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Mayawati gives MPs, MLAs a hearing

By Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow
May 21, 2009 01:54 IST
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In an unusual mood, Bahujan Samaj Party president and Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati on Wednesday gave
a patient hearing to her ministers and MLAs, and even hinted at turning the heat on the corrupt bureaucracy and police.

Though not many could muster up the courage to speak up, those who did were candid enough to spell out all that was going wrong with the functioning of the government and once she had sufficient  feedback on where things were going wrong,  The BSP chief made it clear that action would follow against officials who were becoming a stumbling block in the implementation of various welfare schemes.

What surprised all and sundry was the patience with which Mayawati heard everyone out for a good hour and a half during the three-hour long closed door meeting at her official residence in Lucknow.

While the ministers mostly preferred to maintain studied silence, it was the MLAs who vented their ire against various ills in the government. Some of them even blamed the lack of implementation of schemes and the rampant corruption in the administration as well as the police as the main reson for the party's poor showing at the hustings.

Significantly, most of the speakers trained their guns at bureaucrats occupying key positions in the government as well as the police in general. Their anger was also visible against certain ministers and core officials in the chief minister's personal secretariat – the key power centre.

Two MLAs  were understood to have gone to the extent of talking quite plainly about the "unabated  corruption" at various levels in the bureaucracy.

"We have literally beg before officers , who treat us like petty servants, while they openly indulged in corrupt practices", said an outspoken legislator who was also very vocal about the large scale corruoption at various levels in the entire police force.

He went to the extent of alleging, "nothing moves in the police without greasing the palms of cops ; at the higher levels the only difference was that the quantum  of  bribe was higher."

Another MLA complained that while the recommendation of people's representatives was ignored  by the police, those  with deep pockets could manipulate the cops any way they desired.

The meeting was in sharp contrast to the one held by Mayawati at the party office on Tuesday when she went on a nearly 3  hour monologue without giving anybody else an opportunity to utter a word. Mayawati has now has asked each of her district and zonal party coordinators to give their assessment about the reason for debacle in their respective areas .
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Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow

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