Speaking at a press conference at the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Lucknow office on Friday, 3 February, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said that Uttar Pradesh – the fourth largest and most populous state in India – had been at the sixth or seventh position when it came to the state’s economy from 1947 to 2017.
He goes on to add that in the span of five years, his government managed to bring UP to the second position in the country.
Note: Yogi Adityanath's remarks can be heard around 11 minute mark.
"From 1947 to 2017, Uttar Pradesh’s economy was at the sixth or seventh position. What didn’t happen in 70 years, we have successfully done in five years – by bringing UP’s economy up to the second spot."Yogi Adityanath, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister at a press conference
However, the statement made by the chief minister is misleading as the data published by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) from the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) shows that Uttar Pradesh has been in the top 5 states at least since 2012, i.e. even before Adityanath was elected as the UP chief minister.
So What Does the Official Data Say?
We looked at the data published in the 'Handbook of Statistics on Indian States' on the Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) website on 24 November, 2021. This is compiled from the data released by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MOSPI).
In the tabulation, we looked at the statewise data for Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) at constant price (base year 2011-2012) since 2011-2012 (FY12) to 2020-2021 (FY21).
The data showed that from 2011-12 to 2016-17, Uttar Pradesh maintained its position at the third rank, coming just after Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu each time.
From 2017-18 to 2019-20, we observed that Uttar Pradesh fell by one rank, maintaining its position at number 4 (after Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat) until 2019-2020.
Adityanath was sworn in as the chief minister of the state in March, 2017.
In the year 2020-2021, Uttar Pradesh stood at the third position, as per the available data. However, the data for this year is incomplete as the GSDP numbers for about 12 states, including Maharashtra and Gujarat, are missing.
We even looked at the data prior to 2011-2012 (with base year 2004-2005) and found that UP was at the second position after Maharashtra from 2004-2005 to 2009-2010. It slipped to the third position in 2010-2011, with Maharashtra on top and Tamil Nadu occupying the second spot.
The same data can also be found on the website of Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation.
We have reached out to the chief minister's office for a response and the story will be updated if and when we receive one.
How Has the State of Development Been Under Yogi Govt?
Ahead of the upcoming elections in the country’s most populous state, The Quint's WebQoof team analysed in detail, statistics for GSDP, per capita income to see how the government has fared as compared to the previous Samajwadi Party government. The comprehensive analysis can be read here.
This report noted how despite Adityanath’s claim on having brought up Uttar Pradesh’s economy during his tenure, the actual rate of growth under his government (from 2017-2021) was close to 2 percent per annum.
It is important to note that this includes the period when the economy was impacted nationwide due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020-2021.
This figure was notably lower than the 6 percent growth rate recorded under the SP government from 2012-17.
Further, 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.
So, clearly the statement that UP was at the sixth or seventh position until 2017 is misleading as even before Adityanath was elected, UP was at the second position from 2004-2005 to 2009-2010, and was at the 3rd rank from 2011-12 to 2016-17.