The Bharatiya Janata Party achieved an unprecedented landslide victory in the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, the results of which were declared on 11 March. The BJP contested the elections under Narendra Modi’s pitch for ‘sabka saath, sabka vikaas‘ without projecting any Chief Ministerial candidate. The landslide victory of BJP has been attributed to a slew of promises the party made in its run-up to the elections. In its manifesto, BJP had made promises of improving law and order in the state, loan waiver for farmers, shutting down illegal slaughterhouses, safety for women and responsible governance. On 19 March, Yogi Adityanath was appointed the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, which evoked mixed reactions all across the country. It has been one month since he assumed the office. Let us see how has ‘Yogi the CM’ performed.
1. Closing Illegal slaughterhouses : One of the most important promises that BJP President Amit Shah had made in his election rallies and formed a part of BJP Manifesto was shutdown of illegal slaughterhouses. Just a few days into office, Yogi Adityanath ordered all illegal slaughterhouses in the state be closed down immediately. Law enforcement agencies started the crackdown all across the state and within a few days, illegal slaughterhouses were shut down.
2. Loan waiver for farmers : In almost all the election rallies, PM Modi promised that if BJP comes to power in Uttar Pradesh, the loans of farmers will be waived in the first cabinet meeting. True to the promise, in the first cabinet meeting, UP CM Adityanath waived the loan up to Rs 1 Lakh of small farmers. It is estimated that this move will bring relief to more than 90 lakh farmers in the state.
3. Improving Work Culture : Uttar Pradesh was known to have one of the most inefficient bureaucracy and administration, with employees coming to office very late. As promised, Yogi Adityanath issued strict instructions to all state government employees to be in the office by 9.30 am. Biometric attendance system has been hauled up and srtrict vigil is being kept on defaulters. The government has also banned chewing and spitting of Gutka/Pan masala in offices.
4. Arrears to sugarcane farmers : Along with the lines of loan waivers, PM Modi had promised to sugarcane farmers that their past arrears will be paid as soon as the government comes to power. True to the pre-poll promise, Yogi Adityanath sent a notice to all sugar mill owners to clear the arrears of sugarcane farmers positively by 23 April.
5. Anti-Romeo squad : To protect women, young girls, college and school going girls from harassment, constitution of anti-romeo squad was one of the most widely talked about promises which BJP wanted to implement if it came to power. Here also, the party was true to its promise with CM Adityanath personally supervising and directing the constitution of anti-Romeo squad. The squad has made the life of college and school going girls in cities like Lucknow, Allahabad and Kanpur much safer.
6. No pothole on roads : Just 2 weeks into office, CM Yogi Adityanath called a meeting with Public Works Department and asked them to make sure that there is no pothole on the pucca roads anywhere in the state. There are about 85 lakh kilometres of road in the state, and the PWD officials are working on war footing to meet the deadline set by Yogi Adityanath.
7. Power for all : Uttar Pradesh was the only state which had not signed the MoU with centre for providing 24×7 electricity to all. With the change in guard, Yogi Adityanath signed the MoU, according to which the state will strive to provide 24 hour electricity to every district headquarters and 20 hr electricity to smaller towns to start with. Gradually, 24 hour electricity will be provided to all.
8. Overhauling Education : In his first interview as the Chief Minister to DD News, Yogi Adityanath said that in today’s world, it is beyond any comprehension that a student will have the first acquaintance of English in sixth standard. He has said that his plan is complete overhauling of education system so that children learn English in school from day one. He also talked on introducing Sanskrit from standard 3 and a foreign language like German, French or Japanese after class 10.
9. Fighting Corruption : Yogi Adityanath has ordered investigation into the high profile corruption cases such as Gomti riverfront construction, in which huge amount of public money was siphoned off. The government has asked all ministers and officials to submit the details of their assets and sources of income. The government has taken steps to make procurements online to reduce corruption. The officials have also been ordered not to take any government files to home.
10. Metro rail : In his first meeting, UP CM Adityanath gave a green signal for metro rail networks in Allahabad, Gorakhpur, Agra, Meerut and Jhansi.
11. Janata Durbar : Yogi Adityanath’s Janata durbar has been a massive hit among all the sections of people in Uttar Pradesh. What makes this even more special is the speed with which Yogi Adityanath has been addressing the problems of citizens that he comes across in Janata Durbar.
In a short span as the chief minister of UP, Yogi Adityanath has made surprise visits to various police stations, public offices and scolded the erring officials. A number of them have been suspended or issued show-cause notice. Yogi Adityanath has also asked doctors who are in public job not to engage in private practice. Within a month, the change in guard has completely changed the work culture of the state. Although one month is a very short span to conclusively pass a judgement, it would not be wrong to say that Yogi Adityanath is determined to fulfill all the promises that his party made in the election manifesto.