IN A “special meeting” to mark one month of the BJP government’s second term at the helm in UP, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath asked his Cabinet colleagues on Tuesday to declare their movable and immovable assets, and that of their family members, within three months of swearing-in — and release the details on an online portal that can be accessed by the general public.
Adityanath also asked the Ministers to ensure that their family members do not interfere in the functioning of the government.
In a list of dos and don’ts, the Chief Minister directed the Cabinet to tour the state extensively and engage with people including the “vichar parivar” which, in BJP parlance, is a reference to the party’s ideological support base and affiliates.
The Cabinet has been asked to hold “Jal Chaupals” for direct dialogue with the public and organise “sahbhoj” or community feasts in “Dalit/malin (slum) bastis”.
Besides, the Chief Minister asked government employees to declare their movable and immovable assets, and that of their family members.
This is the first time that Ministers in UP have been specifically directed to declare their assets on an online portal that can be accessed by all. In 2017, too, Adityanath had directed his Cabinet to declare assets within a deadline of 15 days but without any specific instruction to release it online.
In Tuesday’s meeting, the Chief Minister said that “sanctity in conduct of public representatives is essential for a healthy democracy”.
“In the same spirit, all the Ministers must declare the movable and immovable assets of themselves and their family members within three months of swearing-in (March 26),” he said.
He said that Ministers should follow the code of conduct laid down in the Representation of Peoples Act. “We will have to set an example by our conduct,” he said.
During the meeting, the Chief Minister directed all public servants, including IAS and PCS officers, to declare their assets and that of family members, and make them available online for the public.
In the run-up to Tuesday’s meeting, all key government departments made presentations before the Cabinet about work done in the past year and plans for the next five years. Adityanath asked the Ministers to guide senior officers in implementing the plans.
The Chief Minister also said the Cabinet should tour the state and reach out to the public before the next assembly session.
Under a programme titled “Sarkar Janta ke Dwar (Government at people’s doorstep)”, 18 groups of ministers have been formed to tour 18 divisions. Each team has been asked to stay for at least 24 hours in a district, with the senior minister leading the team to tour at least two districts.
These groups will hold meetings with former public representatives, organisations and members of the “vichar parivar”, and understand their expectations, grievances and suggestions. While on these tours, they have been directed to stay only in government guest houses.
Each team will also have to submit tour reports to Chief Minister’s Office for discussion in Cabinet meetings. In the 18 groups formed, Deputy CMs Keshav Prasad Maurya and Brijesh Pathak will lead teams to Agra and Varanasi, respectively.