‘Officials are asking for bribes to get works done’: ‘Graft in government’ as minister threatens to resign; BJP MLA sits on dharna

Stating that he kept quiet for the past 10 months, Rajbhar said that now, the fight will be from the front, and asked people to come out in the open if they feel that rights of the poor are being taken away.

Written by MAULSHREEE SETH | Lucknow | Published: January 30, 2018 1:06:58 am
‘Graft in government’ as minister threatens to resign; BJP MLA sits on dharna Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath. (Express Photo by Pradip Das/Files)

Alleging rampant corruption in the Yogi Adityanath government, a Cabinet minister on Sunday threatened to resign from his post, while a BJP MLA sat on a dharna. State Minister for Backward Classes and Welfare Om Prakash Rajbhar during a public meeting in Varanasi asked people to fight for their rights, while Dinanath Bhaskar, MLA from Aurai assembly in Bhadohi district, said that he is even ready to hit the streets against corruption in the district administration.

“Aaj bhi adhikari paisa le raha hai aawas ke naam pe, sauchalay ke naam pe loot machi hai. (Officials are taking money and looting people even today in the name of schemes and construction of toilets),” the minister said. Rajbhar, who is also the president of Suheldeo Bhartiya Samaj Party, an ally of BJP in the state, alleged that people are being discouraged from lodging police complaints and are being abused at police stations. He told the gathering in Varanasi that under the present government, people are also being asked to pay Rs 5,000 bribe at police stations to get their works done.

Alleging that poor people are being harassed in the name of anti-land mafia task force, Rajbhar said: “Yogi Maharaj agar bhrastachaiyon ka saath apne diya to main aapka sath chhod dunga.” (If you, Yogi ji, encourage the corrupt, then I will not be with you). Stating that he kept quiet for the past 10 months, Rajbhar said that now, the fight will be from the front, and asked people to come out in the open if they feel that rights of the poor are being taken away.

MLA Bhaskar told The Indian Express: “Our governments, both at the Centre and the state, are working towards removing corruption but it (corruption) has not finished at the block, police station or tehsil level. I had complained about the rampant misuse of office, and corruption at the tehsil and police station level 15 days ago to both the district magistrate and the SP. But they did not take any action, forcing me to sit on a dharna.”

Bhaskar, who had joined the BJP in 2015 after switching over from the BSP, said: “The need of the hour is to give the right message to (grassroots) workers, who are also affected by corruption. Village secretaries are taking money from the beneficiaries of prime minister housing and toilet schemes. At the tehsil level, money is being taken for every small work and I got complaints that names of villagers are being changed on computers deliberately just to take money for correction.”

The legislator, who sat on a dharna in front of the district tehsil office, added that people have also alleged that money is being asked from them even for lodging police complaints. Asked, why he did not raise these issues with the chief minister, Bhaskar said: “These are smaller issues and I thought that they would be solved at the district level only. So, I did not wish to bother the chief minister.” The MLA said he lifted his dharna after getting assurance from the chief minister’s office that his grievances will be looked into. He said that the district administration assured him that CCTV cameras will be installed at the tehsil office.

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