Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav
has left for the US to teach business students at Harvard the finer points of his government's orchestration and coordination of the massive Maha-kumbh Mela that was held in Uttar Pradesh in February. (Akhilesh to explain Kumbh arrangements at Harvard)
But at home, two of his ministers have displayed the sort of "goon-power" or "goonda-raj" that the young chief minister had vowed to expel when he was elected a year ago.
UP Textile Minister Shivkumar Beria told a public gathering "No cop can do anything until I give orders. No cop can even sit till I give orders." The minister was unambiguous about his power or his intent.
"If a cop does not listen to me, he has no right even for a minute to sit on the chair, he will be sacked within 24 hours," he warned. (Watch video here)
Another minister, Ram Murti Verma, declared elsewhere that the state's notorious lawlessness cannot be curbed.
"Crimes in UP keep happening, they (have) happened and will keep happening. No power can stop crimes in UP," professed Mr Verma, who holds the Social Welfare portfolio. (Your Comments)
Terming the statements "unfortunate", Samajwadi Party spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary said senior SP leader will talk to the ministers about their remarks.
The ministers' disclosures come as the Chief Minister is being bombarded with accusations that he has not been able to improve law and order in his state, and that his own government is a snapshot of criminality. In March, his minister Raja Bhaiya was forced to resign after being accused of conspiring to have a senior police officer murdered in his constituency. (Akhilesh Yadav's political journey)
Recently, even Mr Yadav's father, Mulayam Singh, who heads the Samajwadi Party, publicly urged him to improve security and safety in Uttar Pradesh.
On Tuesday, the Yadav government began a statewide image makeover campaign and ministers have been asked to fan out in the state to communicate the achievements of the one-year-old Samajwadi Party government.
Mr Beria and Mr Verma clearly believed their speeches fit into that plan.