Communal violence, loan waivers leave UP rattled

Report by: 
Harihar Swarup
9 Jul 2017

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath celebrates a hundred days in office, but its report card is a mixed bag. BJP’s electoral sweep in the UP polls earlier this year – where it won a mammoth 312 out of 403 seats – was always going to raise expectations for the incoming administration. Given the size of UP and the breadth of its challenges the Yogi government risks becoming a victim of its own ambitions.
Take, for example, the law and order situation. The Yogi government, in keeping with BJP’s electoral promise, has advocated a zero-tolerance policy towards crime. However, it’s yet to figure out how to deal with fringe elements within its own Sangh Parivar fold who feel emboldened and have been intimidating minorities. If BJP blames the previous Akhilesh Yadav dispensation in the state for shielding criminals belonging to Samajwadi party, it can’t allow those affiliated to Hindu group to run amok now.
Meanwhile, incidents such as Saharanpur caste violence between Dalits and Thakurs show the new administration is far from attaining a firm grip on public order, even as anti-Romeo squads that have been criticized for moral policing.
Plus, the hyping of the issue of cow protection and conducting drives against illegal slaughterhouses without providing avenues for regularization, the new administration is only pushing the meat trade underground and providing a Philip to vigilantism as well as crime. Such measures also disrupt the rural farm economy to which trade in animal is intrinsic. In this context, the Yogi government’s decision to give a Rs. 36,500 crore farm waver puts additional pressure on UP’s stretched exchequer. Instead, Adityanath must focus on pro-market moves that not only help the farmer in a sustainable way but also spare the exchequer.
Additionally, the Yogi government’s propensity to investigate an increasing number of Akhilesh-era schemes can be fraught. Corruption, indeed, must be unearthed and fought. But the impression mustn’t go round that investigations are motivated by political vendetta. That said, the Yogi government’s anti-land mafia taskforce to receive public land and help those whose properties have been confiscated by criminals has progressed well. In fact, the new administration should identify and focus on a few areas where it can deliver results, rather than biting off more than it can chew.
Chief Minister Yogi on completion of 100 years published a booklet enlisting achievements of his government. On its part the opposition parties were quick to dismiss as “bunch of lies” complied to “befool” the people. At a crowed press conference CM released a 48-page booklet-- ‘100 din viswaske’—on his government’s work since he assumed office and said he was satisfied with the performance.
“With the promise of transformation and development, we took oath of office on March 19. 100 days time is a brief period. The resources were rather limited, but we accepted the challenge at this point of time, I am experiencing satisfaction”, he said.
He said the result of the mandate given by the people in favour of transformation has been positive and that “we want to assure people that government has started initiative to take U.P. forward on the path of development”.
The Congress dubbed the booklet as a “bundle of lies”. The UP unit of the party brought out a parallel booklet titled “100 days, 100 lies” to ridicule the government over  its control on crime control and making the state roads pot-free. In a similar refrain BSP leader Mayawati said Yogi government proved “zero in controlling crime and could not be given a single mark out of hundred on its 100 days of governance.”
“The UP government has grossly failed on law and order front, and incidents of theft, dacoity, murder, extortion, crime against women and communal violence have reached its peak in 100 days”, said Mayawati. The Samajwadi party said the government has nothing to show. The state was in grip of an undeclared emergency ever since the BJP came to power. The CPI termed 100 days of the Yogi government as 100 days of failure. In these days the government instead of moving a step forward has, in fact, moved 100 steps backward.
The BJP, which won a massive majority faces major challenges, including funds for farm waver and law and order problem. (IPA)