File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adiyanath. (Photo: PTI)

Why Are 83 Former Bureaucrats Demanding The Ouster Of Yogi Adityanath

Following the killing of police officer Subodh Kumar Singh in Bulandshahr on Dec. 3, retired civil servants have demanded the ouster of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

A group of 83 retired civil servants issued an open letter stating that “Yogi Adityanath has failed to abide by the Constitution”. Singh’s death, according to the letter, was “the most dangerous turn yet in the direction taken by the politics of hate in recent times”.

Former Secretary of Planning Commission NC Saxena, who’s one of the letter’s signatories, told BloombergQuint that this incident is alarming because the Uttar Pradesh government wasn’t keen on acting against the killers.

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Edited transcript of the interview with NC Saxena

We have seen the chief minister in his statements has not given any priority to the killing of a police officer by the mob just because some of the people in the mob belong to his party or supporters. This has never happened before.
NC Saxena, Former Secretary, Planning Commission

Why do you say this this is the worst incident yet? What is different this time?

In the past, there has been communal violence, lynching of Muslims but this is the first time that a police officer has been killed and the government says that it is not a priority for them. They say that they will first investigate cow slaughter cases and nothing has been done for the family. From the statements it is clear that the government is not keen to take action against those who have killed the police officer. In any civilized country, any attack on security forces or police force has to be taken very seriously. We have seen that the CM in his statements has not given any priority to the killing of a police officer by the mob just because some of the people in the mob belong to his party or supporters. This has never happened before. That is why we took it seriously and requested High Court  to intervene and see that justice be done and people who have been involved in the murder of a police inspector are brought to book and prosecuted.

Yodi Adityanath first referred to the incident as an accident and then as a political conspiracy. What is your view on this statement?

I did not understand what the Chief Minister meant when he said this is a ‘political conspiracy’. Opposition parties or the minority community is not involved at all in this case. It is a case of a Hindu mob attacking a Hindu sub inspector of police just because the inspector was doing his job and was trying to see that in previous cases those who are involved in lynching of minority community, are brought to book and arrested. To say that the police officer is doing his job seriously and in secular manner is a conspiracy is startling. It means that the whole regime, according to Yogi Adityanath, has been seen from the point of view of the majority community. What about the secular aspect of our constitution? What about the plural nature of our society? Does this mean anything to the CM? That is why we were shocked.

The Prime Minister has also been questioned in the open letter. What do you expect of PM Modi?

PM is supposed to uphold constitutional values. If he does not follow the dictates of constitution, then the future of the country is very dark. Because the police inspector has been murdered by a mob, the PM should have given instructions to the CM. it has happened in the past where the state government is not keen to take action or is delaying action, the PM has put pressure on the CM and asked him to take action according to the law . Unfortunately, because of elections and political ideology, the PM has been silent. And it is unfortunate that political benefits or strategy is being given priority over constitutional values.

Some of you in this group of former civil servants have worked in senior positions under the UPA dispensation. Why should people believe your claim that there is no political affiliation with the Opposition
We have also taken up the issue about the law passed by the Punjab Government where sedition or apostasy is being punished. Even if the Punjab government which is ruled by Congress party follows a policy which we think is not in the interest of plurality of the country, then we will oppose it. In the past, I have been writing articles against government on farm loan waiver. I wrote against the policy of land acquisition law by Congress government in 2013. Whenever something is done which is not in the interest of the country, I have been writing , before and after my retirement. I have written a serious article on Meerut riots in 1982 when a large number of Muslims were killed. At that time, it was Congress government in UP and Center. Whenever there is injustice we as individuals are raising the issue but as a group, we have come together to raise the issue because we think that these are serious issues.       

Is the solution to the present situation an electoral one?

The solution has to come electorally because if people vote on the basis of their economic problems like jobs and farmer’s problems,then the political party will give priority to those issues. If people vote only on basis on hate, if the ruling BJP feels that they can swing Hindu votes by running down Muslims, then it is a sad day for India. I hope that people of India are sensitive enough to realize that they may be having bias because of large number of factors against Muslims but the real problems are economic in nature and those problems will be given priority by political parties, by government in question and once the political party realize that you cannot push the issue beyond a certain point, then the focus will shift from causing hatred, from hostility to solving people’s economic issues.