Akhilesh sets example, rest don’t follow it

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SummaryNearly two months since UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav asked his ministers to compulsorily declare their assets, only one of them has followed his example.

Nearly two months since UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav asked his ministers to compulsorily declare their assets, only one of them has followed his example.

Asked when they would declare their assets, most ministers pledged to do so soon. Some added they were compiling their details and a few claimed they had already submitted theirs, though the government website doesn’t reflect it yet.

In a letter on June 25, Akhilesh had prescribed a code of dos and don’ts for his ministers, which included annual declaration of the assets they and their families own.

“For this year, we have to declare our assets in 20 days. It is an order by the CM, not a suggestion,” Minister of State for Protocol Abhishek Mishra had said then. Even Mishra’s assets are not up on the government website. He could not be contacted for coment.

Akhilesh, who became Chief Minister on March 15, set an example by declaring his assets days later and three months before asking others to do so. The day after, he declared the properties of his wife Dimple too.

The only one who followed him was Minister of State for Social Welfare Narendra Verma. Then the chief minister sent his letter to all 19 ministers and 28 ministers of state.

When The Indian Express asked ministers about the delay, their responses were strikingly similar. Durga Prasad Yadav, Minister for Stamps and Registration, said he was compiling the details and would declare his assets in days. Ministers Ahmed Hasan (Family Welfare) and Raj Kishore Singh (Horticulture) said they would declare theirs soon. So did ministers of state Arvind Singh Gope (independent charge, Rural Development), Aruna Kori (independent charge, Women’s Welfare and Culture), F M Kidwai (Planning), Shahid Manzoor (Labour) and Rajinder Singh Rana (independent charge, Rural Engineering Services). Manzoor said the assets of his entire family “are known to everyone”.

Labour Minister Waqar Ahmed Shah said, “I declared my assets once and I will declare them again.” MoS for Minority Welfare and Haj Chitranjan Swaroop, too, said he had declared his assets soon after he got the letter. Neither declaration is on the website.

Water Resources Minister Om Prakash Singh’s office confirmed he has not declared his assets and hoped he will do so soon. Panchayati Raj Minister Balram Yadav cited an urgent meeting with CM; his office said details of his assets have not been prepared. And MoS for PWD and Irrigation Surendra Patel promised to get back later with details.

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