Working with sluggish team of UP officers, a litmus test for Modi regime

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Working with sluggish team of UP officers, a litmus test for Narendra Modi regime
Working with sluggish team of UP officers, a litmus test for Modi regime
Sanjay Bhatnagar
Sanjay Bhatnagar

Lucknow: Winning the Uttar Pradesh Assembly Polls is just the road half-way crossed for the Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The path ahead would be rigid and revolutionary as he has to deal with a bureaucratic system in the state, which is lethargic and gripped with disabilities and corruption.

Modi stands tall and firm on one side and the rest of the politicos on the other, without being able to match him on major spheres – policies, persona or promises. The massive mandate in UP is clear manifestation of his towering popularity and charisma but the real challenge lies ahead.

In the past 2.5 years at the Centre, PM Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party have been successful in maintaining a clean image but will they be able to sustain in the next half of its tenure, remains a mystery, more because of the highly-politicised bureaucracy of Uttar Pradesh

The mix of extravagant promises and powerful rhetoric constituted the brand Modi that emerged as a driver of change in Uttar Pradesh in the eyes of people.

Promises made by the BJP in its election manifesto like waiving off farmers loan, 24 hours power supply, free wi-fi in universities, employment for youths and several others helped it receive the massive people’s mandate but its execution with a paralysed system would be an inspiring story if executed well.

Problems BJP will have to deal with in Uttar Pradesh:

Two major aspects which come into dominance in ruining any government run policies are: “Corruption” and “Politicization of Bureaucracy”.

BJP President Amit Shah and PM Modi reiterated during their rallies that the outgoing Samajwadi Party government hardly took any action in the illicit doings of Mayawati but also “adjusted” few of her corruption-ridden officers.

Unfortunately, BJP will have to deal with the same bureaucrats, they referred to, in their public rallies.

It remained the bitter truth throughout the Akhilesh Yadav government that it not only ignored the corruption allegations on its ministers and officers but also “used” them as a tool to guzzle the funds meant for various beneficiary schemes.

BJP did a special mention of setting up an anti-corruption task force in its promise letter but will it be able to act against the corrupt ministers and officers of the Akhilesh Yadav government? The past examples set up by former governments at least say “no”.

Bigger challenge awaits:

A former Uttar Pradesh IAS officer Surya Pratap Singh wrote on his Facebook wall: “Biggest challenge, the upcoming Chief Minister will have to face, is administering the corrupt and sluggish team of bureaucrats.”

The central objective of Narendra Modi is to work with a progressive and prompt approach and this would be dented if he fails to counter the binding force of bureaucrats in Uttar Pradesh. But if he does, the 2019 Lok Sabha elections are not far away from the reach of the saffron brigade and it can even assume a UP-like emphatic win.