In Yogi’s performance lies the key to Modi’s 2019 win
Lucknow: If the new Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is to keep his party’s election promise, all slaughter houses in the state should be shut down within 24 hours of his swearing in, and farmers’ debt waived off. These were the two main promises that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah reiterated at almost every rally during electioneering in the state.
“A decision will be taken in the first Cabinet meeting within 24 hours,” was an oft-repeated statement heard during their public meetings, drawing big applause from the crowd. These promises also find a pride of place in the BJP’s 30-page election manifesto.
But can the firebrand CM handle these two contentious issues in such a short span
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Uttar Pradesh is the second largest exporter of beef in the country after Kerala. “It is next to impossible for Modi or Yogi to shut down slaughter houses in Uttar Pradesh as it earns much-needed foreign currency for the country,” said Shameem Qureshi, a slaughter house owner in western UP.
Also, majority of abattoirs are owned by politicians. There was a hue and cry when Sangeet Som, a BJP MLA from Sardhana, allegedly sought land for setting up an abattoir. Sugar farmers’ dues is another issue which may bind the new CM in a spot. Once known as the sugar bowl of the country, sugar mill lobby is quite strong in UP. They give hefty donations to the ruling parties to settle the minimum support price and policies on molasses etc in their favour. The factories, which make huge profits by selling molasses and ethanol, blatantly refuse to clear dues of the farmers which come to around Rs 6,000 crore.
“We will launch an agitation if the government fails to fulfill promise to farmers,” said VM Singh, leader of sugarcane farmers and a close relative of Union Minister Maneka Gandhi.
Deteriorating law and order and corruption in power corridors are other challenges before Yogi. Though the CM has given clear instruction to Chief Secretary Rahul Bhatnagar and DGP Javeed Ahmed to maintain law and order at any cost, Sambhal had come close to witnessing a communal riot even before his swearing-in, as the BJP supporters clashed with members of a minority community over a small accident.
A can of worms would be opened if Yogi chooses to probe big-budget projects of previous Akhilesh government, including the Lucknow-Delhi expressway. “Providing a clean, corruption-free administration and keeping the corrupt bureaucracy under check would be a daunting task,” noted Afsar Husain, a senior journalist.
Uttar Pradesh face a shortfall of about 2000 MW power every day. Meeting the shortage and making power available in every village will be another challenge. Also, not many industrialists had taken interest in UP as an investment destination ever since Mayawati shut shops of Reliance Retail in 2008.
“How the government strengthens infrastructure and extends a congenial atmosphere to industrialists and corporate houses in order to bring investment in the state would largely depend upon how bureaucracy is controlled by the new CM,” said DS Varma, an office-bearer of Indian Industries Association (IIA).
It would be interesting to watch what model Yogi would adopt to accelerate the pace of development in the state, which is far below national average on many counts. “Yogiji has three models at hand viz Modi model, Kalyan model and his own Gorakhnath model,” quipped Rama Pati Ram, a senior BJP leader.
Dr Rita Bahuguna Joshi
The former Women Congress National President and ex-Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee President, Joshi had switched loyalty in 2016 to BJP. She won from Lucknow Cantonment for the second consecutive time convincingly defeating Aparna Yadav. She has been given a Cabinet rank in the Yogi government. She is the daughter of Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna, a former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh.
His passion to serve the society drew Pathak to become a politician and join the Lucknow University Student Union. Once a close associate of Mayawati, Brajesh Pathak had deserted BSP in 2016 to join the BJP. He won from Lucknow Central only to make it to the Yogi Cabinet. Pathak was MP on BSP ticket from Unnao and was BSP deputy leader in Lok Sabha. He was second Brahmin face after Satish Chandra Mishra in BSP. On August 22, 2016, he left BSP to join the BJP.
Satish Mahana is a seven-time MLA from Kanpur Cantonment and currently representing Maharajpur assembly constituency of Kanpur. He also participated in the 2009 general elections as a BJP candidate from Kanpur. He was the Vice Leader of BJP in Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly. Mahana’s name was also in the race for the coveted post of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister. He is now a Cabinet rank minister in UP government.
Once an opening batsman in the Indian Cricket team and an Arjuna awardee, Chauhan won the Naugawan assembly seat in Amroha on the BJP ticket in the UP Assembly elections and has been given a Cabinet rank. Chauhan was formally a BJP MP from Amroha in 1991 and 1998. He lost the elections from the same constituency in 1996, 1999 and 2004, finishing fourth on the last occasion.
Wife of BJP state Vice-President Dayashankar Singh, Swati Singh been made MoS Independent Charge. Her husband was thrown out of the party for issuing derogatory remarks against BSP Supremo Mayawati. She won a crucial seat for BJP, Lucknow’s Sarojani Nagar assembly segment, and her husband’s expulsion from the party has been withdrawn. On her campaign trail, Swati vows to fight for ‘samman’ (honour) of women.
Swatantra Dev Singh
When Yogi Adityanath’s name was not announced as UP CM, Swantantra Dev Singh was one of the contenders in the race to become the UP Chief Minister. In politics since student days, he is known for his organisational capabilities in the party and served as BJP state General Secretary. He won from Kalpi assembly constituency to become MoS Independent Charge in the newly-elected Yogi government.
One of the main accused in Muzzafarnagar riot case, Suresh Rana won from Than Bhawan in Shamli district of Uttar Pradesh. He was also booked for hate speech in January 2017. In one of his public meeting during the Assembly election campaigning, Suresh Rana had said that if he won the elections curfew will be imposed in Karana and Deoband. Rana won again and has been rewarded with MoS Independent Charge in the newly-elected government.
Siddharth Nath Singh
Grandson of former Prime Minister late Lal Bahadur Shashtri, he is National Secretary of the BJP and one of the TV face of the party. He won from Allahabad West constituency and was rewarded with a Cabinet rank berth in the new BJP government. Besides that Chief Minister Mahant Yogi Adityanath has also given him other responsibility and has appointed him as his government’s spokesperson
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