TAKING ON the Adityanath regime’s first Budget — tabled in the Assembly two days ago — Samajwadi Party on Thursday said that despite the “kabristan-shamshan” remarks made by top BJP leaders during elections, the BJP government has not earmarked any funds for cremation grounds in UP.
Speaking at the Assembly during the debate on state Budget, Leader of Opposition Ram Govind Chaudhary said: “During elections, senior BJP leaders had said that only graveyards of Muslims were provided with boundary walls (by SP regime). While the Akhilesh government had earmarked Rs 100 crore to protect cremation grounds of Hindus as well, the current government has not made any such provision.”
Claiming that is a difference in BJP’s “kathani aur karni”, he added: “Budget mein antyeshti sthalon ke liye koi pravidhan nahi hai (There is no provision for cremation grounds in the Budget).” Amid opposition from the treasury benches, Chaudhary said that while he accepts the fact that the current government will not do the same (build graveyards) for Muslims, as “they maintain a distance, but there is no provision for cremation grounds as well”.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while campaigning for the UP polls earlier this year, had alleged that then SP government had constructed boundary walls around graveyards and not take up similar projects for cremation grounds.
After coming to power in the state, the BJP government had ordered a probe into the issue.
“The Budget is directionless, anti-poor, anti-farmer, anti-employment, anti-women, anti-Muslim as well as anti-Hindu,” said Chaudhary, while pointing out that even in case of loan waiver, farmers have been “cheated”, as while BJP had promised to waive loan of all marginalised and smallscale farmers, a cap was put on it by the government later on.
Chaudhary alleged that besides earmarking funds for crop loan waiver and implementation of the recommendations of 7th Pay Commission, the Budget has “reduced funding under different heads, including power and irrigation, when compared to Akhilesh regime’s Budget. He added that despite promising laptops to students during elections, BJP has not made any provision for this in the Budget.
Alleging that funds for members of Scheduled Castes and Most Backward Classes have been reduced, he said: “UP Ki janta ke sath chalawa hai. Ambedkarji ko sar par leke chalte hai… aur Scheduled Castes ka Budget kam kar diya (People of UP have been deceived… They hold B R Ambedkar in high esteem… and cut the Budget for SCs).”
“Dalit basti mein jaa ke bhoj karte hain… Rs 10 crore ki Budget mein katauti ki hai (They eat at Dalit bastis… but have cut down Rs 10 crore from the Budget),” he added.
In his over two-hour-long address, Chaudhary also demanded that the government should make provision for providing shelter to male calves in villages, as farmers were unable to pay for their feed. “It is being said that gai humari mata hai… beta dal, bhaat aur tarkari kha raha hai aur mata polythene kha rahi hai… Bachhda shala bana ke palne ka kaam karein (While son is eating pulses and vegetables, mother is eating polythene… set up shelters and rear male calves),” he said.
While seeking special facilities for lawyers, Chaudhary also demanded “pension” for journalists who have state accreditation. “Free medical facilities should be given to journalists working at districts… Similar facilities are provided given by governments in Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and Assam among others,” he added.
Chaudhary said that following largescale production of potato in UP, the government should explore the possibilities of establishing “industries for potato”. It could be used to make vodka, as it is done in Russia, or potato chips manufacturing units could also be set up, he added.
Targeting the government on its alleged failure to stop corruption and crime, Chaudhary claimed there has been a 33 per cent rise in crime, especially organised crime like dacoity.
Later, BSP Legislature Party leader Lalji Verma and Congress’ Ajay Kumar also spoke on similar lines, targeting the government over loan waiver for “selected farmers”.