towards conservation of water. In the directive which was issued by Principal Secretary of Legislative Assembly Pradeep Dubey, it was stated that most of the times, only half glass of water was used. So from now on, only half glass of water should be served in Vidhan Sabha premises and all the sections of its secretariat, and if required, water can be served second time, said the order. While many have welcomed the Speaker’s move at a time when water crisis is grabbing the headlines, many feel whether such tokenism would help in the greater cause.