Yogi Adityanath govt plans to blunt oppn criticism with video, booklet of achievements

The move comes as the state government seems to be aware that its political opponents, fired up after the ruling party’s stunning losses in Gorakhpur and Phulpur bypolls, will quiz it on commitments it had made to the people

lucknow Updated: Mar 18, 2018 22:15 IST
Manish Chandra Pandey
Manish Chandra Pandey
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Yogi Adityanath,Akhilesh Yadav,Gorakhpur
BJP national president Amit Shah releasing the party’s manifesto for the Uttar Pradesh assembly election in Lucknow in February 2017. (HT File Photo)

The Yogi Adityanath government has prepared a 10-minute video documentary that will be screened on the completion of one year of BJP rule in Uttar Pradesh, people familiar with the development said.

The move comes as the state government seems to be aware that its political opponents, fired up after the ruling party’s stunning losses in Gorakhpur and Phulpur bypolls, will quiz it on commitments it had made to people of Uttar Pradesh, they added.

This documentary, along with a booklet containing department wise comparison, will be Adityanath’s response to political criticism that his government has “underperformed”.

The documentary, Adityanath’s aides say, will contain voices from the beneficiaries themselves to showcase how the government has started making a difference in a year.

The booklet titled ‘ek saal, nai misaal’ will supplement the effort as it will contain statistics sourced from all departments.

“Our one year promotional campaign isn’t bureaucratic in nature. We will put up statistics and people-speak to showcase our achievements,” says Mrityunjay Kumar, the advisor to the chief minister.

There will also be statements by top industrialists and corporate leaders talking of how the perception about UP has changed, a point that Adityanath’s government and the BJP are expected to highlight prominently in the publicity brochure.

On March 19, Adityanath will do the talking, taking on the critics at his new Lok Bhavan office that came up during his predecessor Akhilesh Yadav’s time. The chief minister is expected to address party workers and reporters on the occasion.

Most of the criticism will be focused on Samajwadi Party that left the government red-faced by ensuring the defeat of BJP in Gorakhpur and Phulpur through a tie-up with its arch rival Bahujan Samaj Party, a move that caught the ruling party unawares.

THE LOAN WAIVER CHALLENGE

Among the biggest commitment that BJP had made in the run up to the 2017 UP polls was that of farmers’ loan waiver. Since the commitment was made by none other than Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the BJP government announced the loan waiver in its first cabinet meeting.

However, the Rs 36,000 crore loan waiver that was to benefit an estimated 86 lakh farmers posed financial problems for the government. The opposition parties also criticised the government for going back on its commitment for complete loan waiver. “Scores of farmers have been left out. This is opportunism. What’s more even those who were supposed to benefit haven’t gained,” said Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav.

UP’s agriculture minister Surya Pratap Shahi rejected Yadav’s charge. “It’s a complete lie. This is the biggest loan waiver and the smoothest exercise ever and it has unnerved our political rivals who are spreading canards,” Shahi said. However, government officials admit that the big outlay squeezed the state’s finances.

“Please also take into account 36000 metric tonne wheat purchase, along with paddy procurement, undertaken by our government. When clubbed with the loan waiver, our government has ensured direct benefit of nearly Rs 86000 crore to the farmers. That’s a record,” Mrityunjay Kumar said.

INVESTORS SUMMIT

Kumar said that the recent investors’ summit, in which top industry captains signed MoUs and committed investment in UP, has shown how things are changing.

“This summit automatically is a ratification of marked improvement on the law and order front that had touched its nadir in the previous regime. Law and order was our commitment and today everyone feels that things have improved,” said UP BJP general secretary Vijay Bahadur Pathak. The government has claimed massive investment but experts say that MoUs don’t necessarily translate into actual investments.

Officials, however, said several investors from India and abroad have established contact.

“Many of them have even gone to look for sites where they will like to set up industry in the state,” an official said. The Nivesh Mitra portal, inaugurated by PM Modi, too will be operational in a few days, officials said. The portal is tailored to cut down red tape and to make things easy for industrialists.

ROADS

The BJP had promised ‘gaddha mukt’ or pothole free roads within first 90 days of power. A year in office, the state’s PWD department managed by deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya is struggling to meet the commitment.

“A whopping 1,21,000 kilometers of roads in the state were full of potholes when we took office. In 90 days, we substantially improved 89,000 kilometre of roads in the state. And mind you, unlike the past we have gone for third party inspection to ensure quality,” says Maurya.

CORRUPTION-FREE UP

Corruption free UP was among the major commitments of the government. The government has decided to set up a helpline managed by chief minister’s office. Officials say Adityanath has made it clear that his government will have a zero tolerance policy on corruption.

“Only recently three government officials – a tehsildar and two clerks – were suspended and a DM given adberse entry on corruption charges,” an official said.

First Published: Mar 18, 2018 22:15 IST