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Over a cuppa, a cocktail of views in Gorakhpur

Residents of chief minister Yogi Adityanath’s hometown Gorakhpur have offered mixed reactions to his government’s first year in office.

lucknow Updated: Mar 19, 2018 13:18 IST
Abdul Jadid
Abdul Jadid
Hindustan Times, Gorakhpur
Yogi government,SP government,BJP
Chai pe charcha at Govind Ballabh Pant Park.(HT Photo)

Residents of Chief minister Yogi Adityanath’s hometown Gorakhpur have offered mixed reactions to his government’s first year in office.

Akin to chai pe charcha, HT spoke to a cross-section of the people at Govind Ballabh Pant Park close to the Deen Dayal Upadhyay (DDU) Gorakhpur University to gauge their opinion.

Ajay Shukla, assistant professor at the DDU University, listed the flurry of development projects announced by the chief minister over the last 12 months to claim that the state and the city were marching ahead on the development path.

“The Gorakhpur Mahotsav showcasing the culture and rich heritage of Purvanchal was organised here on a grand scale in January. The tourism industry in Gorakhpur has received a boost. Work is on to improve the infrastructure. Being the CM’s city, the people’s expectations are very high but it will take some time for complete transformation to take place. Major projects, including AIIMS, fertilizer factory and metro rail, are in the pipeline,” he said.

Manoj Singh, an activist, said although the government had launched projects, a large number of residents, especially villagers, were still deprived of their benefit and will remain so for the next five to seven years as the schemes were in their initial phase. He was referring to the under-construction AIIMS and fertiliser factory.

“Roads ,overbridges and buildings are not the only the parameters of development. The basic indicators of development are improved living standard, higher literacy rate and access of the poor to government-run schemes, something which is missing in the state and the city.”

“How can one talk of development when children die due to disruption of oxygen supply at the BRD Medical College?” he said.

“The 500-bed encephalitis ward built under the previous SP government has not been made operational till today and you claim development ?” asks the activist.

Asked if the Gorakhpur bypoll results will affect the BJP’s prospects in 2019 Lok Sabha election and 2022 assembly election, he said: “The BJP came to power with a huge mandate and with support of people of UP and Bihar in 2014 .The humiliating defeat of the party in bypolls in both the states sends out a strong message that if people can place you on chair, they can also unseat you.”

Purvanchal Sena activist said the Yogi government had relaunched most of the projects of the SP government.

“The CM had announced that OPD of AIIMs will start from July. Did it happen? Last year, when union minister Nitin Gadkari came here, he announced that Rapti will be linked to waterways and water buses will ply.”

Syed Farhan, a resident, said Muslims were very unhappy with action on madarsas, closure of slaughter houses and the government’s stand on triple talaq.”

Saurabh Raj, a job seeker, blamed policies of the previous SP government for unemployment.

“Things will not change overnight. It’s just one year of the Yogi government. Give him enough time,” Saurabh Raj said.

“The process to recruit 68,500 primary teachers is getting delayed as some of our shiksha mitras have moved court, but it is expected to be completed soon. The earlier government had stalled the recruitment process,” he said.

Another youth Monu Mishra, who took the test for recruitment of UP Police sub-inspectors, expressed the doubt whether the selection will be fair or not.

“I answered 107 questions but I’m still not sure whether I will be selected or made to pay a bribe,” he said.

Dheeraj, a railway employee, defended the state government: “As an MP, Yogiji used to take to streets to raise his voice over Encephalitis. After becoming the chief minister, he has upgraded facilities to ensure better medical care for Encephalitis-afflicated children. In keeping with his announcement, all main roads in the city have been freed from potholes. In the SP regime, we remained stuck in traffic jams for hours but it’s not so now. Traffic arrangements have improved,” he said.

Indu Verma, an activist, said, “Things have not changed. The people, especially the poor, continued to live in neglect. Without ensuring the benefit of development schemes reaches the last man, it’s not fair to talk about development.”

Caption: Chai pe charcha at Govind ballabh pant park on Saturday.

First Published: Mar 19, 2018 13:18 IST