Lucknow.Urvashi Sharma. ©UPCPRI
Find news at http://upcpri.blogspot.in/2015/05/rti-reveals-doublespeak-of-up-cm.html also.
At a time when the news of rapid growth of assets of a no. of ministers of Akhilesh Yadav led Samajwadi Government are touching headlines on front pages of newspapers, getting breaking news space on electronic media and are the most shared and commented features on social media, A reply on a RTI plea of Lucknow based noted Human Rights' activist & Engineer Sanjay Sharma has grilled UP CMs & their council of ministers over their tall claims on practicing transparency in public life by themselves as none of the Ministers of present and the predecessor Govts. including CMs have shared information with UP Government about their assets and liabilities, as mandated under rules.
Sanjay is founder and president of a grassroot level social organization named TAHRIR which works in the fields of Transparency & accountability in public life and protection of human rights. He has sought information about assets and liabilities declared by the Cabinet as well as the Chief Ministers of State to which UP Govt. has replied that the data is not available. Sanjay sought the info 04-09-2014 from PIO of office of Chief Secretary of UP. Subsequently this RTI got transferred to confidential deptt. of UP Govt.
In an obvious snub to earlier boastings of Akhilesh Yadav on transparency claims made on disclosures of assets & liabilities of CM and council of Ministers of UP, the Uttar Pradesh Government has returned this RTI application back to Sanjay saying the information was not with them.. This is noteworthy that by this RTI plea Sanjay has sought details about earlier CM Mayawati, present CM Akhilesh Yadav and their ministers' assets concerning financial years 2011-12,2012-13,2013-14 & 2014-15.
In reply to the query, UP government's special secretary & public information officer of confidential department Krishna Gopal said that neither the information sought was with confidential department nor did he know as to who might be holding the information sought by Sanjay and citing this he returned the RTI plea & 10/- RTI fee back to Sanjay.
"Most states in India including Uttar Pradesh have been unable to make ministers' assets public. Soon after taking charge as youngest CM of UP, Akhilesh Yadav has asserted that transparency will be pursued in issues of governance and CM,ministers' personal assets but he failed grossly as this RTI has revealed and its a severe blow to the youngest CM's claims on transparency and accountability at high places" Sanjay said.
Sanjay told ©UPCPRI "We at 'TAHRIR' believe that transparency and accountability are the two cornerstones of any pro-people government. Transparency and accountability not only connect the people closer to the government but also make them equal and integral part of the decision making process.But, Alas………………………!"
The Uttar Pradesh Ministers and Legislators (Publication of Assets & Liabilities) Act (1975) makes it mandatory for each and every member of the state assembly to submit details or their assets and liabilities within the first 20 days of the new financial year. The code of conduct under the Public Representative Act 1951 of the Constitution of India, CM and his council of ministers are expected to set an example for other MLAs by declaring their and their family members' assets and liabilities regularly every year.While these rules existed and despite the law being in force for the last 40 years, these were never taken seriously by our leaders, reveals this RTI reply.
This is akin to Cocking a snook at the government orders as none of CMs and their council of Ministers have disclosed their assets and liabilities. Even Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, who had declared his assets after coming to power in 2012 has also failed to comply with the government orders in subsequeny years though in 2012 he was the first to put up his assets on the government website, claiming that it was the first step towards transparency in governance but even this move of Akhilesh Yadav failed to set the tone for his cabinet colleagues to come out and declare their net worth and later Akhilesh too boarded the non-transparency ship and avoided such declarations in later years.
"We are of the opinion that this RTI reply also reveals that from Maya to Akhilesh, only heads changed n not the mentality & mindset of governance so far as the positive changes in transparency in governance are concerned" said Sanjay.
Citing Aseem Trivedi's cartoon 'Gang Rape of Mother India', Sanjay asserted that he found this cartoon very realistic. He added that he was thinking if UP's CMs & their council of Ministers are also some of the politicians getting Mother India gang raped by the corruption-demon.
This social activist told ©UPCPRI that Soon a delegation of 'TAHRIR' shall meet UP Governor Ram Naik & CM Akhilesh Yadav to press their demands of making sure that from now onwards CM, Ministers, MLAs & MLCs of UP should file their wealth returns with UP Govt. as mandated under The Uttar Pradesh Ministers and Legislators (Publication of Assets & Liabilities) Act (1975)"
Posted by: urvashi sharma <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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