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The Yogi Challenge

Yogi Adityanath has already put law and order top on agenda because development can be achieved only in a peaceful environment

Photo Credit : PTI


With the debate on Uttar Pradesh’s new Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath likely to continue given his image from the past . For me it is very important to look at his big challenge of the future. His Prime Minister Narendra Modi who has given the BJP a historic mandate talks about a new India. What better than proving it from Uttar Pradesh a bimaaru state from the days of Indira Gandhi. Governments in the last one half decades of Mayawati and the Samajwadi Party have all claimed to have developed the state but the symbols have been either statues or expressways.

Let’s start with the example of Yogi’s own homeland. The eastern part of Uttar Pradesh. Notoriously known for poverty and crime. Nearly 40 per cent of the state s population is in the eastern part, the Yogiland. And if we compare the per capita income between eastern and western UP. Just see the difference. If it is 17,273 rupees in Western UP it 9,859 rupees in Eastern UP. Even Bundelkhand which is also very under developed has a higher per capita income of 12,737 rupees than Eastern UP. Both in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections and now in the assembly elections BJP has performed quite well in Eastern UP. So its basic developmental changes will be a mighty task for Yogi and his new team.

If we look at agriculture which forms 68 per cent of the rural workforce in India. Eastern UP again is far behind. I assume that no one would be understanding these problems better than the new Chief Minister who has been a 5 time MP from the Gorakhpur region. Western UP contributes to nearly 50 per cent of agricultural production whereas with nearly 40 per cent of the state population Eastern UP contributes only 28 per cent to agricultural production of the state. With less agricultural production the scope of rural employment reduces and that leads to more poverty in the region. An issue which Yogi ‘s government will have to address all across the state with perhaps a greater focus on his home turf. Farming in 86 per cent of the land in the eastern region is done by contract farmers. As I have reported and written in the past these farmers have to get greater rights and backing from the governments. Then only the slogan of sabka saath and sabka vikaas can be achieved.

If we look at industrial production again Western part of the state is quite ahead than other parts and eastern UP is lagging behind due to lack of resources and also poor law and order of the region. In Western UP per lakh the number of industrial labour is 812 where as in Eastern UP it just 96 . And I must point out that it is a comparative analysis within UP and its regions not other states of the country where India ‘s most politically important state would look much far behind.

Despite crores being spent on sarkaari advertising by various governments on their achievements and also employment generation. The problem of unemployment is acute. In the state still every third family has a monthly income of less than 5,000 rupees. Changing this scenario will need a lot of ideas from Yogi and his team.

The Akhilesh Yadav government right from the time it assumed office in March 2012 was under criticism for its poor handling of law and order and the outcome of 2017 results reflect that. Yogi Adityanath has already put law and order as a priority agenda because development can be achieved only in a peaceful environment. And the new Chief Minister would know that.

In the end the lesson is clear Akhilesh Yadav fought this election on the plank that he had developed the state like never before. The people of the state rejected it and massively voted BJP in. So there is little doubt in my mind that people of the state know development in the real sense still is a long way away. And that will be the biggest challenge for the Modi magic that got them votes and Yogi’s ways that will have to prove on governance. Rest of the debate will continue.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

Abhigyan Prakash

The author is a Senior Journalist & Author

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