AS this story illustrates, the UP administration is run by many centres of power, never mind if the de jure boss is CM Akhilesh Yadav. Shivpal Singh Yadav, brother of Mulayam Singh Yadav, is the most powerful politician and minister in the state. He has his own camp, separate from that of nephew Akhilesh. He is reputed to be considerate and takes care of his personal and party workers. As the Minister for the Public Works Department, Irrigation, Co-operatives, Flood Control, Land Development and Water Resources, his influence is due to the PWD portfolio as this important department maintains roads and government buildings. All contractors working in UP know well how Shivpal functions and they follow the norms within the fraternity. Surprisingly, two other powerful politicians, Azam Khan and Ram Gopal Yadav, mentor of Akhilesh, are at loggerheads with Shivpal. It is rumoured that someone hatched a plot to cut Shivpal to size and got the CM to transfer approximately Rs. 20,000 crore from the PWD for the Agra-Kanpur highway, Lucknow Metro and other highway projects. Equally interesting: a former Mayawati henchman, Navneet Sehgal (a 1988-batch IAS officer of the UP cadre), is the in-charge of this treasure. The PWD has no money now to carry out road repairs and maintenance and to pay contractors for completed projects. And Shivpal is at a loss.
VOL. 9, ISSUE 9 | DEC, 2015