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Yogi Adityanath speaks about Covid-19, grooming Jihad, Priyanka Gandhi, Akhilesh Yadav and more: Here is everything he said

Yogi Adityanath was also asked about the consequences of pitting Priyanka Gandhi against him in the run-up to Uttar Pradesh elections.

Ahead of the 2022 Uttar Pradesh Vidhan Sabha polls, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and the BJP machinery in the State have begun preparations for the crucial election. In an interview with Aaj Tak that was aired on Friday (August 6), the UP CM spoke in detail about an array of issues including women safety, law and order, grooming jihad and population control bill, Covid-19 management and so on.

UP CM clarifies on floating dead bodies in Ganga, oxygen crisis during second wave

On being asked about the scary visuals of floating dead bodies in river Ganga during the second wave of pandemic, Yogi Adityanath conceded, “Both Coronavirus and non-Coronavirus deaths are unfortunate. We have to acknowledge that Covid-19 is the biggest pandemic of the century and can’t be compared to normal ailments or diseases… The floating of dead bodies in the sacred river is not a new phenomenon…” The Uttar Pradesh CM emphasised that the practice has been prevalent for a long time among communities, residing next to rivers and water bodies.

He pointed out that the practice made headline in 2012 and 2014 i.e. even before the BJP government came to power. Yogi Adityanath, however, added that the State government has taken all possible steps to bar such a practice. He stated that the dead bodies of individuals found floating on the river belonged to both Coronavrus positive and negative patients. On being asked about a possible ‘governmental coverup’, the Chief Minister clarified that there was no reason for the State government to hide the data of Covid-19 related deaths.

While speaking about the issue of ‘oxygen crisis’, Yogi Adityanath emphasised that the efforts of the State to contain the spread of the deadly virus was applauded even by the World Health Organisation (WHO). He conceded that there was a temporary crisis of medical oxygen supply due to the rising Covid-19 cases during the second wave. However, the Uttar Pradesh CM pointed out how Delhi with 2.5 crore population somehow claimed to have required more oxygen supply than the state with 24 crore population.

In a bid to tackle hoarding and black marketing of oxygen cylinders, Yogi Adityanath had cracked down on hospital falsely perpetuating an artifical demand of oxygen. He said that owing to mass hysteria, individuals who did not even require oxygen supply got admitted to hospitals. The CM also thanked PM Modi for ensuring smooth supply of oxygen to States via oxygen express trains and Indian Air Force (IAF) jets.

Yogi Adityanath on tackling unemployment in UP

On being asked about the issue of ‘unemployment’ in Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath said that despite having the largest population in the country, the State has the lowest unemployment rate. He pointed out the controversies that arose in government job appointments during the 2007-2017 period, ruled by BSP and Samajwadi party. “In the past 4 years, we have given jobs to 4.5 lac people…About 1.5 lac teachers and another 1.5 lac police personnel were appointed including 3000 reserved women.”

Yogi Adityanath also listed out various schemes that benefitted over 60 lac youth in the State. “None can question or find discrepancies in our transparent mode of appointments,” he concluded.

“It is not that we began unveiling new schemes from today. We began it 4 years ago. When we first came to power, we provided a loan waver of ₹36000 crore to lacs of farmers….” UP CM said. He emphasised how the Central government schemes such as Swaach Bharat was not implemented properly between 2014 and 2017 in UP, despite having the most number of people with no access to toilets. After Yogi Adityanath came to power, he took the challenege and built 2 crore toilets in 1.5 years. At the same time, over 40 lac shelterless people were provided housing facilities without any discrimination.

Yogi Adityanath willing to entertain ‘farmer protestors’ but only under one condition

Amidst the ongoing farmer protests, Yogi Adityanth informed how the Modi government is procuring food crops from farmers at 1.5 times the Minimum Support Price (MSP). While eliminating the arhtiyas (middlemen), the procurement is nowmade directly and the amount is transfered to the bank account of the farmer. The Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister pointed out how defunct sugar mills were reopened by his government, including the iconic Ramana sugar mill.

On being asked about his willingness to meet the farmer leader Rakesh Tikait, the UP CM candidly responded,”We will welcome every farmer who comes to Lucknow.” But he cautioned that if a farmer takes law into his own hands, then, he will be dealt accordingly by the State. Yogi Adityanath higlighted that Lucknow is the capital of Uttar Pradesh and is distinct from the capital of India i.e., New Delhi. He cautioned that if farmers don’t behave according to the social framework of the city, then, they might be up for trouble.

