Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath | Photo: ANI
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath | ANI
Text Size:

Lucknow: BJP MLAs in Uttar Pradesh are up in arms against Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, with his detractors calling for the formation of an “MLAs’ union”, questioning his claims about “zero tolerance against corruption”, and even publicly questioning the “attitude” of the police.

Government sources said the CM had issued orders to all officials in UP to show “zero tolerance” on crime, corruption, etc., and so, officials now don’t even listen to the local MP/MLAs’ recommendations. This seems to have led to disgruntlement among the BJP legislators against their own leader — party sources say it has been brewing for at least six months, and came to a head on 17 December when over 100 BJP MLAs staged a sit-in protest inside the UP assembly against the government.

A BJP MLA, who did not want to be identified, said more than a dozen of his colleagues were still annoyed by the fact that officials from their regions didn’t listen to any of their grievances.

“We are public representatives and it is our duty to facilitate different works on behalf of the people. If the work is not done, the public becomes agitated and the MLAs have to pay the price for all this during the elections,” the MLA told ThePrint.

“The CM has a strict image, but the officials have hijacked the entire system. They are not even listening to public representatives. Where are we expected to go with our grievances? This is why so many MLAs opted to stage a sit-in protest in the assembly.”

And what’s more, the CM’s order to officials to crack down on corruption doesn’t seem to have worked either. In November, Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya had written a letter to the CM, giving a list of alleged scams in the Lucknow Development Authority (LDA), which falls under the housing and town planning department controlled by the CM. Following this, the LDA blacklisted 11 firms.

Also read: Midway through his term as UP CM, does Yogi’s performance prove he was the right choice?

We are deeply grateful to our readers & viewers for their time, trust and subscriptions.

Quality journalism is expensive and needs readers to pay for it. Your support will define our work and ThePrint’s future.


What triggered the 17 December protest

Nand Kishore Gurjar, the BJP MLA from Loni, was trying to raise the issue of being harassed by the Ghaziabad Police in the assembly on 17 December, but wasn’t allowed to speak. He staged an impromptu sit-in protest, and was joined by BJP legislators as well as those from opposition parties. The assembly proceedings were hastily suspended.

Adityanath then met Gurjar and some other MLAs to mollify them, but it doesn’t seem to have worked. BJP leaders have continued to speak out against the government, even though their voices have got muffled under the shrill political debate over the UP Police’s crackdown on people protesting against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.

Gurjar issued a statement, saying the CM’s stated dream of “zero tolerance against corruption” can’t be fulfilled in the prevailing circumstances. He said he fully respects the CM, but action must be taken against officials involved in his harassment — they have allegedly demanded 18-22 per cent commission. He went on to say if a proper investigation is carried out into property amassed by these officers’ spouses, they will be fully exposed.

The Ghaziabad district administration has reacted to these allegations by saying that FIRs have been lodged against Gurjar in 12 different cases — which the MLA claims he has been framed in.

Also read: Allahabad HC questions Yogi Adityanath govt amid crackdown on CAA-NRC protesters

A host of issues

Since the protest, other BJP MLAs have also spoken out. Hardoi MLA Shyam Prakash posted a suggestion on social media to form an MLAs’ union. In August 2019, he had written on his Facebook page: “The chief minister has adopted a tough stand, but corruption is still not going down.”

Prakash had targeted the UP government and state officials, writing that more than “95 per cent” of them were corrupt. “Extortion in the form of ‘commission’ is growing everywhere. Even valid payments are not being made due to growing demands of commission. I request the respected chief minister to take it seriously, and take strict cognisance,” he had written.

Harshvardhan Bajpai, the MLA from Allahabad North, termed the protest as “unity against corruption”.

But there are other factors too behind the MLAs’ anger. Tindwari MLA Brajesh Prajapati was apparently so aggrieved by the denial of VIP treatment in his home district Banda that he wrote a letter to CM Adityanath complaining against the superintendent of police.

The phenomenon is not just restricted to MLAs. Kaushal Kishore, BJP MP from Lucknow’s Mohanlalganj Lok Sabha seat, also made serious allegations against the Lucknow Police. Recently, he called the police out for its “negative” attitude, which he alleged had made criminal elements go out of control. “Murder and loot are going on unabated,” he wrote.

Also read: In Yogi bastion Gorakhpur, residents say police strictly obeying CM’s ‘revenge’ statement

BJP denies Akhilesh’s allegations

Speaking to ThePrint, former UP CM Akhilesh Yadav of the Samajwadi Party had alleged that the UP government had instigated violence in order to shift focus away from the sit-in protest by BJP MLAs. He had claimed that more than 200 BJP MLAs were annoyed with Adityanath.

ThePrint has learnt that BJP organisation secretary Sunil Bansal and state president Swatantra Dev Singh had met the disgruntled MLAs and assured them they would convey their feelings to the CM. This is why the sulking MLAs are refusing to comment now on the issue, even though the resentment still persists.

However, the BJP’s state spokesperson Manoj Mishra denied all this. He said while reports of the MLAs’ resentment have surfaced in the media, all is well within in the party, and it wouldn’t be right to tag any of the MLAs as ‘rebels’.

Also read: Yogi govt wants public to pay damages for protest but order violates Supreme Court judgment


Subscribe to our channels on YouTube & Telegram

News media is in a crisis & only you can fix it

You are reading this because you value good, intelligent and objective journalism. We thank you for your time and your trust.

You also know that the news media is facing an unprecedented crisis. It is likely that you are also hearing of the brutal layoffs and pay-cuts hitting the industry. There are many reasons why the media’s economics is broken. But a big one is that good people are not yet paying enough for good journalism.

We have a newsroom filled with talented young reporters. We also have the country’s most robust editing and fact-checking team, finest news photographers and video professionals. We are building India’s most ambitious and energetic news platform. And we aren’t even three yet.

At ThePrint, we invest in quality journalists. We pay them fairly and on time even in this difficult period. As you may have noticed, we do not flinch from spending whatever it takes to make sure our reporters reach where the story is. Our stellar coronavirus coverage is a good example. You can check some of it here.

This comes with a sizable cost. For us to continue bringing quality journalism, we need readers like you to pay for it. Because the advertising market is broken too.

If you think we deserve your support, do join us in this endeavour to strengthen fair, free, courageous, and questioning journalism, please click on the link below. Your support will define our journalism, and ThePrint’s future. It will take just a few seconds of your time.

Support Our Journalism

2 Comments Share Your Views


  1. MLA ‘s not getting any response from officials because they know that they don’t have any clout with Yogi and so they’re angry for being shown their place

  2. Are the MLAs disgruntled with the alleged anti-corruption drive, or because their own avenues for funds have been blocked? I live in U.P. and can say in no uncertain terms that corruption has not diminished in any way since Yogi came to power 3 years ago.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here