100 days: Yogi govt counts its pluses, opposition the minuses
Yogi Adityanath today completed 100 days in office as the Uttar Pradesh chief minister, but it was a low-key event with no fanfare to showcase the achievements, except for the government asserting that it has given the "best performance and result".
The BJP government, which assumed office on March 19 after bagging 325 of the 403 Assembly seats along with its allies, however, faces major challenges, some of these being raising funds for the farm loan waiver and law and order issues, including communal clashes.
"In the last 100 days, we have given the best performance and result in the interest of 22 crore people of the state," Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya told PTI here in an interview.
Summing up the highlights of the 100-day of governance, he said, "There is fear among the corrupt and the criminals as they are not getting political patronage now as in the past."
He said, "This is a paradigm shift from what it used to be during the previous (SP and BSP) governments."
Maurya, who is also the state party chief, said, "Action has been initiated against the land mafia and we are moving rapidly to meet the high expectations of the people who reposed their faith in the BJP during the elections."
The loan waiver, a pre-poll promise of the BJP, has the finance department burning the proverbial midnight oil as it tries to offload the sudden fiscal burden of nearly Rs 36,369 crore. This, coupled with Rs 34,000 crore for the implementation of the Seventh Pay Commission recommendations, has put an additional burden of Rs 70,000 crore on the state's coffers, an official said.
There are other challenges too, like arranging funds for mega projects like the Purvanchal e-way. The government has also admitted it could manage to make just 63 per cent of the state's roads pothole free by the June 15 deadline set by the chief minister.
Distribution of free laptops among students, mentioned in the BJP manifesto, is another unfinished promise. The scheme was inaugurated on March 19, but no launch date has been announced yet.
The 45-year-old saffron clad chief minister and his cabinet colleagues have already sought more time saying they inherited a "jungle raj" from the SP government and it would take them some time to set things in order.
As the state government was busy preparing a 100-day achievement document, the opposition parties stepped up their attack. State Congress spokesperson Dwijendra Tripathi ridiculed the ruling party for making promises that it could not meet.
"Two months of the Adityanath government have not sent out any strong message on any of the issues which were part of the BJP's campaign -- improved law-and-order situation and better administration," he said.
BSP chief Mayawati alleged that the Dalits, the OBCs as well as the forward castes, including the Brahmins, have been facing "atrocities" in the state in an apparent attempt to associate Adityanath and his government with Kshatriyas only.
As the head of the Gorakhnath Peeth, Adityanath has often associated himself with Kshatriya symbols. He is often seen surrounded mostly by Kshatriyas and has supported Thakur leaders of other parties too. In 2013, he came out in support of Kunda MLA Raghuraj Pratap Singh, alias Raja Bhaiya who was accused of conspiring to kill a deputy superintendent of police.
Not known to take the frequent barbs directed at him lying down, the former chief minister and SP leader Akhilesh Yadav recently took on the UP government, saying, "I never knew officers wielded brooms so well. Now the question is how much filth have they cleared so far?"
He said the deadline to make state roads pothole-free by June 15 remained a "pipe dream". Asked about the Adityanath government's decision to probe the expressway and river front projects launched during the SP rule, Akhilesh said, "Will this government do any work...or will it only conduct probes? This government should try to do better work than us."
Refuting criticism on the law and order, state Cabinet Minister Shrikant Sharma said, "A special cell will be constituted in the CM's office for crime monitoring, which will be done personally by the CM. The SP leaders, who have carried criminals and rapists with them in their cars, should introspect."
Since taking office on March 19, the Adityanath government has recommended CBI probes into several projects of the previous dispensation led by Akhilesh Yadav, leaving the SP fuming.
"The government has become an inquiry committee. It is resorting to such tactics to smokescreen its failures...It smacks of politics of vendetta," SP chief spokesperson Rajendra Chowdhury told PTI.
He said the state was under "an undeclared Emergency" since the saffron party came to power. For almost a month after Adityanath took over the reins of the state, some 80 presentations were made by as many departments before him.
Counting the government's achievements, Principal Secretary (Information) Avaneesh Awasthi said it has half-a-dozen significant measures, starting with the Rs 36,500 crore loan waiver and the power-for-all agreement. The power-for-all agreement with the Centre promises electricity round-the-clock to district headquarters and 18 hours-a-day to all villages.
A group of ministers constituted by the chief minister has submitted a report on a new mining policy and on clamping down on illegal mining, a major problem in UP.
A portal being launched under the CMO's supervision to allow people to file complaint on illegal land-grab could be a game-changer too, officials said. Another key decision was making transfers and postings of bureaucrats "merit-based" and free from extraneous pressures as reflected in wide-scale transfers done by the government.