Amit Shah to give Yogi ministers a pep talk | lucknow | Hindustan Times
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Amit Shah to give Yogi ministers a pep talk

Shah is expected to meet all the various BJP wings and interact with party cadre as well during his three-day stay in Uttar Pradesh.

lucknow Updated: Jul 29, 2017 17:04 IST
Manish Chandra Pandey
The meeting assumes added significance in the backdrop of reports that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has received serious complaints against three Yogi ministers.
The meeting assumes added significance in the backdrop of reports that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has received serious complaints against three Yogi ministers.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Amit Shah could engage in some ‘straight talk’ with ministers of the Yogi Adityanath government during his three-day visit to Uttar Pradesh beginning Saturday.

The meeting assumes added significance in the backdrop of reports that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has received serious complaints against three Yogi ministers.

The complaints, say sources, were made by party MPs from UP during their recent meeting with the party’s top leadership.

Shah is expected to meet all the various BJP wings and interact with party cadre as well during his three-day stay.

The BJP had built a campaign against corruption, nepotism and underdevelopment of UP under the previous Akhilesh Yadav government. The party’s promise of clean governance will be up for test in the imminent by-polls to two Lok Sabha seats, the local bodies’ elections to follow in November before the big test, the 2019 Lok Sabha election.

Several UP ministers are yet to file a declaration of their assets with the UP assembly secretariat despite repeated warnings by chief minister Yogi Adityanath.

The ministers have been barred from accepting any gift costing more than Rs 5,000. They have also been restrained from staying in luxurious property and attending parties and dinners. Both during personal visits and official tours, the ministers have been instructed to stay in government circuit houses and not to accept any favours from anyone.

Recently Yogesh Verma, a BJP lawmaker from Lakhimpur Kheri, embarrassed the government by staging a sit-in after accusing the police of connivance with the ‘mining mafia’.

Then, an OBC minister angered the upper castes by his “insensitive and hugely unpopular” remarks on the killings of five upper caste people in Rae Bareli, the Lok Sabha constituency of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi.

“There are some other ministers too who are under watch,” a source said.

“Ahead of Mission 2019, a lot of emphasis is being laid on probity in public life,’ a BJP strategist said pointing the recent political developments in Bihar where BJP “openly stood by Nitish Kumar against Lalu Yadav who despite his caste appeal was believed to be losing ground because of a bad image arising out of increasing corruption charges.”

That perhaps explains how after his recent meeting with Modi and Shah in Delhi, Yogi on his return had promptly warned ministers against ‘patronising or giving plum postings to corrupt officers. In March, during a breakfast meeting with party MPs from the state, both Modi and Shah had instructed the cadre against seeking ‘favours or pressuring officials.’

“Shah’s message will be direct. Avoid corruption, needless publicity, concentrate on ground level planning and addressing public complaints,” a source said. After Yogi’s meeting, deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya, too had met Shah separately and later denied all reports of his shifting to Delhi.

Party insiders say there are reports of power tussle beginning to surface in the over 100-day old Yogi government along with the party and the government not being on the same page on several issues. “While the party cadre has regularly complained that its demands were not being heard in the government, a few ministers have hogged limelight for wrong reasons,” a BJP leader said.