You could well be spoilt for choice if you have a complaint to make in Uttar Pradesh. That’s because virtually everyone—from district magistrates and police chiefs to lawmakers, ministers and even the chief minister—is encouraging people to report their problems.
From May 1, International Workers’ Day, the ministers of the Yogi Adityanath government will take turns at the party office in Lucknow, to listen to the problems of the people.
Senior party leader and agriculture minister Surya Pratap Shahi will be available at the party office opposite the Assembly from 10 am to noon on May 1 and will be followed by other ministers who will come in turns on a daily basis.
Soon after the swearing-in of Adityanath government, UP minister Siddharth Nath Singh had told HT that the government will get the ministers to hear plaints at the party office daily—a practice that is already followed at the BJP office in Delhi.
The availability of ministers at the BJP office will help take the crowd pressure off the CM’s janata darbar (people’s court) where about 30,000 complaints, including those of land grabbing, indifferent police response in cases of rape, have been received last month.
Also, victims of triple talaaq have been regularly turning up at the CM’s court.
But, if you have missed the Darbar, one of the ministers would be waiting to hear from you at the party office about three kilometres away. Not to forget the local BJP corporator and lawmaker who have been tasked with a similar exercise.
Besides public representatives, the district magistrates and senior superintendents too have been asked to meet people from 9 am to 11 am. “The CM could test their availability by making surprise calls on their office landline phones,” said UP minister Shrikant Sharma.
On Saturday, several government servants were seen in their offices well before 9 am.
All arrangements have been made to ensure that the common man is not put to any inconvenience. “At the party office, arrangements for cool drinking water and other basic arrangements have been made for the convenience of the visitors,” says party spokesman Shalabh Mani Tripathi.
BJP leaders in the districts too will be tasked with a similar role to indicate that the party and the government stand together for the common man. “We are a people’s government and hence we are doing everything to make the common man believe that we are here to work for them,” UP BJP general secretary Vijay Bahadur Pathak said.
The CM is also the head priest of the Gorakhnath temple of Gorakhpur. Here, a two-room office has come up to address complaints. Before becoming the CM, Adityanath used to hold his own janata darbar’ here on a daily basis, a practice he now wants district authorities to carry on.
Gorakhpur’s chief development officer Mannan Akhtar said every day between 9 am and 11 am, complaints from people in the region would be addressed here.
“Since Yogiji became the CM, the number of applicants at the temple office has increased manifold. Earlier, the temple officials used to coordinate with administrative officials concerned to resolve the issues. Now, things will be little easier,” he added.
In fact, some feel the Gorakhpur temple office could well become a mini-chief minister’s office (CMO) like the ‘mini PMO’ that functions Ravindrapuri colony in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Varanasi Lok Sabha constituency.
Party lawmakers and mayors too have been asked to hear people’s complaints between 11 am and 2 pm on all working days.