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Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Why BJP Has Lost Its Ground In UP?

I am not at all surprised by BJP losing in Gorakhpur which is UP CM Yogi Adityanath’s VVIP constituency and Phulpur which is Deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya’s VVIP constituency! When BJP came to power in Centre in 2014 and in UP in 2017, it had made very tall promises. It had vowed to make UP a state that is different from others! But did that actually happen? No, not at all!

                                             We did see advertisement campaigns of UP and its Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in big magazines which portrayed him extravagantly high as if he has done what nobody has done before! But did he do something that actually propelled people to retain his unflinching faith in him which last year only voted him with a landslide victory which even the most optimistic leaders of BJP had never expected? Not in my opinion! We heard long time back the Law Minister of UP saying that, “A High Court Bench in West UP would be created soon”! What did we see on ground? Just nothing, nothing and nothing!

                                       It has been one year since he came to power but we don’t see BJP setting up a Bench anywhere not just in West UP but anywhere in UP! It seems determined to not allow just like Congress the creation of even a single high court bench in UP other than the one that already exists at Lucknow knowing fully well that UP has maximum population more than 22 crore as CM Yogi keeps proudly declaring every now and then, maximum pending cases in High Courts more than 10 lakhs, maximum pending cases in lower courts more than 62 lakhs, maximum PM, maximum MPs, maximum MLAs, maximum Mayors, maximum districts, maximum villages more than one lakh, maximum cities, maximum crime, maximum lawlessness which even UN secretary General Ban ki moon had slammed as the “rape and crime capital of India”, maximum riots, maximum Judges, and what not still has just one High Court Bench created by our first PM Jawaharlal Nehru way back in 1948 at Lucknow and not anywhere else even 70 years later! This despite the fact that former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee had thundered in Parliament way back in 1986 as Opposition Leader demanding the creation of a High Court Bench in West UP and Yogi Adityanath who is now UP CM also raising the demand for a High Court Bench at Gorakhpur way back in 1998 right inside Parliament but 20 years later we don’t see any High Court Bench anywhere being created other than the one which Nehru created in 1948 at Lucknow! Can this be ever condoned? Certainly not!

                                         Yogi Adityanath has been in power in UP for an year but still we see no Bench of High Court being created anywhere in UP leave alone Gorakhpur! On the contrary, we see Centre proudly declaring High Court Bench at Kolhapur in Maharashtra for just 6 districts which has started functioning also even though Maharashtra already had 3 High Court Benches at Panaji, Aurangabad and Nagpur  but snubbing Gorakhpur, West UP, Bundelkhand and other neglected regions in UP and doing just nothing to address it! This vindicated what Rohitashawa Kumar Aggarwal who is President of Meerut Bar very strongly feels that it is only because of lack of strongpolitical support that West UP always loses out in the demand for a High Court Bench here which also explains why he also favoured lawyers of West UPgoing on strike again for morethan a week in February when Centre pompously announced the creation of a High Court Bench in Kolhapur in Maharashtra for just 6 districts while openly disregarding the legitimate 50-year-old demand for a High Court Bench for 26 districts in West UP! Can this be ever condoned?     

                                          The people of UP watched with shame when PM Narendra Modi assured the lawyers in Allahabad High Court that no Bench would be created in any part of UP without their consent! This clearly implied that the people of West UP and other regions like Gorakhpur would continue to travel whole night many times without reservation to Allahabad and suffer all inconveniences just to keep the anti High Court lobby happy! Now results are there for all to see in GorakhpurandPhulpur!      

                                         BJP has just refused to learn anything from Congress experience who neglected UP even though Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi all contest from UP and the consequence is that they stand totally decimated in UP!   Congress leaders had vowed that they would set up 2 more benches for Karnataka which they actually did for just 4 and 8 districts at Dharwad and Gulbarga when UPA was in power in Centre even though lawyers of West UP kept meeting them andwent on strike for many months demanding Bench but they were in no mood to budge! What did it ensure? That UPA is out of power in UP but still in power in Karnataka where  2 more High Court Benches were created despite the Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s performance being far below satisfactory! Congress leaders had vowed that they would not allow one more Bench in any hook and corner of UP other than the one at Lucknow which Jawaharlal Nehru set up way back in 1948 on July 1! No wonder, today they stand nowherein UP!  

                                        Now I have to say with deepest regret that BJP too is following the same path! Even though Rajnath Singh time and again reiterates his support for a High Court Bench in West UP at Agra and also at other place but PM Narendra Modi ensures that not a single Bench comes up anywhere in any of the 75 districts of UP! Can on earth there be anything more shameful than this?

                                              How can BJP win the confidence of poor people by making sure that for just 6 districts a High Court Bench is setup immediately in Kolhapur in Maharashtra but for 26 districts not a single High Court Bench in any of these districts in Western UP and also not at Gorakhpur even though as MP Yogi Adityanath demanded the same right inside Parliament! Who is the think tank in BJP who is guiding BJP to not allow like Jawaharlal Nehru the creation of a High Court Bench in UP anywhere other than which Nehru created in 1948 70 years back in Lucknow? Who is the think tank in BJP who is guiding BJP to disregard the 230th Report of Law Commission of India which favoured the creation of more High Court Benches and instead follow the recommendation made more than 60 years ago by First Law Commission to not create more High Court Benches!

                                          Who is the think tank in BJP who is favouring more temples for UP, more statues and idols for UP, more anti-Romeo squads for UP, more everything other than a High Court Bench in any hook and corner of UP? Who is the think tank in BJP who feels that the oldest High Court of India – the Allahabad High Court which completed 150 years in 2016 and which is the biggest court in whole of Asia should have just one High Court Bench at Lucknow created by Nehru in 1948 even though many other capital cities like Bhopal which is capital of MP, Bhubaneshwar which is capital of Odisha, Dehradun which is capital of Uttarakhand and Thiruvananthapuram which is capital of Kerala has neither High Court nor Bench and should have maximum vacancies in High Court and lower courts also? Who is the think tank of BJP who feels that lawyers of West UP going on strike for 6 months as they did in 2001, 3 to 4 months as they did in 2014-15 and repeatedly we see such strikes should be just ignored  and just like in Gorakhpur can give AIIMS or anything else but not a single High Court Bench in any of the 26 districts of West UP?

                                     Who is the think tank of BJP who till 2019 when General Elections will be held fresh does not want any more Bench of High Court in any hook and corner of UP even though I personally feel that UP must have at least 10 High Court Benches? Ten? BJP think tank is not ready for even one Bench of High Court in West UP or even in whole of UP!

                                    Just slogans won’t deliver results unlike the past as we saw in Indira Gandhi’s time of “Garibi Hatao”! Those times have long been consigned to flames! The voters of today want action on the ground! Even now it is not too late! Start appointing more Judges by filling huge vacancies in lower courts as well as High Court and start creating more High Court Benches in UP which is in dire need of the same and just see the wonderful impact that it will have actually on ground that people will start believing that BJP seriously wants “justice at doorsteps and “speedy justice” actually for common man! Of course, other major steps like ensuring employment for youth, safety for women by ensuring more streetlights and more police patrolling on roads, better payment to farmers for their crops etc too have their impact and must be taken with full seriousness!  BJP must take this as alarm warning and must brace itself up for 2019 by working more harder with renewed vigour!             

Sanjeev Sirohi, Advocate,

s/o Col BPS Sirohi,

A 82, Defence Enclave,

Sardhana Road, Kankerkhera,

Meerut – 250001, Uttar Pradesh.