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Babus sweat for Maya’s makeover

Vijay Shankar Pandey, additional cabinet secretary in the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister’s Secretariat, doesn’t get to spend too much in his air-conditioned chamber these days.

india Updated: Jun 04, 2009 00:32 IST
M. Hasan

Vijay Shankar Pandey, additional cabinet secretary in the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister’s Secretariat, doesn’t get to spend too much in his air-conditioned chamber these days.

Following a diktat from CM Mayawati to speed up development work and improve law and order, he and over a dozen secretary-level officers are touring the state’s 71 districts in the heat, staying in villages where facilities are minimal, and interacting with people to “ensure government officers deliver honest and good governance”.

The CM has made it clear to her officers that she wants results before the “mini-elections” to one Lok Sabha and 12 assembly constituencies in August or September.

The anti-incumbency factor, fuelled by a lackadaisical administration, is being blamed for the Bahujan Samaj Party’s poor show in the general elections. The BSP won 20 seats from UP, against its expectations of close to double that number.

“The target is image makeover,” said an IAS officer. “Officers have the mandate from the CM to improve the situation and this has been conveyed to the administrators of all 71 districts,” said Pandey, known for his integrity and efficiency.

Mayawati has also announced she will visit the districts to personally verify the work. “I will no longer hold review meetings in Lucknow,” she said. “Officers should either improve or face action.”

Mayawati has also tasked the state intelligence organisation to keep watch on district-level officers to ensure they deliver.

Last week, she had divided the state into 24 sectors, each comprising three districts. A principal secretary and an additional director general of police have been mandated to review welfare schemes and the crime situation in each such sector.