Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Thursday, September 9, interacted with several social media influencers. In the virtual meet, the Uttar Pradesh CM took various questions ranging from industrialisation and development in the state in the last four and a half years of being at the helm of affairs, to the law and order, to women empowerment, to the construction of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya and the reclamation of the Shri Krishna Janmabhoomi in Mathura.
Yogi Adityanath opened his speech by praising his social media supporters for frequently debunking leftist lies that sought to delegitimize the BJP government both at the state as well as the centre. Yogi slammed the “Lutyen zone media,” saying he has never been affected by their lies and propaganda since they have no loyalties towards the country.
Law and order in Uttar Pradesh
Yogi Adityanath stated that his government has had a “zero tolerance” policy towards crime and criminals since the day he was entrusted with the state’s responsibilities. According to the state’s chief minister, earlier, between 2012 and 2017, the state witnessed riots every 3 to 4 days on average, followed by month-long curfews and unrest. This had a significant impact on the state’s economic stability. However, since the BJP came to power in Uttar Pradesh four and a half years ago, there has not been a single riot in the state.
Here, Yogi Adityanath remembered how a day before the Supreme Court’s decision on the Ayodhya dispute was announced on November 9, 2019, he told state officials that, regardless of the SC’s decision, there would be full peace in the state. And, as expected, no crime or disruption was reported in the state on that day, according to Yogi.
The Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh explained how, every person of Uttar Pradesh, regardless of caste or religion, feels protected now. Criminals, on the other hand, are fearful that they will not be spared.
He explained how his government’s stringent law and order measures, as well as the practice of acting ahead of time to prevent crime and criminals, had aided in maintaining a peaceful and disciplined environment in the state. In this context, Yogi mentioned how his government was uncompromising towards the leader who had hailed the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan and had likened their offensive with India’s freedom struggle.
It may be recollected how the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh has on August 18, booked Samajwadi Party MP Shafiqur Rehman Burq on charges of sedition, promoting enmity and hurting religious sentiments for his open support to the Taliban.
The government’s prompt and stern action against the SP leader had not only prompted him to take back his statement and also put such anarchists on the backfoot and the government on the frontfoot, said Yogi.
Yogi Govt prioritising development work in the state
Yogi Adityanath then went on to speak about how his government has prioritised development work in the state in his tenure. He proudly asserted that his government’s efforts made the Prayagraj Kumbh Mela, a celebration of an ancient Hindu tradition, not only a unique event but it also made it to the UNESCO’s Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. It hosted 24 crore devotees but nothing untoward happened during the entire event.
The pilgrims and tourists who came to Uttar Pradesh for the Kumbh Mela visited other parts of the state as well. This aided in influencing people’s perceptions of the government. The development was noted by visitors, who were intrigued. This, in turn, aided the state’s development and recognition both domestically and globally, according to Yogi.
The CM added how over the years, Uttar Pradesh has become an export hub due to the ‘One District One Product’ Scheme, which has helped the state’s export level to grow by 32 per cent. The ODOP scheme was launched by the Uttar Pradesh government three years back with an aim to revive the local arts and artisans who were facing an existential crisis.
He also mentioned that an investment of Rs 7,000 crore came in Uttar Pradesh when the whole world was plagued by the Covid-19 pandemic.
UP govt working on intrastate connectivity and infrastructure
The inter-state connectivity has been improved in the state today and all this has been done to improve the infrastructure. This has also increased investment prospects. In 2018, we implemented the innovative ODOP scheme in the state. Today, it has become a popular scheme across the country, said Yogi Adityanath.
“We are laying a network of expressways, national highways. Bad roads connecting state and country borders are being worked on a war footing. Employment opportunities will increase further as the infrastructure has become better”, he added.
Several schemes have been implemented. Efforts are being undertaken to improve industrialization, from supplying tools to giving simple loans. For nearly 2 crore migrant labourers, enough job possibilities have been provided. As a result, all migrant labourers have gladly returned to Uttar Pradesh as soon as the Covid-19 induced lockdown opened.
Understanding the state’s historical and traditional relevance, the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh has prioritised the renovation of several culturally significant properties. This has also significantly helped promote the tourism sector in the state.
Historic sites such as Ayodhya, Kashi, Mathura, Brindavan, Barsana, Gokul, and Chitrakoot are undergoing development and restoration.
Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat
Yogi Adityanath said that his government has been promoting PM Modi’s ‘Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat’ initiative that aims to enhance interaction and promote mutual understanding between people of different states/UTs through the concept of state/UT pairing. The states carry out activities to promote a sustained and structured cultural connection in the areas of language learning, culture, traditions & music, tourism and cuisine, sports and sharing of best practices, etc.
He claimed that this was the only way to dispel the myth of communism, an ideology that aims at dividing India. Yogi said that people in West Bengal, Tripura have shunned communism. People in Kerala will also gradually understand the perils of communism.
Govt follows uniform policy of development: Yogi Adityanath
Yogi Adityanath said, that in Uttar Pradesh, his government has followed a uniform policy of development. His government has made sure that not one, but all 75 districts in the state receive 24 hour supply of electricity. Likewise, the BJP state government has ensured that every village in the state receives 18 to 20 hours of electricity.
