Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Saturday said that the anti-forceful religious conversion laws are not anti-Muslim. He added that these laws are applicable to people of all religions.
On February 27, journalist Prabhu Chawla interviewed Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in his show Seedhi Baat on Aaj Tak.
During the interview, CM Yogi talked about several issues, including budget, law and order, Covid-19 management, agriculture laws, future plans for the state, West Bengal elections and more. He said, “BJP will come back in power in UP in 2022 assembly elections with 350 seats.”
Anti conversion laws are applicable to everyone
CM Yogi said that anti-conversion laws are for everyone. It is not for any particular religion. The law clearly says that anyone who forces a woman to change her religion on the pretext of marriage, let it be Muslim or Hindu or any other religion, will be punished. CM Yogi said that there had been dozens of cases of Love Jihad in the state.
He said that it is a problem not in UP but in many other states. In 2009 Kerala High Court said that Love Jihad is an attempt to turn Kerala into an Islamic state. Karnataka High Court showed concerns over Love Jihad cases as well. Mentioning the case of Dilshad of Meerut, who married a Hindu woman while pretending to be Amit Gurjar, CM Yogi said that such cases have been prominent in all districts of UP, including Eta, Lucknow, Kanpur and others.
He narrated how Dilshad changed his name to Amit, married a Hindu woman and had a child out of wedlock too. However, when his real identity was revealed, he forced his wife to change religion and accept Islam. Later, he killed his wife and daughter and buried them in his own house. He said that the anti-conversion law was introduced to save women from such atrocities. “It is not about the religion but about law and order,” he added.
UP has done exceptionally well in Covid-19 management
There are over 24 crore people in Uttar Pradesh. Compared to the rest of the country, it was expected that the state would see an explosion of Covid cases, but it did not happen. CM Yogi said that at this time, there are only 2,000 active cases in UP which is a big achievement.
He said that when the first case of Covid-19 was detected on March 4, 2020. At that time, UP was not prepared for Covid management and the patient was sent to Delhi for treatment. In the beginning, UP only had the capacity of 60 tests per day. There were no PPE kits, no medicines, no infrastructure and no preparation to fight the pandemic.
However, now UP is doing over 2 lakh tests per day. There is no shortage of PPE kits or infrastructure to fight the pandemic. The state government also took the help of the sugar mills to manufacture hand sanitisers that further helped in controlling the pandemic.
When compared to states like Delhi that only has 10% of the population, the number of deaths is lesser in UP. While Delhi has seen almost 11,000 deaths due to Covid-19, UP has only seen around 8,000 deaths so far. Without taking Kejriwal’s name, he said, “They only know how to give lessons to others, but they do not implement those lessons in their own state.”
CM Yogi said that Home Minister Amit Shah had to come forward to take Covid management in Delhi into his own hands as the Delhi government was failing miserably to control the disease. On the other hand, UP was praised by the World Health Organization for its Covid-19 management.
“As a yogi, nationalism is my only religion” – CM Yogi
When he was asked if he had any plan to promote Uttar Pradesh as a Hindu state, CM Yogi said that as a Yogi, his religion is nationalism. Hinduism is the identity of India. He said the best aspect of Hinduism that practising Hindus would never impose their religion on anyone.
He said that there is much more to Uttar Pradesh than just Taj Mahal and Agra. UP is blessed with some of the oldest cities and civilisations. Varanasi, Kashi, Mathura, Ayodhya and others are some of the examples. When PM Modi started his tenure in 2014, he gave a model for development, and in 2017 when the BJP government came to UP, his model of progress was implemented in the state.
He said that it is essential to connect with the historical significance of the cities. The idea behind changing the names of Faizabad to Ayodhya and Allahabad to Prayagraj has nothing to do with the religion, but it is about connecting to the roots. It is about connecting the identity of modern cities with ancient identity. People should know the historical significance of Uttar Pradesh.
Law and order has improved in the state
CM Yogi said that everyone is equal in the eyes of the law. Neither criminals nor police can make laws in their own hand. When he became CM, he asked the criminals to choose the right path or leave the state; otherwise, they will be killed. He said that his warning worked, and several criminals surrendered. They were ready to face the law and live a crime-free life.
When Prabhu Chawla said that it seems like he has gone soft in the last five years, CM Yogi said, “I was neither soft nor aggressive. The main concern has always been law and order in the state. Whatever is required to maintain law and order, we will do it.”
“It is about the teamwork” – CM Yogi
CM Yogi said that the state had seen a progress because of the teamwork. A minister’s work is to form laws and bring policies. The work of bureaucrats is to implement those policies and laws. It is not possible to bring everyone to the table and talk to them at once. That’s why he meets everyone in different groups to ensure policy implementation is perfect, and the results are in front of everyone. He said that he monitors everything and make sure every policy is implemented on the minuscule level, as it is his responsibility as a CM.
