"Even if god forms a government in Uttar Pradesh, crime cannot be
controlled," said minister Durga Prasad Yadav. Samajwadi Party
leader Mohammad Azam Khan wants former governor T.V. Rajeshwar to
be hanged in public. "Had my daughter eloped, I would have either
shot her or committed suicide," so said Saharanpur Deputy
Inspector General of Police Satish Kumar Mathur.
When the Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party took over the reins of
Uttar Pradesh nearly two months ago, it had a mountain of hopes to
scale and numerous promises to fulfil. But actions and
inappropriate remarks by his party leaders and officials have made
his task even more difficult, putting the government in
embarrassing situations repeatedly.
This started as soon as the party registered a landslide victory
in elections riding an anti-incumbency wave. Incidents of violence
were reported from many places as party activists "cut loose" to
Now, the party leadership is fuming and fretting over senior
ministers and officials dishing out uncalled for statements.
The first salvo came from the mercurial Azam Khan, a cabinet
minister with many portfolios who enjoys the number two position
in the party, when he lashed out at Imam Bukhari of the Delhi Jama
Masjid, calling him a "do kaudi ka aadmi" (a man with no value).
The verbal spat that ensued thereafter left the Samajwadi
leadership running for cover, and the minority vote bank of the
party seemed headed for a vertical split, forcing party supremo
Mulayam Singh Yadav to firefight.
No sooner had the matter settled than Khan spewed venom on former
governor Rajeshwar, accusing him of stalling the proposed Jauhar
University in Rampur. In a scathing comment, he said Rajeshwar
should be hanged in public.
Minister for Stamp, Court Fees and Registration Durga Prasad Yadav
recently said there was no way crime could be controlled in the
state. "Even if god forms a government here, crime will not be
curbed." he snapped.
In other controversial remarks, Wasim Ahmad, the basic education
minister, told IANS that the Congress was making terrorists out of
There are other cases of Samajwadi leaders firing at each other,
threatening a policeman in Allahabad, following which an FIR was
lodged this week.
The latest was the utterance of Deputy Inspector of Police (Saharanpur)
Satish Kumar Mathur, who told a man whose daughter had eloped to
kill her or consume poison himself.
The officer was quickly removed by the government for his
While sources in the chief minister's office said Akhilesh Yadav
was aware of the developments and had written a letter to party
MPs and legislators to mend their ways and live up to the
expectations of the people, they admit in private that "by and
large even the CM was helpless".
"The CM is sad at what his partymen are doing, specially since he
is doing everything to change the party's image of goons and
hooligans," said a close aide of the chief minister.
The aide further told IANS that the chief minister was monitoring
such acts from time to time and chastening the leaders.
While Akhilesh Yadav off and on does take "corrective measures",
the ministers are not red faced.
Waseem Ahmad, one such minister, said he was saying nothing
against party line and he meant it when he said that the Congress
was making innocent Muslims terrorists.
Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader Swami Prasad Maurya finds nothing
unsual in the conduct of Samajwadi leaders.
"This is nothing strange; it is SP's genetic conduct as it is a
party of terrorists and goons," Maurya told IANS.
Vijay Bahadur Pathak of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said
people holding high posts should not use harsh language.
"It is a complete paradox. The chief minister is very well
mannered while his ministers are in stark contrast," he mused.
(Mohit Dubey can be contacted at email@example.com)