Updated: May 10, 2022 10:02:05 am
Last Friday, when UP Cabinet Minister Nand Gopal Gupta ‘Nandi’ visited Chak Kanhau village in Shahjahanpur district, he stayed overnight at the house of a Dalit family. The next day, he tweeted pictures and videos of his visit, including of him squatting on the floor and taking a bath as someone worked the hand-pump. “There is no distance and difference between the common man and the government in the Yogi government. Also, there is no VIP culture.”
Only a week earlier, Nandi had posted similar photographs and videos — this set too featured Nandi at a hand-pump — after his overnight stay at the residence of a Dalit family in Bareilly district.
He was not the only BJP minister to share details of visits outside the state capital. UP Finance and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Suresh Kumar Khanna on Sunday visited Hardoi’s Bahar area where he inspected a gaushala (cow shelter), and checked the fitness register of the cattle and fisheries ponds.
The ministers’ visits to the villages across the districts are a part of the Sarkar Janta Ke Dwar (government at people’s doorstep) initiative launched by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
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On the CM’s directives, 18 groups of ministers have been formed to tour 18 divisions of the state with Adityanath laying down a day-to-day agenda for his ministers.
Each ministerial team has been asked to stay for at least 24 hours in a district, with the senior minister leading the team to visit at least two districts.
The visit is being planned from Friday to Sunday.
In a list of dos and don’ts for the ministers, the chief minister has directed the Cabinet to tour the state extensively and engage with people, including the “vichar parivar”, referring to the party’s ideological support base and affiliates.
The Cabinet ministers have been asked to hold “Jan Chaupals” for direct dialogue with the public and organise “sahbhoj” or community feasts in a “Dalit/malin (slum) bastis”.
The chief minister has also directed his ministers to reach out to the public before the next Assembly session.
Each team has been asked to submit tour reports to the Chief Minister’s Office for discussion during the Cabinet meetings.
Since then, the ministers have been updating about their meetings and programmes of field visits on social media. A majority of the ministers are sharing information about their review meetings and highlighting their visits to gaushalas, holding gau-pujan and eating with Dalit families.
“The objective is giving a message that the BJP government believes in social harmony and equality. Our government is reaching out to every section of society and addressing issues on their doorsteps,” a BJP MLA, who visited a Dalit family along with a minister, said.
As part of the initiative, Excise Minister Nitin Agarwal toured Jhansi and Jalaun districts on May 1 and 2 and inspected a gaushala. He had also inspected the government medical college in Orai and reviewed the development works in the district.
ON April 30, PWD Minister Jitin Prasada visited Kanpur where he held review meetings on law and order, and development projects. He also visited a slum and lunched with a Jatav Dalit family. He was accompanied by MoS (Independent charge) Kapil Dev Aggarwal and BJP MLA Surendra Maithani.
Labour and Employment Minister Anil Rajbhar visited Prayagraj on Friday where he spent the time at Nevada slum and ate with the family of a Dalit anganwadi worker, who got her house under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban). He also inspected a cow shelter in the Soraon area of the district and offered jaggery to cows.
Cabinet minister for Higher Education and Science and Technology, Yogendra Upadhyay visited Saharanpur and performed gau pujan on Sunday. He also inspected a medical college and district hospital there.
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