Lucknow: Ever since the nationwide lockdown was announced by PM Modi on March 24, the only politician visible in Uttar Pradesh is Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath himself. Holding meetings in different cities, sometimes three cities in a day, keeping a tab on law and order, transferring wages to labourers’ accounts, visiting hospitals and community kitchens, shuffling babus and even offering puja in Ayodhya… it’s just CM Yogi visible everywhere. Not a single cabinet minister, not even two of his deputies Keshav Prasad Maurya and Dinesh Sharma, have made a ‘public appearance’ anywhere.
There are 25 cabinet ministers including the CM, nine ministers of state with independent charges and 22 ministers of state totalling 56 with ministerial ranks. Yogi handles the home portfolio as well.
The one-man-show is now being blamed for the inept handling of the lock down situation, particularly the migrant labourers’ issues. The UP government had on Saturday decided to break the lockdown and ply buses to ferry migrant workers, irking the Centre which issued fresh directives to follow lockdown strictly on Sunday.
The buses had to be stopped and the Yogi government was forced to arrange shelters and food during the lockdown period. Not a single minister was seen on ground or in meetings even after the emergence of this massive responsibility.
This has led to speculations in socio-political circles Anshu Awasthi, Congress leader says, “Where are the 55 commanders of Yogi? They enjoy status and perks of the ministers but have been missing from the action at a time when the state is facing unprecedented crisis.
It needs to be probed whether they are underground due to fear of contracting virus or have been asked to sit at home by the CM himself ?” Of the 55 ministers, Jai Pratap Singh (health minister) is in quarantine since it emerged, he attended a party with Bollywood singer Kanika Kapoor who tested covid19 positive mid-March.
Rajeev Rai, Samajwadi Party leader says, “First,the BJP ministers have no intention to help the poor when they need them most. Second, they have an excuse the CM and officers don’t listen to them anyway so no point doing anything.
Hence, they are watching Ramayana and Mahabharat and posting pictures on social media.” He alleged, “Yogi’s overconfidence and lack of strategy is visible now. His adhoc decisions to run the buses not only had the potential to spread the disease but added to the distress of people.
He has no idea of people’s misery and on top of that he is not open to suggestions.” UP has constituted an empowered group of 11 bureaucrats to deal with the situation. The babus have no touch with the ground, the ministers have but they are missing from action. Most of them don’t evenlike calls of party members.
“This is a flawed approach. Leadership in a democracy is a collective responsibility. Had ministers been there in command and consulted by the CM, the state would have dealt the migrants’ situation in a far better way,” says Hemant Tiwari, a political analyst. BJP spokesperson Dilip Srivastava lauds Yogi. “CMis working with full commitment and hard work to deal with the situation. It is because of him that UP is able to manage food and shelter of lakhs of migrant workers.”