Yogi Adityanath speaks about Owaisi, Akhilesh Yadav and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra

On being quizzed about Assaduddin Owaisi, Yogi Adityanath conceded that they were poles apart in their respective ideologies and that there would never be a political alliance between both the parties. He conceded that Owaisi is a big leader who enjoys overwhelming ‘support’ from his community members.

When one of the India Today anchors tried to draw parallels between Babri Masjid and Ram Mandir, the vocal UP CM corrected her that Ram Mandir is a reality. Although it is still under the process of construction, it will be the biggest and most modern temple in history. “If you have waited for 500 years, then, can’t you wait for 5 years?” he stated.

Yogi Adityanath was also asked about the consequences of pitting Priyanka Gandhi against him in the run-up to Uttar Pradesh elections. He responded, “She is a national leader. Why does she want to come to UP and waste her skills?” While taking potshots, the UP CM said that international leaders such as her can contest international elections as well. “She must have been to Italy more times than she has been to UP,” he concluded.

On learning that Samajwadi party leader Akhilesh Yadav has claimed to win 300+ seats in the upcoming Vidhan Sabha polls, an entertained Yogi Adityanath remarked, “It is good to have a dream. He could also dream of winning 400 seats. What is the issue?” He pointed out how Akhilesh Yadav had sanctioned the construction of Purvanchal Expressway for ₹15000 crores in 2016. The project, which didn’t start until 2018, is now being built by the Yogi government for ₹11000 crore.

“What was he planning to do with the ₹4000 crores?” he asked Akhilesh Yadav. The UP CM also pointed out how Yadav has been remained absent from his constituency in Azamgarh at the time of Covid-19 outbreak. He emphasised how the SP leader left the people on their own while he comfortably isolated himself in his residence.

Yogi Adityanath dismisses caste politics in UP

On being informed by one of the India Today anchors that Akhilesh Yadav has refused to get inoculated with ‘Modi’s vaccine’, Yogi Adityanath responded, “I have taken both the doses of Covid-19 vaccine. Unka abba jaan ne bhi le liya hai (His father Mulayam Singh Yadav had already got vaccinated).”

The Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister was told by anchor Anjana Om Kashyap that the ‘Brahmin’ community is miffed with the BJP. Dismissing such baseless claims, Yogi Adityanath emphasised, “The people of UP have risen above nepotism and casteism. They have not forgotten the effect of caste politics of 1990s on the society. As such, it had created an identity crisis before the people. Those parties have now been rejected by the people.”

UP CM on tackling Love Jihad & Population Control Bill

“You will accept that we don’t want individuals to lure someone else through deceit and false identity. But, now, we are witnessing the results. Cases after cases are unfolding before us. Recently, we have nabbed a huge gang that had its network spread across 25 States. They had targeted deaf and mute children. This is how expanded their network. First, they targeted the children, followed by their family members. All of this was planned through code messages on WhatsApp. The plan was to turn these children into suicide squad members. If we did not have anti-conversion law in the State, some would have accused us of harassing a particular community. Our vision proved to be right as more and more cases are coming to light,” Yogi Adityanath said on grooming Jihad and population control bill. He clarified that the government’s move was not linked to electoral politics.

Crackdown on criminals by Yogi government

On being asked about the crackdown on hardened criminals, Yogi Adityanath assured that the law and order situation has improved drastically in the State. “The agencies will decide how to ensure the safety of 24 crore population of the State. Accidents (and eventual encounters) might happen. This can happen to anyone,” he said with a grin on his face.

The Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister emphasised, “We are not making laws keeping in mind an individual or his caste and religion. We make laws in the interest of all people in the State. We are committed to ensuring the safety of our 24 crore people. This benefits everyone, irrespective of their caste or religion. This is why the Prime Minister talked about ‘Sabka saath, sabka vikas aur sabka vishwas‘.” He informed that Muslims constitute 32% of the beneficiaries of the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna, despite being only 17% of the population.

“We have not stopped any benefits to them. But, if someone from the community engages in arson, are we going to welcome them? Laws are made for people who don’t follow the law of the land. This is why punishments are sanctioned. This has not been done for anyone’s torture. This has been done to serve justice,” he concluded.

Yogi Adityanath on BJP’s prospects in 2022 elections

While speaking about the party’s prospects in the UP elections, Yogi Adityanath said, “We will fight the elections based on our issues. I am sure that our previous track record of 2014, 2017 and 2019 will repeat.” He further added, “We will win the UP elections with complete majority, people of the state will bless us.”

 

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