Samajwadi Party (SP) MLAs, who so far were voicing their anger against the government only to party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, seem to have been losing patience. Perhaps, that is why they have started airing their grievances publicly.
Sample this. On Wednesday, the party MLA from Barkheda (Pilibhit) Hemraj Verma walked out of district plan meeting chaired by Balram Singh Yadav, the minister in charge of that district.
A day earlier, the party’s Sikandarpur (Ballia) MLA Mohammad Ziauddin Rizvi alleged corruption was at its peak in the state with administrative and police officers demanding bribe even from legislators.
Appearing to justify Hemraj Verma’s walkout, BJP’s Bisalpur Ramsaran Verma, who followed his example, says, “What is the point in attending meetings when nothing really happens. The monetary sanction for the plan approved last year was so meagre that only 27% projects could be completed. The government didn’t not release the full money. The SP MLA questioned the utility of the meeting and walked out, saying the administration does not listen to legislators and district panchayat members.”
“When the people elect an MLA, they expect him to work for them. But the government and administration do not respect the list of works and projects that the MLAs demand. This creates an embarrassing situation in the constituency,” Ramsaran told HT over the phone from Pilibhit.
The district plan meeting in which the district magistrate and chief development officer (CDO) and other officers were present was held at a conference hall at the district magistrate’s office on Wednesday.
As for Rizvi, he on Tuesday had claimed corruption had been institutionalised. He quoted the recent incident in which over two dozen policemen (sub-inspectors and constables) openly sat on a dharna two weeks ago at a Chitgaon police station in Ballia, demanding a proper share in bribe that their superior earned. Rizvi had sought action against the entire police station staff.
On Tuesday, he threatened a sit-in in front of the Vidhan Bhawan if the CM did not take all this seriously. “The government and the party leadership should have seen it coming. In almost all the meetings that Netaji had held, the MLAs had repeatedly told him that the government, ministers, bureaucracy and administration were not listening to them. Local work was not being done, another MLA said.