Similarly, understanding the importance of connecting every Zila or district to a four-lane highway, the state government has made sure that the work for the same is being carried out in a steadfast manner, said Yogi Adityanath.
His government has also identified all the financially backward areas in the state in the last four and a half years and efforts are being made to bring about major infrastructural development in these areas so that they very soon are at par with any other developed area or district in Uttar Pradesh.
Giving an example of Bundelkhand, the CM said that he is extremely happy to share that the development work of the Purvanchal expressway is almost completed and would be ready by next month.
Likewise, the development of the Bundelkhand expressway has also reached its last leg and would be operational by the end of November, informed Yogi Adityanath.
These expressways would prove to become the backbone of these financially less progressive regions, asserted the CM.
Yogi Adityanath added that when his government realised the need to connect East to the West, it started the construction of the Ganga Expressway, which would, once operational, connect Meerut to Prayagraj, giving a big boost to industrialisation, thereby giving a new height to the economy of the state.
The CM went on to say that, because transportation is such a vital part of infrastructure development, Metro service has been launched in four of the state’s largest cities. According to Yogi, the government wants to start Metro service in two more big cities, Kanpur and Agra, by November this year.
Further speaking about the RRTS corridor that is being developed from Delhi to Meerut, Yogi Adityanath assured that development work is being carried out uniformly in the entire state under his guidance.
Women Empowerment a key agenda for Yogi Adityanath govt
After apprising about industrial and infrastructural development in the state, Yogi Adityanath spoke about Mission Shakti- an initiative was launched by the Uttar Pradesh government in October last year with an emphasis on safety, dignity and empowerment of women and girls. It also focuses on the rights of children, sexual crime against women and girls and adoption of orphaned girls.
The CM said that his government has introduced many initiatives dedicated to the security, dignity and empowerment of women and children in the state. He spoke about the formation of anti-Romeo squads “to protect the honour of women”. Though initially, the usual anti-BJP elements tried to malign the initiative, Yogi said that the anti-Romeo squads were steadfast in protecting the women of the state.
Despite the typical gang of detractors who tried to spread rumours and malign the UP govt’s initiative, Yogi stated that the Mission Shakti project is currently in its third stage. He explained how the state government of Uttar Pradesh has established women’s help desks at 1537 police stations across the state. At these help desks, a female police officer is on duty at all times to deal with the complaints of the distressed women who come to them for assistance.
Alongside, as many as 350 Tehsils have the same arrangement. This facility, Yogi claimed has been extended to all gram panchayats also.
Here, Yogi Adityanath said that earlier, the state has very few female police personnel. In his four and a half years of tanure, this number has gone up drastically. Yogi informed that his government has mandated that at least 20 per cent of the police recruits should be female officers. As a result, today the total strength of female police personnel in the state stands to almost 30,000, said the CM.
Yogi added that though these females were deployed, there was a lot of discrimination they had been facing. They were not considered competent enough and as a result, they were not being allowed to work in the field. To overcome this notion, the women police personnel were given posting as ‘beat police officers’ just like their male counterparts by CM Yogi Adityanath.
Yogi Adityanath added how his government adopted strict laws to penalise the practise of female foeticide. He added that though the initiative was a success and it drastically brought down the crime in the state, his government wanted to do something that would ensure that every girl child is respected and treated at power with a boy child.
So his government introduced the ‘Kanya Sumangala Yojana’, added Yogi Adityanath. A sum of Rs 15,000 is deposited at the time of the birth of a girl child under this programme. This will ensure that every family that has a girl child, considers her to be the ‘Ghar ki Lakshmi,’ Yogi said, adding that his government also gives financial assistance to underprivileged girls for marriage ranging from Rs 35,000 to Rs 50,000 under the community marriage scheme.
Yogi Adityanath went on to speak about various other such schemes like the Vridha Pension Yojana, which has benefited as many 29 lakh females and the UP Banking Correspondent Sakhi Yojana 2021, under which door to door banking facilities are provided to women in gram panchayats.
Yogi, speaking about women’s empowerment in the state, said that, despite a 30% quota set for women in the recently ended Panchayat elections, women represent 56% of elected block presidents. Furthermore, women comprise 54% of elected Zila Panchayat heads. This in and of itself demonstrates how women in Uttar Pradesh are gaining support.
Wil happen at the appropriate time: Yogi Adityanath on the reclamation of Kashi Vishwanath Temple
Finally, the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister addressed the much-anticipated Kashi Vishwanath Temple-Gyanvapi Mosque Dispute. He assured that just as the Ayodhya issue was settled, this one will also be resolved in the due course of time. “Initially many questioned the Ram Mandir Nirman. The way that happened, this too will be done at the right time”, said Yogi Adityanath.
Before ending the interaction, Yogi Adityanath thanked the social media influencers whom he called his ‘Adrishya Suraksha Kawack’. He claimed that they have always aided the government by debunking false and destructive misinformation and narratives spread by the leftist media and government critics in order to demonise it.