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Against the backdrop of the recent caste violence in Saharanpur, UP minister Rita Bahuguna Joshi today said certain “anti-social elements” from some “out-of-power” political parties hatched a conspiracy to disturb law and order in the state. She said some police officials are also part of this plot, but Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is sternly dealing with them.
“I am not saying political parties are directly involved in the conspiracy to disturb law and order in UP… some uncontrollable anti-social elements from these parties are hell bent to malign the image of the Adityanath government,” Joshi said in an interaction with journalists in suburban Goregaon.
She said the Adityanath government has been in power for about 13 weeks now and has a strong grip on law and order. Saharanpur has been on the boil since violence first broke out about 40 days ago following a procession to mark Ambedkar Jayanti.
On May 5, one person was killed and 15 people were injured in clashes in which houses of Dalits in Shabbirpur village were allegedly torched by Thakurs. In fresh violence on May 23, one person was shot dead and two others were wounded.
“I feel that a few officers are not cooperating and are involved in it (conspiracy) as well. But Yogiji is a strong administrator and he has warned of action against the senior-most police officers if they continued with their lackadaisical approach,” she said.
Responding to the charge by the opposition that cases of cow vigilantism have increased in UP since the BJP came to power, Joshi said only one such incident took place in the state.
Joshi, who holds women and child welfare, and tourism portfolios, is on a two-day visit to Mumbai. She is scheduled to meet her Maharashtra counterpart Pankaja Munde tomorrow to discuss the implementation of the Centre’s women development-related schemes in Uttar Pradesh.
She said officials of her department have done an extensive job to identify the vulnerable sections of the society and the women welfare schemes would be implemented vigorously.
“There are numerous welfare schemes being launched by the Centre for the uplift of women. Our predecessors did not show a political will to implement these schemes. Our government has set up Asha Jyoti Kendras in several districts to help victims of rape, acid attack, and of domestic violence. These centres will be soon set up in all 75 districts in UP,” she said.
“We have undertaken many initiatives to instill a sense of security among women. We have taken measures like setting up the Rani Laksmi Bai Sanmman Kosh. We are working hard to improve sex ratio in the state and are also popularising the toll free number 181 in the state,” the minister said, adding that the Women Commission of Uttar Pradesh, which has been dysfunctional, is being revamped and its “makeover” will be completed soon.
Joshi, who switched to the BJP from the Congress last year, reiterated that Rahul Gandhi lacks the “calibre” to take on the saffron party.
“There is no threat to the BJP by its opponents for at least 20 years. As far as Rahulji is concerned, I have worked with him and I can say he cannot take on the BJP,” she said.