A video showing a man acting like the newly-elected Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, and others acting like his security personnel, in Varanasi, caught a lot of eyeballs on Saturday. The video, put out by news agency ANI, shows people greeting the UP CM look-alike and showering his car with flower petals. Gorakhpur MP Yogi Adityanath was sworn in on March 19 as the 21st chief minister of UP, after the BJP won a landslide victory in the state, bagging 312 seats out of 403. Adityanath along with 23 cabinet minister took oath at Lucknow’s Kanshiram Smriti Upvan in the presence of Governor Ram Naik, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP President Amit Shah, and other senior leaders.
After coming to power, the Adityanath government ordered closing of all illegal slaughterhouses in the state and a ban on cow smuggling, aiming to fulfill a key electoral promise. The chief minister had said that abattoirs operating legally would not be touched, but action would be taken against those being run illegally. “In Uttar Pradesh, the action is only being taken against illegal slaughterhouses. No legal slaughterhouse is being targeted. There is a report saying only one slaughterhouse has valid permit out of 126 in UP. This report is of April 27, 2016,” Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu had said.
Following this, meat sellers across UP went on an indefinite strike on March 25, protesting the crackdown on illegal and mechanised slaughterhouses, which has affected the livelihoods of lakhs of people people, including fish sellers, who also joined the protest.
According to the sample registration system (SRS) baseline survey of 2014, the total percentage of people who consume meat in the state stood close to 53. The government clampdown on illegal slaughterhouses has since led to a shortage in meat supply, apart from affected the livelihoods of lakhs of people.