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2 Years of Yogi: About Hanuman’s Caste & ‘Thain Thain’ Encounters

The Yogi Adityanath government has completed two years in Uttar Pradesh. How has it fared?

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Ahead of the 2019 general elections, the state of Uttar Pradesh – with the highest number of Lok Sabha seats at 80 – will be interesting to watch, especially after the completion of two years of the Yogi Adityanath government on Sunday, 17 March.

Has the saffron party fulfilled its election manifesto promises made to the farmers, the citizens and the unemployed?

“I, Yogi Adityanath, take the oath of the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh,” he roared on the loudspeakers on 17 March. Soon after, slaughterhouses across UP were locked down, and roadside Romeos were being roughed up by the anti-Romeo squad. Adityanath was making his presence felt.

The first cabinet meeting decided to waive farm loans up to Rs 1 lakh of around 76 lakh farmers. It was also decided that Rs 36,000 crore would be spent in the effort. However, farm loans of only 43 lakh farmers were waived with an expenditure of Rs 24,000 crore. Out of the Rs 24,000 crore, Rs 6,000 crore were bank NPAs.

Unfulfilled Promises

Flawless roads were promised, but the road leading from the state capital of Lucknow to PM Modi’s bastion Varanasi is unfinished. The Kanpur-Lucknow highway is also crumbling. The government declared that it will make the Purvanchal highway withing 8 months, but the PWD is short on funds. Interestingly, the PWD ministry comes under the deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya.

While Akhilesh Yadav claims that the Yogi government has only taken credit for the work that was done by the Samajwadi Party government, Maurya refutes rumours of the PWD being underfunded.

The government’s failure in creating employment is old news as well.

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Crumbling Law and Order

The promised anti-Romeo squad was never made, the issue was just left to the police stations. The first Republic day after Yogi took oath was marred by riots.

A spree of encounters began soon after. According to government figures, more than 59 criminals have been killed in the past two years in over 2,000 encounters. While the government’s tactic of shooting criminals in their knees has been dragged to the courts, 17 such cases were taken up by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).

The murder of a cop during Bulandshahr riots and the killing of an Apple executive made national headlines. The ‘thain thain’ policemen were felicitated.

What shocked the nation was the government’s efforts to shield one of its own lawmakers, Kuldeep Sengar, from rape charges.

Over 60 newborns died in Gorakhpur’s BRD Medical College and hospital, allegedly due to lack of oxygen supply. The government, in response, claimed that babies die of encephalitis every year.

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Anti-Dalit Allegations

Some of BJP’s own lawmakers in the state accused the government of being anti-Dalit. Some even alleged that the government officials refused to listen to Dalit lawmakers. Frequent complains to Yogi Adityanath bore no results.

The Caste of Hanuman and the Picture of Jinnah

The comments of the chief minister on the caste of Lord Hanuman tarnished the government’s image. BJP lawmakers also took objection to the picture of Muhammad Ali Jinnah at the Aligarh Muslim University.

Considering how Yogi Adityanath lost his Gorakhpur seat in the bypolls, which he hadn’t lost in the past two decades, whether the Yogi government’s work will support Modi in the upcoming elections remains to be seen.

(The story was first published on Quint Hindi)

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