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Home > News > PTI

Only meeting, no eating: Maya's mantra

Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow | May 19, 2007 21:29 IST

The typical official culture in Uttar Pradesh to hold prolonged meetings with several rounds of eatings appears to be on the way out.

"Only meeting - no eating" was the message that Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati sought to give out to senior IAS and IPS officers whom she called for her first meeting at the end o her first week in office Saturday.

The four-and-a-half-hour marathon meeting left senior bureaucrats and top cops in a tizzy as Mayawati did not even allow anyone an interval for food or even snacks or tea. The meeting that began at 11.30 am concluded only around 4 pm.

It was more of a monologue with the chief minister speaking extempore most of the time.

Mayawati made it clear that she would brook no nonsense, nor tolerate the slightest corruption in development schemes or on law and order under any circumstance.

Apart from district magistrates and superintendents of police from the state's 70 districts, among those present at the meeting included all divisional commissioners, Inspectors General of Police and DIGs.

While giving a call for plugging pilferage of government funds earmarked for various development schemes, she also prescribed "severe punishment" for those found indulging in corrupt practices.

Speaking her mind out, the chief minister declared her list of priorities, as well as her dos and don'ts for the officials. "In dealing with law and order, you do not have to bother about consequences while ordering action against the culprits," she told the officials.

"No matter the high and mighty connections, a mischief-monger would be dealt with in the most harsh manner", she said, while adding, "and feel free to inform me about attempts by my own party leaders to exercise their undue influence to protest such crooks."

"Criminals and anti-social element should no be allowed to get away under any circumstances; wherever necessary law enforcement authorities must invoke the strict laws including National Security Act against habitual offenders", she told the gathering.

She has also decided to put brakes on indiscriminate installation of statues at public places. "No statue of anyone will be allowed to be installed anywhere in the state without express permission of the chief minister", she ruled.

Officers were also told to ensure a responsive attitude towards the public.

The chief minister laid out a chart for the daily routine of all field officers dealing with law and order as well as development.

Besides fixing a daily two-hour schedule for all district magistrates and superintendents of police for meeting common people at their respective offices, the chief minister also prescribed days for their 'tehsil' (sub-divisions) visits.

Strict directives were also given to sub-divisional magistrates to stick to their resopective 'tehsils' only and shun their habit of running their offices from the district headquarters.

Among the other major decisions announced at the meeting was special development plan for Ambedkar villages -- identified on the basis of high dalit population.

She also created two new integrated departments for urban as well as rural development.

That she meant business was not only spelt out by the chief minister, but equally well understood by the officials.

"Some of these directives were in place even during the previous regime, but none took it seriously; today we know that the chief minister means business and no lapse on the part of anyone would be tolerated", said a district magistrate, who could also "feel the difference" between Mayawati's approach in the earlier three stints and now.

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