After a series of interactions with her ministers, MPs, MLAs and district coordinators in recent days, Mayawati held a detailed review of her government's functioning with top bureaucrats and ministers on Friday, where she spoke about the need to 'tone up' the entire administration. Her main emphasis was on ensuring that the needs of the common man are met.
For the larger part of the two-hour, closed door meeting, it remained a monologue, which everyone listened to in rapt attention. Interstingly, she also spoke about providing corruption-free governance for which she issued a stern warning to both ministers and bureaucrats, telling them to 'behave, perform or perish.'
Significantly, she also sought to issue a stern warning against the involvement of goondas and muscle-men in various construction projects undertaken by the government. 'Shun goondas' was the firm diktat she issued to both ministers and bureaucrats.
'I will have intelligence officials keep a tab on all such activity and wherever I find that my directives have been violated, the axe will first fall on bureaucrats concerned,' she said, adding, 'but at the same time responsibility will also be fixed on the ministers.'
Having discovered that caste and religious calculations alone will not help her Bahujan Samaj Party at the hustings, governance, which was not high on her list of priorities so far, is suddenly back on the agenda.
Friday's meeting was aimed at sending a clear message to the bureaucracy that the chief minister is not ready to tolerate any let-up in governance. 'Officials have to pull up their socks, I will not listen to excuses of any kind, they have to be be responsive to the people's representatives and also ensure proper implementation of all development oriented schemes,' Mayawati told the gathering.
Insistent on a periodic review of all departments at the state as well as district level, the chief minister urged her ministers to devote ten days every month towards the execution of government programmes.
Expressing her displeasure with the working of the state education department and teaching in educational institutions, she said, 'A check will be kept on the hours spent by teachers on teaching.' She was also critical of the working of government hospitals and the health sector where she emphasised the need for improvement.