Noida district magistrate BN Singh who was told to shut up during a meeting chaired to review the surge of Covid-19 cases in the district isn’t the first bureaucrat to have been called out by Yogi Adityanath.
There have been several instances of the Uttar Pradesh chief minister pulling up senior officials for lapses, negligence or simply, because they weren’t doing enough. It is something that has been a key element of his governance style since 2017 when he took over as chief minister after the BJP rode a superwave to power in the state elections.
After the riots in Lucknow over Citizenship Amendment Act protests in January this year, Yogi Adityanath had upbraided the Commissioner and Inspector General Lucknow in public, telling them they had shamed him by doing nothing. He blamed them both for inaction and passiveness in handling the riots.
Known for putting long hours in administration work with a hands-on approach, he told the District Magistrate Bandha before he was transferred out that he knew exactly what the officer was up to and warned him to change his behaviour. Normally, in these meetings over video conference, the chief minister is flanked by his principal secretary SP Goyal and state chief secretary R K Tewari.
He virtually accused a Bareilly senior police officer and another superintendent of police of corruption by telling them that he knew what they were up to every minute. “Sudhar jao”, is normally the final call before the chief minister effects a change.
In Noida, the chief minister is reported to have been furious that the district administration had let off a security and fire solutions company that is linked to 25 of the district’s 35 Covid-19 patients.
“How can a company hide its details regarding the pandemic, right under the nose of the district administration? Now, I want stern action against such violators, nothing else,” the chief minister said, telling the DM that his job wasn’t over with filing an FIR against the company.
As a video of Yogi Adityanath’s outburst appeared, the official put out his request for three-months leave. Lucknow responded by transferring him out and ordering an inquiry for leaking his leave application. Yogi Adityanath brought in LY Suhas, the IAS officer who was DM of Prayagraj during the Kumbh mela. He is also a para-badminton champion and ranked No.2 in Men’s Singles in para-badminton.
At an earlier video conference meeting, the former Noida DM had come wearing a mask to the meeting, according to senior UP officials. When asked about the mask, Singh said that he had not been feeling well and did not want to pass it on to his juniors. Yogi wryly told him to take care of himself since the DM probably didn’t practise yoga.
Published at Tue, 31 Mar 2020 12:07:27 +0000