With the BJP registering a historic victory in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections bagging three-fourths of the total seats, expectations have risen high from Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath government to fulfil the promises made by the party in its poll manifesto and the senior leaders in their public rallies.
Ever since BJP's victory on March 11 and Yogi Adityanath getting anointed as CM on March 19, Uttar Pradesh has been in news mainly for two developments - action against illegal slaughter houses and raids by anti-Romeo squads.
CHALLENGES BEFORE YOGI ADITYANATH GOVERNMENT
Shutting down illegal slaughter houses and taking action against the "Romeos" are the easiest steps which a government can take to convey the message that it has hit the ground running. It is also a strategy by the ruling party to instill a sense of security in the society besides appeasing large sections of its voters.
These two also are actions which have visual appeal and instantly grab attention of all and sundry. No doubt, these two were mentioned in the BJP's manifesto released on January 28.
However, there are several issues which pose major challenges for the Yogi Adityanath government and they also require its immediate attention.
LAW AND ORDER
Speaking in an election rally at Aligarh on February 5, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said in a day 7650 crimes, 24 rapes, 21 rape attempts, 13 murders, 33 kidnappings, 19 riots and 136 thefts happen in UP on an average every day.
The government should take major steps to improve law and order situation in the state. A conducive atmosphere is a prerequisite for all development works.
The national average for literacy is 74.04 per cent, with 82.14 per cent for males and 65.46 per cent for females. However, UP leaves much to be desired on this front. The literacy rate in the state is 69.72 per cent, with that of males being 79.24 per cent and females 59.26 females. Among 29 states and seven Union territories, it stands at 29th rank.
Creation of jobs - in both rural and urban sectors - remains one of the biggest challenges of the state government. This would boost the per capita income of the state which lags far behind the national average. With per capita income at Rs 48,500 per year, UP is just around half of the average national per capita income. It even trails Odisha and Madhya Pradesh on the Bimaru states' list. The state's rural per capita income is worse at around Rs 25,000. Eight of ten persons in UP are living in rural areas.
BELOW POVERTY LINE
Uttar Pradesh has the dubious distinction of having the largest number of persons below the poverty line - over 4.8 crore or over 22 per cent of the poorest. Upliftment of the poor remains poses a major challenge before the Yogi Adityanath government.
Besides these, the state also need to focus on development indices of health, education and infrastructure development.
For students, the BJP's manifesto promised free WiFi in colleges and universities. It also promised distribution of free laptops along with 1GB of free data for youth.
For farmers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised in several election rallies about the waiver of farmers' loans in the first Cabinet meeting of the state government. The manifesto promised zero per cent loan to marginal farmers. The cane farmers were told that they would get all their dues within 120 days.
Task forces have to be set up to target land grabbing and mining mafia.
Steps have to be taken to ensure that an FIR is lodged within 24 hours of a person filing a complaint.
Promises have been made to provide 24-hour electric supply to all villages in the state, and Garib Kalyan Card for poor with free health care facilities. Besides, Bhama Shah Vyapar Kalyan Board has to be set up for businessmen.
To curb crimes against women, female police stations have to be set up in every UP district.
Also, the manifesto has promised to launch 108 ambulances, establish 25 new medical colleges and a super-speciality hospital and set up six AIIMS.
Modi had made infrastructure the main focus. He had spoken about improving roads, bringing 24x7 electricity, healthcare and solid waste management projects.
On his last day of campaigning for UP elections on March 6, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in Varanasi that the BJP-governed state government would double the income of farmers by 2022.
He also said it was his wish that the poorest of the poor has a house by the year 2022.
The sooner the Yogi Adityanath government gets down to solving the bigger problems, the better for the state and his government.