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A piece of advise to BJP for UP 2022 – Let your work speak for itself

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वो नफ़रतों के बीज़ बोते रहेंगे
हम प्रेम की फसल काटते रहेंगे
वो छोटी छोटी दरारों को कुरेदते रहेंगे
और हम बड़ी बड़ी खाइयों को पाटते रहेंगे

Could not desist from sharing the above lines, penned by me in anguish at the persistent attempts of the combined opposition and the entrenched privileged class across the system (bureaucracy, judiciary, fake farmers, middlemen and the likes) to douse the rising fire of a yearning for a better India among common citizens, by poking at our society’s differences to blur the bigger picture. As a so called fascist, unsecular BJP governments at Centre and in different states, talk of “sabka saath, sabka vikaas, sabka vishwaas”, the paragons of democracy and secularism across the ecosystem are talking only about divisions of caste, religion, region, It would have been comical, had the consequences for our country not been tragic. Artificial attempts to fan the divisions have manifested itself in CAA protests followed by Delhi riots and Farmers protests leading to the shameful Red Fort fracas. 

Recently, no stones were left unturned by the opposition-pidi media combine to give a communal and caste/community twist to the recent unfortunate Pilibhit road rage incident, involving the son of a Union Minister from UP. Prompt action was taken by the UP govt in investigating through a SIT and arresting the minister’s son. But opposition is loathe to let go of the incident, betraying political opposition at the cost of social unity. It is clear that the opposition and the entrenched ecosystem, in their intense desire to see the back of Modi, have no skin left in the game. If the country  burns, if development agenda is hijacked, for them it seems to be a small price to pay. But is it really such a small price or does it have deeper ramifications for current and future generations of India, should be the question common citizens should ask themselves. The good part is that people have started asking these questions. 

As the most populous state of India, Uttar Pradesh, enters the build up phase of 2022 assembly elections, the ecosystem is throwing the whole kitchen and sink once again to inorganically divide the society on caste, religion and regional lines. BJP with a solid performance score card on the work front, should trust the common sense of the common man and keep highlighting its work. “Kaam bolta hai” slogan was never more relevant as it is now in UP, under the able stewardship of a “karmyogi” Yogi Ji. And I am not speaking as a fawning bhakt. A quick perusal of the development data in UP is in order.

Infrastructure and connectivity – Let us start with infrastructure and connectivity. Yogi government has built more than 15,000 km of rural roads, much more than its predecessor govts. It has also worked to lessen the urban rural divide by connecting the main roads with the villages via link roads. 1557 revenue villages which had no road connectivity with main roads for seventy odd years after independence, have been connected. Yogi also understood the importance of good roads and expressways in bringing opportunities and prosperity, pretty early in his tenure. A spate of greenfield expressways were undertaken on war footing, early into his term. The 341 km showpiece “Purvanchal Expressway” was recently inaugurated by the PM. Bundelkhand expressway is soon to be inaugurated. Gorakhpur link expressway is progressing ahead of the curve and work on the ambitious Ganga expressway, running across the breadth of the huge state, is underway. The value of these projects in the underdeveloped Purvanchal, parched Bundelkhand, central and western UP is huge and will not go unnoticed by the electorate. When Yogi took over, only 1.5 airports were functional.

Today five international airports in Varanasi, Lucknow, Kushinagar, Noida and Ayodhya are either functional or under construction. The Noida airport (Jewar) would be the largest in India and probably among the largest in the world. The tendering, award and land acquisition has progressed briskly without usual controversies and complaints expected in such large projects in UP of previous era. Work on ground has started and first flight is expected to take off in 2023. Only 12 medical colleges were set up in UP till 2016. Yogi govt has opened or working to open, another 30 medical colleges in UP. Recently PM Modi inaugurated 9 medical colleges in UP in one go, a first in India. In fact the long term plan is to have a medical college in every district of UP. For a former BIMARU state, it will be a huge plus in fighting rural and urban health issues among the masses. A spate of schemes at rural level to connect rural ladies thru SHGs (self help groups) like Bank Didi, “Pustahaar didi” etc is working wonders in enabling the rural womenfolk and connecting them to mainstream economy. Such schemes are not new, indeed they can be found aplenty in most states, but Yogi’s transparent and brisk implementation is the plus that he brings to the table.

