Claiming that the performance of the Samajwadi Party government in Uttar Pradesh was "excellent" in the past three years, chief minister Akhilesh Yadav on Sunday said that the 2017 Assembly polls will be a "litmus test" for him and his party.
"The performance of the government has been excellent during the past three years. However, there is always scope for improvement. Assembly elections scheduled for 2017 will be a litmus test for me and the party. I am confident that on the basis of the performance of our government, the electorate will again repose their faith in Samajwadi Party," Yadav told PTI in an interview.
Stating that the state government started functioning in very trying conditions, Yadav said when he assumed power in March 2012, people were not getting health services and the power scenario was bleak as the previous government did "precious little" for the betterment of these sectors.
Alleging that entire system had "collapsed" in the erstwhile BSP regime, Yadav said the SP government straight away chalked out plan for all-round development of the state, where all sections of the society were benefitted, especially the downtrodden.
"The government made efforts to bring the state back on track as the entire system had collapsed during the previous regime," he said.
Quoting Assocham India's study, titled 'Uttar Pradesh Inching Towards Double Digit Growth', Yadav said the growth rate of Uttar Pradesh was better than the growth rate of the country for the years 2012-13 and 2013-14.
On the law and order front, the chief minister said, "Samajwadi (Party) government is a secular government and it will ensure that the atmosphere of the state remains secular at all costs."
"In Uttar Pradesh, nobody would be allowed to disturb the prevailing atmosphere of communal harmony and brotherhood at any cost," he added.
"Law and order of the state has always been hyped whenever the SP government comes into power. Even the smallest of incidents have been exaggerated. The Budaun incident is a classic example of it. Some elements always become active to ignite social unrests all over the state. All this is done to paint poor picture of the government," Akhilesh said.
Appreciating efforts of the police force, Akhilesh said it has performed its duties under difficult conditions but ironically its efforts are hardly appreciated even if it genuinely does good work.
"The state government has given full support to the police department to act freely and responsibly to maintain law and order all over the state. We are also recruiting to meet shortage of police personnel", he said.
"For this modern control rooms have been setup in state capital. Surveillance is also being done to check criminals. Drones have also been pressed into service to provide aerial surveillance. Overall the law and order of the state is good. Besides, no communal riots have been reported for past many years" Yadav said.
On schemes launched by his government, Akhilesh said that he used to take direct feedback from the masses and keeping that in mind appropriate decisions are taken.
"If the government finds that any public need is to be addressed immediately, it decides accordingly", he added. Asked about any regrets he had during his tenure so far, Akhilesh said, "absolutely no regrets so far. Till now, my experiences have been extremely satisfactory as well as rewarding. By the end of the current tenure, this government would have ushered a new era of development and prosperity in UP."