What did the ministers say? State textile minister Shiv Kumar Beria said on Tuesday that no policeman in the state had the capacity to do anything without his orders and if anybody tried to break the tradition, he would be sacked within 24 hours. He said no cope could even dare to sit till he gave the orders.
Social welfare minister Ram Murti Verma said crime in UP is something which no power can ever curb.
These remarks show that even with a young chief minister at the helm, UP is yet to come of the age. Akhilesh is the first CM of the state to be invited for the recently held Kumbh Mela, which shows that a fresh leadership is capable of helping the state get a bigger exposure but at the same time, the old guards have reasserted that it is still a feudal mindset that rules roost in the heartland of the nation.
The Samajwadi Party government in the state will feel the pinch following the two ministers' remarks for it has been plagued by law and order problems with the memory of the murder of a top police officer yet to fully settle.
The ministers' assertion that the police is nothing but a puppet in the hands of the political leaders will certainly reignite the DSP Zia-ul-Haq murder case for a political leader had been accused in it. The Opposition will grab the opportunity with a renewed vigour to corner Akhilesh government, which had taken over just over a year ago. The BSP has been demanding President's Rule in the state and the twin remarks will help its cause.
UP is clearly standing at the crossroads of the old and new era. If Akhilesh's Harbard lecture shows that the state's administration has come of age and is looking strong to shed the tag of fragility, his ministers' words take it back to the dark days.
It is, thus, important that the young chief minister focuses to improve the ground reality in the state so that the benefits can be reaped at the top through a positive change. It is a big challenge no doubt and is also a long process. But the process needs to start at some point of time.
Akhilesh must not get the positive image, which his administration has earned by means of organising the Kumbh Mela in a perfect way, get ruined by some non-sense remarks. Rein in the loose mouths, Mr Chief Minister, that will be your first step towards success.