Covid Management – UP being the most populous state of India and saddled with a crumbling medical infra, was tipped to explode under the Covid onslaught during successive waves. The attitude of non BJP state govts did not help. Just to make things look bad for Modi govt, they actively encouraged labour force migration back to UP in droves, during the peak spread phase of the contagion. Buses, full of migrant laborer from UP and Bihar, were dumped at UP’s borders by selfish neighboring state govts. A lesser CM would have crumbled under the onslaught. But not Yogi. He pulled up his sleeves and took the challenge head on. From segregating, testing, isolating and transporting laborer to their native place to active follow up for ensuring strict quarantine in villages, to transparently distributing free ration to the poor, he ticked almost all the check boxes on pro-active Covid management front. UP became the state conducting most number of daily tests, it became the state famous for pro active distribution of Ivermectin as a successful preventive measure for doctors and front line workers.

Even Australian MPs were in awe of the state’s pro active Ivermectin strategy. Among all this heat, the CM himself got infected. But that did not stop him from working tirelessly online. And once recovered, he was back on his feet, actively touring all districts of the state for gauging covid management steps. In between, challenges like Oxygen crisis came. But the electorate being wise as they are, knew it was a once in century disaster. They were willing to forgive errors as long as they were convinced that those in power put their head down and worked tirelessly to their maximum capacity. In Modi and Yogi, they saw those sincere efforts. And that is all that mattered to them. In between the usual suspects, the cunning opposition and the conniving media, did try to spin stories about dead bodies in the Ganges. But touched by the man’s sincerity in the face of an unprecedented crisis, the people of UP did not pay heed to such motivated stories. Once second wave ebbed and a semblance of control returned, Yogi govt quickly grabbed the opportunity to vaccinate people. UP soon emerged as the most vaxxed state in India. The way UP govt and Centre turned the Covid crisis into an opportunity, has poured cold waters on opposition hopes of maligning them. Active covid management will surely pay rich dividends for the Yogi govt in 2022. 

Law and order – Last but not the least, I come to the most understated, yet the most profound achievement of the Yogi govt. For a state synonymous with crime, politico-mafia nexus, state inaction against crime etc, the turnaround by Yogi govt has been immense. Pro active measures like preventive arrests, encounters, invoking of NSA, bulldozing of ill gotten properties of criminals and mafia, zero political consideration in crime control, has taken the winds out of most criminal’s sails. And the effect on common mans’ lives, their “bahu beti ki izzat” and ability to move around freely, is widely appreciated by common people, who had faced the worst in previous SP govt. Its reminds me of Bihar, where the electorate even after almost two decades, is unwilling to forgive Lalu Yadav family for the jungle Raj that they forced on the people of Bihar. The MSM ,largely wanting to see the backs of Modi/Yogi, will not report this, but crime control and law and order improvement is probably THE MOST IMPORTANT achievement of Yogi govt and is surely going to fetch rich electoral dividends for them.

In conclusion, it can be said that the cunning opposition and the conniving MSM, will continue to play their usual games like “Hathras ki dalit beti” and “Plibhit ka Kisan beta”. Invoking my lines once again- 

वो नफ़रतों के बीज़ बोते रहेंगे
हम प्रेम की फसल काटते रहेंगे
वो छोटी छोटी दरारों को कुरेदते रहेंगे
और हम बड़ी बड़ी खाइयों को पाटते रहेंगे

My advise to Yogi govt is that they should not worry about such motivated news pieces and continue to bat on the front foot with their work as the center piece for canvassing. In my humble opinion, in cricketing parlance, Yogi govt has scored enough runs in its first innings to win by at least an innings if not more.

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