Yogi government's 1st year: How did it fare?
Last March, belying expectations and poll punters, BJP and its allies stormed to power in the UP assembly, winning 325 of 403 seats. Subsequently, BJP threw another bomb on the populace and in an unexpected surprise, elevated Hindutva ideologue Yogi Adityanath as CM. From attracting investments to growing joblessness, how has "Yogi Raj" run UP? Let's look at his achievements, controversies and much more.
How did Yogi try to improve UP's development?
Unarguably, Yogi's glitzy marketing spectacle "UP Investors Summit-2018" was his biggest attempt at attracting investments to the perennially "BIMARU" state. Apart from a defense corridor, industry leaders like Reliance's Mukesh Ambani and Adani group's Gautam Adani promised to contribute. Further, Yogi received praise for his anti-copying measures during UP Board examinations. He was lauded for modernizing madrasas, introducing NCERT's maths and science in their curriculum.
Notably, Yogi's law-and-order measures faced maximum controversies
Fresh in power, Yogi set up anti-Romeo squads to tackle harassment against women. However, without clear guidelines, it became a tool for moral policing/harassment. To reign in criminals, Yogi's UP police turned into a criminal-hunting gun-wielding apparatus. Reportedly, in one year, they killed 40 "criminals" in 1,200 encounters. However, this apparatus failed to handle delicate situations like Saharanpur caste clashes and Kasganj communal violence.
Now, what are the major challenges that Yogi's government faces?
After Yogi took charge, in August'17, he faced flak for the way he dealt with 30 children dying in Gorakhpur's BRD Hospital due to disruption of oxygen supply. In February'18, mass HIV infections in Unnao's three villages were discovered. So, Yogi needs swift decision-making in healthcare. Meanwhile, converting Rs. 4.28Lcr MoUs announced during the Investor Summit into actual investments will be a major challenge.
Separately, Yogi also took some weird decisions, attracting criticism
BJP/RSS's love for saffron is well-known. However, Yogi took it to another level when the Haj Committee's office wall was also colored saffron. This is in addition to saffron-colored buses, electric poles and chairs. Amusingly, he also announced that he won't charge GST on tickets of films of which more than 50% was shot in UP. Further, the ban on slaughter-houses allegedly emboldened "gau-rakshaks."
How will this shape UP politics?
Now, it seems Yogi is already facing anti-incumbency as BJP lost Gorakhpur and Phulpur seats in the recently-concluded bypolls. With SP-BSP's bypoll experiment working out, Yogi's second year will be tougher. Also, UP politics will see interesting twists-and-turns if the two develop a full-fledged alliance before 2019 LS elections. Since power to the Centre goes through UP, Yogi might need course correction.