Administration under Yogi Adityanath – Is he a game changer?

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Yogi adityanath
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Management of public affairs or running a government is often called Administration. A Proper administration leads to development and economic growth.  In India corruption and nepotism has been one important factor that affected proper administration or good governance. Uttar Pradesh (often called a Bimaru (sick) state), the largest state in terms of population had 4 governments in last 15 years; Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Samajwadi party (SP) having shared the power 2 times each during this period.  Mayawati , Mulayam Singh Yadav and Akhilesh Yadav, the chief Ministers during this period were largely criticised for poor administration, rampant corruption and blatant nepotism.

Akhilesh Yadav, the previous chief Minister, during his initial days in government gave people a ray of hope, by fulfilling the election promises of free laptops, unemployment allowance and Vidya Kanyadhan to young girls. But he failed to provide good governance. The poor condition of Uttar Pradesh (UP)’s infrastructure, roads and drinking water worsened despite heavy budgetary allocations during Akhilesh’s reign and adding salt to wound the power situation dipped to an all time low. Law and Order also took a toll that led to Akhilesh’s governance being called Jungle Raj . Nepotism was another big factor that stood between the government and development.  An army of uncles held key positions in the government and his fidgety father, Samajwadi Party chief  Mulayam Singh Yadav added more woes to his dilemma. What began as a crude joke — UP has five-and-a-half chief ministers, of which Akhilesh is the half — soon gained ground.

Mayawati who ruled UP twice in this period (May 2002 – August 2003 and May 2007 – March 2012) on the other hand was inaccessible to the common man. The major allegation on Mayawati was that her government was more concerned about building statues and monuments than people’s welfare. BSP government’s involvement in colossal scams like Taj Corridor project triggered her downfall.  With both BSP and SP not rising up to the people’s expectations, voters of UP gave an overwhelming mandate to a relatively fresh face Yogi Adityanath in March 2017. Despite being only a year in office Adityanath’s government has been a subject of media scrutiny. A section of the media had started showing hastiness in judging a government in less than a year of its inception despite the mandate given by the people for a full five year. In contrary to the media judgement Yogi Adityanath, in short time, was able to present a positive change in the state’s atmosphere. He stressed that Jungle Raj has to come to an end in the state. Changing the status quo in the law and order situation of the state was a challenge but Yogi was ready to take the bull by the horns. There have been over 1,478 police encounters in the state between March 20, 2017 and March 25, 2018, according to official data. 50 dreaded criminals were killed in the encounters. The 50th case of a criminal being shot dead in an encounter, since the BJP government came to power last March, was on May 3 when notorious criminal Rehan, who was carrying a reward of Rs 50,000 was gunned down in Muzaffarnagar district. The police invoked the stringent National Security Act (NSA) against 188 criminals and seized assets worth over Rs 150 crore according to official spokes person. During this period, Gangster’s Act was imposed on 1,455 persons and 4,881 criminals were arrested. Law and order situation has to improve more but this, according to many political analysts, is a great beginning.

As I mentioned earlier, during Akhilesh Yadav’s reign, despite heavy budgetary allocations the condition of UP’s infrastructure especially roads were in bad shape. Yogi Adityanath’s first priority was to focus on roads. In the first 100 days in power, the Adityanath Administration repaired 80 thousand kilometers of roads. In last one year UP has been relentlessly striving to achieve the distinction of pothole free roads. The process is on. By October 15, all the potholes will be repaired, by November 30 all roads damaged during the monsoon season will be repaired and restored and all pending road projects will be completed by December 31. Principal Secretary (Housing and PWD) Nitin Gokran said under the drive, 41,952 km of PWD roads would be made pothole-free, 18,339 km of roads would be renovated and 4,041 km of roads under construction would be completed. There’s a marked difference in Yogi’s approach to that the Akhilesh regime as far as the infrastructure development and maintenance is concerned.

Yogi government constituted the Anti-Landmafia Task Force and a large number of illegal occupants removed. The task force comprises of the Principal Secretary, Commissioner, DM and SDM of the respective designated areas. While it has been granted significant powers and impunity in its functioning, its main purpose is to prepare a report on all illegal encroachments so that action can be taken against them. Another big step to control crime, the Yogi government introduced the Uttar Pradesh Control of Organized Crime Bill (UPCOCA). First tabled by the state government in December 2017, it seeks to prevent crimes such as smuggling, illegal mining and money laundering by introducing harsher punishments as well as granting special powers to the police. This law was much needed in the state and of particular significance in Bundelkhand, which has been a hotbed of incessant illegal mining.

Other important administrative highlights of the Yogi government was the significant decisions taken to empower the youth. Interviews were scrapped for non-gazetted recruitments. Avenues were created to encourage 6 lakh young people to work with skill development. UP Investment Summit was another feather in the cap of Yogi Adityanath as 1,045 pacts worth Rs 4.28 trillion were signed in the first day itself. Analysts reiterate that, amidst criticism from the opposition and a section of the media, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is in the process of undoing the past and instilling game changer outlook in the administration. The Chief Minister has no qualms whatsoever in stating that UP is moving on the path of development with a new work culture and the desired results would soon be a reality.

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Article Categories:
Lucknow · Opinions · Politics · Positivities

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