Lucknownamahttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/lucknow/lucknownama-103/

Lucknownama

Annoyed over media reports on memorials — which keep expanding,guzzling up prime lands and hundreds of crores of public money — Chief Minister Mayawati had last week called a press conference to justify her decision to construct these monuments in honour of great men.

Maya’s monologues
Annoyed over media reports on memorials — which keep expanding,guzzling up prime lands and hundreds of crores of public money — Chief Minister Mayawati had last week called a press conference to justify her decision to construct these monuments in honour of great men. But many in the media were more interested in the murder of executive engineer M K Gupta by BSP’s Aurraiya MLA. After the chief minister had finished reading her statement,a reporter asked why she had removed Aurraiya BSP president Yogendra Dohre. This annoyed Mayawati. “Ask questions only on the topic for which I have called the press conference,” she snubbed the reporter. Another reporter,as if waiting for an opportunity,promptly asked: “Tell us how much money has been spent on the memorials. This question,too,didn’t please Mayawati. “Submit an application for this information to the officers,” she said and left. In Mayawati’s dictionary,a press conference is a monologue.

Temper tantrum
Cabinet Secretary Shashank Shekhar Singh “ko gussa kyon ata hai”? That is the question being asked in the corridors of power these days. Officials say that in the recent past,Singh has shown a marked tendency to lose his temper. At meetings,no one can say when an official will become a victim of his tongue lashing. The other day,the media got a glimpse of it when,soon after the murder of the Aurraiya engineer,Singh called a press conference and spoke of the government’s displeasure over media reports linking the murder with alleged extortion for the chief minister’s birthday. Rightly or wrongly,a scribe thought he was making a political statement,which he could better have left to politicians. An upset Singh almost shouted at the scribe. Vijay Shankar Pandey,additional cabinet secretary,pacified him before it could turn into an ugly mess.

Search for Muslim SP on
After Manoj Gupta’s murder,one of the decisions that the government found somewhat difficult to make was the suspension of Aurraiya SP Ekramul Haq. He had not only failed to check the illegal activities of BSP MLA Shekhar Tiwari,but also did not keep the government informed. For the government,the problem was that he was the only Muslim SP posted in a district. Worse,there was no other Muslim officer who could replace him. He is the only Muslim among the 129 SP-rank officers in the IPS cadre,said a source in the Home department. But something had to be done and he was suspended. No one,however,should be surprised if his suspension is revoked before long.

Cong hunts for NGO
The state Congress is in search of an “independent” NGO or a non-political person with good credentials,who can file a PIL,seeking a CBI probe into the murder of the PWD engineer. State Congress president Rita Bahuguna Joshi has asked the party’s legal cell to work on this. The party is looking for somebody who would not succumb to pressure or inducements like chairmanship of some corporation. Having burnt its fingers thrice,the party is extra cautious this time. But,who all have ditched it in the past? Well,make your guess.

‘No entry’ for litigants
Recent steps taken to tighten security at the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court have become a headache for litigants. Only lawyers,judges and the High Court staff can enter the premises without an “entry pass”,issued by the court administration. The application forms are available only inside the court,so getting them is really very difficult. After getting the form,one has to fill it up with his name and address,serial number of his case,its scheduled time of hearing,the court number,with a reference and signature of the counsel. The entry pass is issued after details are verified and photograph taken of the applicant,which takes time. Often,by the time a litigant manages to enter the premises,he finds his hearing is over. People whose cases come up in the forenoon are the worst sufferers. Coming early is no help because the office which issues passes opens after 10 am.