100 days of Yogi: Major challenges ahead for Adityanath

Adityanath faces a daunting task ahead of striking a balance between his duties as state’s chief minister and as a saffron-clad Hindu leader.

india Updated: Jun 27, 2017 11:07 IST
Umesh Raghuvanshi
Umesh Raghuvanshi
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Yogi Adityanath,Uttar Pradesh,UP
Yogi Adityanath sworn in as Uttar Pradesh chief minister at in Lucknow, on March 19, 2017 with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah present on the occasion. (HT File Photo)

Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath will present a report card of his government’s performance in the past 100 days and release a white paper on the status of the schemes undertaken by him at a press conference in Lucknow on Tuesday.

The white paper is likely to have details about the way the government departments functioned in the past five years and their future programmes.

Adityanath is said to work late into the night, often till 1.30am or 2am, in order to work towards keeping the promises his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) made in its “Sankalp Patra 2017” or the election manifesto and meet the aspirations of the people.

He made a high-profile beginning and got two senior party leaders to assist him as deputy chief ministers. As the monk turned politician began learning the art of governance, his government moved ahead at a faster pace fulfilling the BJP’s major promise of crop loan waiver at the first meeting of state cabinet on April 4.

“Yes, the Yogi government had begun work at a faster pace. His government faces major challenges now needing Rs 36,000 crore for crop loan waiver and Rs 30,000 crore to clear arrears to employees following the implementation of 7th pay commission recommendations by the SP government and large chunk of additional funds for development,” said a senior officer.

Adityanath has also tried to take the most contentious issues head on. Be it setting up of anti-Romeo squads, shutting down illegal meat shops or handling cow-vigilantism and triple talaq, etc, his government has dealt with such issues without bothering about the controversies it created and criticisms that he is more of a Hindutva leader than a sincere chief minister.

The Adityanath government, however, appears to be looking for directions now to take the state further on the path of development. His challenges are not only on the administrative, law and order and financial front. He faces a daunting task ahead of striking a balance between his duties as state’s chief minister and as a saffron-clad Hindutva leader.

As the mahant or the chief priest of the Gorakhnath temple, Adityanath has developed an image of a Hindutva hardliner. His actions such as pruning the list of public holidays have projected him as a sincere chief minister but his sincerity has also been questioned when he tried to tread a path his predecessors had stayed away from.

His statements on Ram Temple issue, his decision not to host an iftar party at the chief minister’s house and skip the iftar at the Raj Bhawan are some such examples.

The government’s lackadaisical approach in dealing with caste clashes in Saharanpur also raised serious questions about his government’s handling of law and order issues.

Major challenges, however, continue to stare the chief minister in the face as he completes 100 days in office.

Adityanath has to work even harder to make his government more efficient, bring about a perceptible improvement in the law and order situation and mobilise additional resources to fund development.

As the BJP begins preparations for 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Adityanath will also have to keep in mind that his government’s performance will come for a close scrutiny of the people much earlier.

“The Yogi government now needs to shift focus from controversies to development, list priorities and set an agenda for the year,” said another officer.

Adityanath and his deputy chief ministers will also have to become the members of either house of state legislature within six months from the installation of his government on March 19.

Whether they will choose the easier path of going to the Vidhan Parishad or contest a by-poll for the lower house is the million dollar question doing the rounds in the corridors of power as the Adityanath government completes 100 days in office on Tuesday.

First Published: Jun 27, 2017 11:05 IST