“People with vested interest are misleading farmers” – CM Yogi
While talking about the agriculture laws, CM Yogi said that anyone associated with the Agriculture sector would have no problem with the recently enacted three Agriculture laws. When the ordinance was passed in June 2020, the farmer leaders came to meet him and thanked him for the laws as they met the demands of late farmer leader Mahendra Singh Tikait. However, when they started protesting after four months, CM Yogi called and asked them why they are protesting. They replied because Punjab is protesting, so they are too. He said this is not the way to see the agriculture laws.
CM Yogi further said that people with vested interest are misleading the farmers. He said ‘aandolanjivi’ like Yogendra Yadav are like parasites. They only know how to live on “farmers’ income and leftover of foreign powers.” He further added that such ‘parjivis’ have no interest in the benefits of the farmers.
CM Yogi said that the state ran sugar mills even during Covid lockdown. In the last four years, UP has paid over Rs.1.25 lakh crore to farmers. It is more than what SP and BSP governments paid in 10 years. The mills in UP run till there is sugarcane in the field. If there is a demand for sugar in the market, the mills produce sugar and from the leftover produce, UP make ethanol. So far, UP has produced 261 crore litres of Ethanol.
UP has a history of contract farming. It is a mutual understanding between the corporate and the farmer. He gave the example of Ram Ratan Halwai, who procures carrots from farmers, and it has been happening for decades. In the same way, Baidyanath Group, one of the largest Ayurvedic medicine manufacturer in India, procures raw material from western UP farmers for decades under contract farming. Neither the farmers nor the corporate ever faced any problem.
He said that before 2019, there was no MSP for corn. In 2019, PM Modi introduced MSP for over 70 crops, including corn. New procurement centres were set up for purchase. As a result, the cost of corn in UP market rose from Rs.1100 per quintal to Rs.2200 per quintal as MSP was Rs.1800. The government is providing a competitive market to the farmers by allowing them to sell crops anywhere, and it will help in increasing the income of the farmers.
“BJP will win 2022 UP Assembly elections with 250 seats” – CM Yogi
When Prabhu Chawla said that people come to listen to Priyanka Gandhi in his rallies, CM Yogi said no one pays heed to the opposition. Everyone knows who visits to such rallies. He added that in the 2022 Assembly Elections, BJP would come back in power and with the support of associate parties, it will lead the elections by winning 350 seats.
The election will be fought on Modi’s name and Yogi’s work. He said that BJP believes in Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas Sabka Vishwas. UP is working on becoming a self-reliant state. The aim is to make UP a one trillion economy in coming years. BJP has ended politics based on families, religion, caste and region. It is about progress for everyone and not just one family or a particular community any more.
He said that it is not true that he does not interact with the opposition leaders. CM Yogi said that they had ruled the state for decades. They might have good ideas. I often talk to them to learn about their well being.
Improved state’s income and expenditure without imposing additional tax
On February 23, CM Yogi presented the fifth and last budget of his term as Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. While talking about the 5.50 lakh budget during the interview, he said that BJP had not imposed any new tax in the state since it came into power.
When he was asked how the state will manage the inflow of funds with such a huge budget, CM Yogi explained the changes the state saw in the last four years. He said, during his tenure, he has worked extensively on stopping the leakage of funds by introducing technology in different sectors.
He further added that the per capita income has increased in the state that has improved the spending power of the people in Uttar Pradesh. His government has connected over 50 lakh MSEM units to the banking system, enabling them to get funds for starting or expanding their businesses.
CM Yogi said that all these improvements were only possible because of the state’s help. UP government has implemented the centre’s schemes dedicatedly in the state. As the implementation was done on time, it helped in improving infrastructure in the state. Giving the example of food distribution, he said that around 16 crore people benefit from food security in the state.
UP was among the first states to implement a “one nation one ration card” scheme that ensured UP’s residents can get ration while staying in any state across the country. He said that by using technology in food distribution, UP has so far saved Rs.1200 crore. Technology has played a vital role in putting a stop to the leakage of funds during distribution.
People of West Bengal deserve better – CM Yogi
While talking about the West Bengal elections, CM Yogi said that the people of West Bengal deserve better implementation of the central schemes.
When he was asked about polarization on the name of Bhagwan Ram, he said saying “Jai Shri Ram” is Sanatan Sambhodhan, a way of greeting in Sanatan Dharma. He further added that Shri and Siya are not different. Shri is another name of Mata Sita. He said that BJP wants to bring back the nationalist glory of West Bengal while working on the issues relevant to the state.