No minister present at Janta Darshan in BJP head officedehradun Updated: Jan 11, 2018 20:35 IST
BJP general secretary Naresh Bansal listens to complaints of aggrieved party at the Janta Darshan in Dehradun on Thursday. (Nihi Sharma/HT)
DEHRADUN: Over two dozen people thronged at the BJP headquarters on Thursday only to find no ministers attend ‘Janta Darshan’ or ‘public hearing’ of their grievances at the office.
In the absence of cabinet ministers after a 45-year-old transporter consumed poison before attending the Janta Darshan on January 6, BJP general secretary Naresh Bansal and the Officer on Special Duty to the chief minister heard grievances of the people.
HT enquired about the whereabouts of seven Cabinet ministers and two ministers with independent charge. Cabinet ministers Satpal Maharaj, Prakash Pant and Yashpal Arya along with minister of state Rekha Arya were in Dehradun while Cabinet ministers Harak Singh Rawat, Madan Kaushik, Arvind Pandey, Subodh Uniyal and MoS Dhan Singh Rawat were out of town.
The BJP is dragging itself out of the public programme fearing suicide threats, said party insiders. “Subodh Uniyal, agriculture minister who was presiding over the Janta Darshan on January 6, was lucky as Pandey had consumed poison before attending the programme. Had he consumed poison before the minister, then? Now, the ministers are having second thoughts to hold any such event,” a senior BJP leader.
BJP state president Ajay Bhatt said the party planned to hold Janta Darshans in districts through the local administration.
The complainants, however, continue to visit the BJP office with optimism. Govind Ram, 74, a resident of Purola, reached to seek financial assistance from the party. He is ailing with asthma and prostrate problems while his wife Gayatri Devi, 72, is also terminally ill. Similarly, Heera Mani, a 70-year-old resident of Ghansali, also came for financial aid.
“I travelled so far to put forward my plea before the cabinet minister at the Janta Darshan but I came to know that it won’t be organised any further. The administration doesn’t do any work and I had hoped that the ministers could help me,” Heera Mani said in a quavering voice.
The Janta Darshan began at the BJP office in August 28. The ministers used to preside over the programme as per a schedule. But, after Diwali and assembly election preparations at Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat intensified due to which the ministers started sitting at the office twice in a week. After the election, the event was held as per the availability of the ministers. Over 2,000 complainants had registered for the programme in last four months
BS Budhiyal, additional district magistrate, visited BJP office on Thursday. He is conducting the magisterial investigation of Pandey’s death. He enquired at the office and asked whether Pandey had come or not. “I wanted to confirm whether Pandey had visited the office. It’s a part of magisterial investigation.”