YOGI@7:Can Yogi’s resolve against crime seal the deal for BJP? - Hindustan Times
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YOGI@7:Can Yogi’s resolve against crime seal the deal for BJP?

Mar 23, 2024 07:48 AM IST

Will the Brand Yogi of governance, specially it’s approach towards the criminals and the big mafia, help the BJP with that extra glue, to hit the bulls eye in it’s Mission 80 in Uttar Pradesh in the Lok Sabha polls. Political experts say winning a high tally of seats in the state is crucial for the BJP’s aspirations of forming the government at the Centre for a third consecutive term.

In February last year, shock waves were sent across the state following the sensational day light murder of lawyer Umesh Pal in Prayagraj, a crime so heinous and committed with such audacity that the perception of improved law and order, built over the past six years of Yogi Adityanath rule in Uttar Pradesh was suddenly put to intense scrutiny .

As Yogi Adityanath completes seven years as chief minister, his party the BJP goes into Lok Sabha polls aspiring for a third straight term with Narendra Modi as the Prime Minister again (HT FILE)
As Yogi Adityanath completes seven years as chief minister, his party the BJP goes into Lok Sabha polls aspiring for a third straight term with Narendra Modi as the Prime Minister again (HT FILE)

However, within 24 hours of the horrific crime orchestrated by jailed mafia-turned-politician Atiq Ahmad and personally executed by his son Asad, the chief Minister was able to turn the tide. From the verge of losing the perception battle, Yogi was able to turn the table on the opposition, by his strong rebuttal on the floor of the Vidhan Sabha.

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“Mitti main mila denge (will crush them to dirt)” was the strong reply from CM Adityanath that then set the ball rolling, leaving the police in no doubt about the future course of action. The arrests and encounters that followed reaffirmed the public perception about Yogi government’s zero tolerance approach towards big mafia and organised crime. Prime accused former MP Atiq Ahmad and his brother former MLA Ashraf Ahmad were later shot dead by three criminals when they were taken to a hospital for medical tests.

Now, a year later, as Yogi Adityanath completes seven years as chief minister, his party the BJP goes into Lok Sabha polls aspiring for a third straight term with Narendra Modi as the Prime Minister again. The BJP’s hope of a hat-trick, however, strongly depends upon Uttar Pradesh, the state that sends 80 members to the Lok Sabha. In a state so big and with such demographic diversity, the confidence of the BJP also stems out of the Yogi government’s performance on governance and the law and order front. No doubt Prime Minister Modi himself on more than one occasion defined Yogi in UP as “UP-YOGI”.

The question is will the Brand Yogi of governance, specially it’s approach towards the criminals and the big mafia, help the BJP with that extra glue, to hit the bulls eye in it’s Mission 80 in Uttar Pradesh in the Lok Sabha polls. Political experts say winning a high tally of seats in the state is crucial for the BJP’s aspirations of forming the government at the Centre for a third consecutive term.

UP BJP spokesperson Hero Bajpai said the zero-tolerance policy on crime and criminals of the state government under the leadership of Yogi Adityanath in the past seven years had created an atmosphere in which the common man felt safe and secure. He said better law and order would play a vital role in the Lok Sabha polls of gaining voters’ trust again as it had helped bring larger investments, adding to the state’s economy.

Former Lucknow University’s professor of political science, Ramesh Dixit said the BJP and its ally scored phenomenal wins in the Lok Sabha polls in the state by winning 73 seats riding high on Modi wave in 2014 but were reduced to only 64 seats in 2019. He said only time would tell whether the state government’s bulldozer policy would help or cause loss to the BJP.

According to data shared by the state police, 197 criminals were gunned down and over 6000 were injured in police encounters held between April 2017 and March 2024.

During the same period, over 16,000 criminals, who carried reward of 25,000 on their head, were arrested, over 1650 criminals carrying cash reward of 50,000 and over around 190 criminals carrying cash reward of over 50,000 were arrested. Besides, property worth over 12404 crores of different types of Mafiosos, gangsters and criminal elements was seized, demolished and freed from their illegal possession during the same period.

UP director general of police (DGP), Prashant Kumar said the state police had always been working to ensure peace and maintain law and order in the state. “Other than the befitting reply given to criminals if they attacked police, major crackdown was launched on the top 68 listed Mafiosos and their gang members during which property worth 3758 crore was , demolished and freed from their illegal possession. Besides, legal action was initiated against 1199 gang members of such Mafiosos during which 713 cases were slapped against them and 583 were arrested,” he said.

The DGP said the state police had also played a vital role in getting convicted and sentenced guilty persons in as many as 152594 cases. He said the list of Mafiosos sentenced to different terms during the same period included Mukhtar Ansari, Vijay Mishra, Anupam Dubey, Saud Akhtar and Dharmendra Sanjay Singhla etc. in as many as 72 cases.

He said guilty persons in 13 cases related to Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act were awarded death penalty, life imprisonment was given in at least 291 cases and over 10 years of imprisonment in around 1101 cases.

Crackdown on drugs and illicit liquor

According to the state police data, special crackdown was launched against sale and use of narcotics and psychotropic substances during which 20219 cases were lodged and products worth 1562.47 crore seized in different parts of the state.

A similar crackdown was launched on manufacture and sale of illicit liquor during which at least 159484 cases were lodged after seizure of illicit liquor worth 201.02 crore during the same period.

FACT-SHEET

197 criminals gunned down in police encounters

6000 were arrested after being injured in police encounters

17837 criminals carrying reward of over 25,000 were arrested

12404 crores property of criminal elements and Mafiosos were seized, demolished and freed

20219 cases of sale and usage of narcotics elements and psychotropic substances lodged

159484 cases were lodged related manufacture and sale of illicit liquor

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