Veer Bahadur Singh was the last UP CM who travelled by road. But after the “shilanyas” in Ayodhya in 1986.
Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath will soon start travelling by road and visit all 75 districts in the state. He will be the first chief minister in the past 31 years to take the road less travelled. He is likely to embark on his road tour after the budget session of the state Assembly next month.
Veer Bahadur Singh was the last UP CM who travelled by road. But after the “shilanyas” in Ayodhya in 1986, he was “advised” not to travel by road due to security reasons. Thereafter, road travel went out of fashion.
“Yogi Adityanath has said that he will travel by road when he visits districts to experience the ground realities — condition of villages, roads, drinking water and health facilities,” said an official in the CM’s Secretariat.
“When the chief ministers travel by road, the lowest-ranking officials in bureaucracy would be on their toes. There was always a lurking fear that someone may complain about them and they would be punished. When the chief ministers took to the air, the fear vanished because they would take a pre-determined route and land near the venue. The bureaucracy also started fuelling the security concerns and even young chief ministers like Akhilesh Yadav did not travel by road”.
A former BJP MLA said that if Mr Yogi chooses to travel by road, he will get to experience the real state of affairs. “He only has to stop by at small villages along the road and ask local people about their problems. He will get to know about the performance of officials, as well as his party MPs and MLAs,” the veteran leader said.
Senior BJP leaders feel that travelling by road will enable the CM to get a direct feedback about implementation of various schemes, including condition of schools. It will also put the bureaucracy on the alert mode and increase their accountability.
“A lot of welfare schemes are launched but the benefit does not percolate down to the villages, except VIP constituencies. Travelling by road will be the best reality check for the head of the state,” the leader added.
It is noteworthy that despite warnings by the Prime Minister and even the chief minister, majority of the elected BJP representatives do not spend required time in their constituencies and prefer to remain in Delhi or Lucknow.
As a result, problems related to their constituencies trickle down to Lucknow and the chief minister’s Janata Darshan sees a deluge of complaints every day.
When Mr Adityanath took over as CM two months ago, he had created a scare in the bureaucracy when he made unannounced inspections of a police station, a hospital and even the remote corners of his own Sachivalaya Annexe office. The ministers also started conducting surprise checks in their offices.
Almost overnight, government offices turned spick and span and officers started coming on time. But gradually, the CM got busy with other commitments and complacency has started setting in. Paan-stains are back on walls and little heaps of garbage can be seen in the backyards.