Three years after the BJP registered a landslide win in Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath’s record places him amongst the most effective administrators the State has had.
Three years back, it was a high-voltage campaign across the length and breadth of politically crucial Uttar Pradesh, as the Bharatiya Janata Party sought to return to power after a prolonged period of 26 years.
And, what a comeback it was. The party clocked 312 seats, an astronomical rise from its tally in 2012. Known best for lawlessness, corruption, and lassitude, UP was a spent force as far as governance was concerned.
However, since the state had already experienced piecemeal benefits of development post-2014, there was some optimism still languishing somewhere.
Perhaps, that was one of the reasons why the voters voted decisively in favour of the Modi-led campaign.
As Yogi Adityanath becomes the first BJP CM in UP to complete three years, a quick throwback suggests how his rule has deviated from the indolent ways of the past.
Governance for All of UP
Unlike the previous incumbents, who largely focussed on development of Lucknow, NOIDA and their family fiefdoms, the Yogi government has sought to implement multiple policies and projects spread across the state that espouse to create opportunities, improve self-reliance, reduce migration, elevate social indicators, and eventually contribute to economic empowerment of the state.
- One such novel initiative is the One District One Product (ODOP) programme that seeks to harness the diversity spread across 75 districts. The programme, which has provided employment to 5 lakh people, is replete with stories where artisans have received global recognition, created livelihoods for others and succeeded in creating a geographical identity for themselves.
- A far cry from Agra-Lucknow Taj expressway and Yamuna Expressway, both of which connected Lucknow and Delhi with Agra respectively, the Yogi government is tasked with the Purvanchal Expressway, Bundelkhand expressway and Ganga Expressway to improve intra-state connectivity and develop multi-nodal trade networks within the state.
- Rs 500 crore has been allocated for the international airport at Ayodhya. In a bid to develop a spiritual tourism circuit exclusively for Uttar Pradesh, connectivity to Ayodhya assumes importance. With six runways, the Jewar Airport, yet another project that will boost regional connectivity, has also brought prosperity to locals. Apart from the compensation met out for acquisition of land (around Rs 21 lakh/bigha), opportunities in hospitality and travel sector are up for grabs.
- Two-thirds of UP’s population is engaged in agro-based activities. In line with the PM’s vision to double farmer incomes by 2022, soil health cards were issued to 4 crore farmers. Subsidy for purchase of agro-based equipment was discharged through DBT. Moreover, in order to train farmers with modern techniques, “The Million Farmers' Schools” was started at Nyaya Panchayat level and 14 new Krishi Vigyan Kendras have been established in the state.
- Concerns of sugarcane farmers who have been at the receiving end in the State due to either climatic conditions or crony capital policies. With a record payment of
Rs 92 thousand crore to the farmers and expansion of capacity of 11 sugar mills in the State, the perpetually sick industry too witnessed policy intervention and redress of farmer grievances.
- is the latest announcement, whereby a tree will be identified for every district based on soil and climatic conditions.
Finish The Unfinished
“The time is always right to do what is right”, said Martin Luther King Jr.
I quote Luther King because as a young girl from UP, I have seen people raise their eyebrows when they’d discover my UP roots.
I have often been peeved by the political indifference, which emanated from aloof State leaders who were too occupied by their own interests.
Being the most populous state, it is impossible to comprehend why health and education was not the top most priority of the state.
The state with the largest police force had to wait for 82 years to get a proper headquarter.
The quantum of disrepute that netas born with fiefdoms have brought to UP is for all to see. Fortuitously, things have changed in the past three years.
- Under the Mukhya Mantri Jan Arogya Abhiyan, a sub-scheme of the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY), Rs 11 crore was allocated in the annual budget 2019-20. Mukhyamantri Arogya Melas are continually organised at every primary health centre to sensitise families and improve overall levels of health in the state. In the last two months, lakhs of people have received free facilities in these fairs. In the wake of the Corona crisis, the state has also installed thermal analyzers and kicked off public awareness campaigns to deal with the unprecedented crisis with alacrity.
- Encephalitis has been claiming lives in UP since 1978. But it took four decades for a holistic vaccination plan to hit the ground, which covered 8.8 million children. In collaboration with UNICEF, door-to-door awareness campaign, Dastak, was organised, which covered 66 lakh homes over three phases. 1.5 crore vaccines against Japanese Encephalitis were administered between 2017 and 2019, which was instrumental in drastically bringing down the occurrence. Of the 2,026 cases of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome in 2019, fatalities were controlled within 100.
- Employment crisis, which was largely discounted since migration was never considered an issue worth merit, has finally found policy attention. DefExpo-2020, which saw participation from 70 countries, aims to attract investment for defence manufacturing in the state. This is apropos to the proposed Rs 20,000 crore multi-nodal defence corridor.
- Broken law and order was accepted as a fact of life in UP. But the voter frustration arose from the sinister design that has kept it broken by design. The unsparing hand that dealt with anti-CAA protests was heartening. Only a strong resolve and right intent can differentiate between protestors and riots with the precision that we saw in the recent past. Everyone who has ever wondered why the miscreants were treated with kid gloves was relieved to see the rioters named and shamed. What is even more gratifying is that no one dared to pull down, deface or destroy these posters.
Along with social welfare schemes like Kanya Sumangala Yojana, the Yogi government’s consistent efforts to lend buoyancy to the local economy through indigenous production will activate several dormant opportunities and help the state burnish its unique identity credentials.
As the state takes up the challenge to grow into a USD 1 trillion economy, investment-led growth will be imperative; but for that, the Yogi leadership will have to continue to deliver with the same enthusiasm and commitment.