Uttar Pradesh, one of the biggest and most populous states in India, will be going to polls in early 2022.
While incumbent Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath will be fighting to retain power, other parties, including the Congress, Samajwadi Party (SP), and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) are in the fray to regain power.
Amidst the election campaigning, all these leaders have been making a slew of promises and also talking about various socio-economic indicators to focus on the work done during the tenure of Adityanath.
We looked at some statistics – Gross Domestic Product (GDP) numbers, crime data, unemployment, infrastructural development, and other social indicators – to see how Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has fared in the last five years.
Based on the data, we have also drawn a comparison between the previous SP government and the current BJP regime.
GSDP and per Capita Income
Yogi Adityanath has often hailed his government for the economic growth of the state, but the data paints a slightly different picture.
According to the government data, the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) at constant price of Uttar Pradesh in financial year 2017-2018 was Rs 1,05,774,712 lakh.
This increased to Rs 1,16,681,747 in FY 2019-2020 and fell down to 1,09,262,381 lakh in the next financial year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
When compared to the previous SP government, the growth rate from 2017-21 under the Yogi government was close to 2 percent per annum. In contrast, the growth rate was a little over 6 percent from 2012-17 under the SP government.
Further, the per capita income for UP in FY21 was Rs 41,023, which is less than half of the national average at Rs 86,659.
UP's per capita income in FY21 became close to what it was in FY18, when the Yogi Adityanath government took charge. While it can be argued that the disruptions were caused due to the pandemic and if we discount that, even then the data presents a bleak picture.
The per capita income grew at roughly 3 percent from FY18-FY20, which is not only lower than the national average of 4.6 percent but also lower than the previous government's tenure from FY12-FY17 at over 5 percent.
Where Does UP Stand in Unemployment Data?
Earlier in September, CM Adityanath said at a rally that the unemployment rate in the state was more than 17 percent in 2016 and his government had brought it down four to five percent.
While it is true that the unemployment rate did touch 17 percent in August 2016, it decreased substantially to 3.7 percent in January 2017 before the current government took charge, according to the monthly unemployment rates time series maintained by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE).
The CMIE is an independent think tank which publishes monthly data bulletins on employment in India.
UP, which is the most populous state, has been worse off since the current government took over.
UP saw the highest rise in unemployment in urban areas in 2018, according to data compiled by the National Statistical Office (NSO).
According to the CMIE data, unemployment rate in the state increased to 21.5 percent in April 2020, during the first lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Unemployment in UP was still less than than the national rate of 23.5 percent – the highest since 1991. Several other states like Tamil Nadu, Jharkhand, and Bihar also saw a huge rise in unemployment due to COVID-19-related restrictions.
Keeping the pandemic time data aside, India's unemployment rose to a 45-year high of 6.1 percent in 2017-18, according to the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO).
UP was one of the states that was surveyed by the NSSO and its unemployment rate was almost at par with the national average at 6.2 percent.
What About Crime?
The next indicator that we looked at was crime to see how the BJP government has fared in the last five years in terms of law and order.
As per the data documented by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), the number of cases reported under different crime heads (Indian Penal Code) in Uttar Pradesh has increased under the current BJP government as compared to the previous government.
However, the number of heinous crimes like rape, murder, kidnapping, and abduction had decreased.
Speaking at a function in Lucknow on 13 September, the UP CM said that the safety of women in the state had improved under his watch.
While the number of registered cases of crime against women had decreased in 2020, the number had increased since 2017.
The drop could possibly be attributed to the nationwide lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As per the NCRB, 21 out of 28 states had registered a drop in the cases under crime against women. You can read a detailed report here.
Further, in terms of conviction rate, UP ranks fourth in the country after the states of Nagaland and Mizoram and Union Territories of Ladakh and Lakshadweep.
UP also saw the most cases of crimes against the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in 2020 at 12,714.
What About Infant Mortality, Life Expectancy?
Infant mortality rate (IMR) is defined as number of deaths per thousand live births under the age of one. The rate reflects upon a region's social, economic, and environmental conditions.
As per the National Family Health Survey 5 (NFHS), the IMR for UP was 50.4, which is higher than the national average of 35.2. However, this has reduced from the NFHS-4 (2015-2016) when the number of deaths per 1,000 live births was 63.5, while the national average was 40.7.
As per the yearly data available on the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) website, the IMR was 43 in 2016, which had decreased from 53 in 2012.
The life expectancy rate in the state has remained relatively steady from 64.5 years in 2011-15 to 64.8 years between 2012 and 2016, 65 years between 2013 and 2017 and 65.3 years between 2014 and 2018.
The life expectancy rate of the state has been lower than the national average – 68.3 years (2011-15), (68.7 years (2012-16), 69 years (2013-17), and 69.4 years (2014-18).
Ease of Doing Business
When it comes to the Ease of Doing Business – an indicator of the investment-friendly business climate, UP's rank improved from 12 in 2017 to 2 in 2019, as per the Ease of Doing Business Report.
The rankings from 2020 and 2021 are not available. The report was produced by the government, which also recommended a set of reforms to improve the states' standings.
India's standing in Ease of Doing Business rankings, too, grew in the past few years. According to the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business ranking published in 2019, India has improved 14 spots since 2018, making it 63 among 190 countries.
It is important to note that the World Bank has discontinued the Ease of Doing business report since 2021 because of data integrity issues in 2018 and 2020, where it was found that certain senior officials rigged the data of countries to improve their rankings.