WHAT MINISTRY PORTFOLIOS OF UP TELL US!

Akhilesh Yadav, the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state with maximum legislatives seats in Sansad (the Parliament of India) and in the state assembly, in a reform step (or in a corrective step), yesterday, dismissed some ministers and divested some others from his cabinet.

When Akhilesh Yadav had stormed the power corridors of Uttar Pradesh in early months of 2012 with a thumping majority, he had reignited hopes of expecting some positive change in the hopeless political culture of Uttar Pradesh – being dragged backward by a politics riddled with caste and religion – with no development.

The state saw hopes in a young CM, at 38, in spite of the past bad name of political excesses associated with his Samajwadi Party members.

Now, after almost four years, we can say it has been a complete letdown. We can safely that only the government changed in Lucknow, not the culture of governance. In fact, functionally, it got even worse than during Mayawati’s days. Bahujan Samaj Party’s Mayawati was UP’s CM for five years before Akhilesh Yadav won the office in 2012 election.

We don’t need to write much here. A cursory look at portfolios of some of the sacked and divested ministers is enough to tell the story how has been the political culture in the state. Here is the list (the complete UP Cabinet list is even more interesting):

Sacked – Cabinet Ministers

Ambika Chaudhary – Backward Class Welfare, Handicapped Welfare
Raja Mahendra Aridaman Singh – Stamp and Court Fees, Civil Defence, Registration
Shiv Kumar Beria – Textile and Sericulture Industries
Narad Rai – Khadi and Village Industries
Shivkant Ojha – Technical Education

Sacked –Ministers of State

Bhagwat Sharan Gangawar – MSME, Export Promotion
Alok Kumar Shakya – Technical Education
Yogesh Pratap Singh alias Yogesh Bhaiya – Basic Education

Divested from their portfolios:
(To be allotted fresh ones on October 31, i.e., tomorrow, when the Cabinet reshuffle takes place.)

Brahma Shanker Tripathi – Homeguards, Prantiya Raksha Dal
Iqbal Mehmood – Fisheries, Public Enterprises
Mehbood Ali – Secondary Education
Ramgovind Chaudhary – Basic Education
Awadhesh Prasad – Social Welfare, SC&ST Welfare, Sainik welfare
Parasnath Yadav – Horticulture and Food Processing
Raja Bhaiya – Food and Civil Supplies Minister
Ahmad Hasan – Health
Durga Prasad Yadav – Transport

So, there are quite innovative portfolios, even for petty functions like ‘Stamp and Court Fees’, ‘Civil Defence’, ‘Homeguards’ – there are different portfolios for ‘Social Welfare and Backward Class Welfare’, – clubbed portfolios like ‘Fisheries and Public Enterprises’ – various portfolios for Education, i.e., Technical Education, Secondary Education, Basic Education – and so on.

Obviously, most of the portfolios allocated in Uttar Pradesh don’t have functional spread of a size that require full time ministries – but as there are ministers – so there are ministries – with names that naturally bring a satirical smile.

After almost four years, Akhilesh Yadav has sacked some, and has divested some more, who will be given fresh portfolios tomorrow.

But there are many more with many controversies with them associated – and there are ministries like separate ‘Irrigation and Minor Irrigation’ portfolios, ministry for ‘Political Pension’, ministry for ‘Zoological Gardens’ and so on.

A look at the ministerial allocations in UP tells the emphasis has been more on accommodating as much names as possible than introducing a culture of ‘governance efficiency’ – and it reflects well in his government’s performance so far – and one more year is not expected to bring any change on the ground – even after this big reshuffle intended to give a ‘political message’ of ‘Akhilesh Yadav being more in control with a young Cabinet’.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

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