Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Thursday told the state Assembly that if needed, his government will consider quota for “ati-pichhde” (most backward castes) and “ati-Dalit” (most backward Dalits). The move is being seen as an attempt by the government to woo the most backward castes and Dalits before the Lok Sabha polls next year, especially after these groups were found shifting their votes to the SP and BSP in the recent Lok Sabha bypolls. “Agar avashyakta padi to ati pichhde, ati–Daliton ko aarakshan par vichar karenge..,” he said, adding that a committee is being set up in this regard. He was speaking during the debate on the Budget in the Assembly.
Alleging that previous government had not done anything for these castes, Adityanath said: “Azadi ke bad se vikas ke naam par istemal kiya gaya… shoshit kiya gaya (Since Independence, they have been used and exploited).” His government was committed to provide benefits of these castes, which have been neglected by the previous governments, he claimed.
Adityanath cited a 2015 incident, when a student, was allegedly killed by the police while he was protesting in Gorakhpur seeking reservation. “They talk of Eklavya’s thumb. They should answer, as they got a young boy, Akhilesh Nishad, killed in Gorakhpur during their regime,” he said.
In Mahabharata, Eklavya belonged to Nishad community and Dronacharya, the royal teacher to Kauravas and Pandavas, had asked for his thumb as gurudakshina. Earlier this month, the Nishads had united to vote in favour of the SP candidate — supported by BSP — in the Gorakhpur bypolls.
Later in the day, the Congress questioned the government’s intention. “In a written reply to my question today about bringing sub-castes like Kashyap, Nishad, Bind and Manjhi… among others… under the Scheduled Castes list, the government said that the question does not arise, citing that the matter is pending in court,” Congress Legislative Party Leader Ajai Kumar Lallu said.
Meanwhile, at the Assembly, alleging corruption in the UPSC examination during the previous SP regime, Adityanath said that while a probe is on, those found guilty would not only be sent to jail but the government would also attach their properties.
Adityanath also described as “lies” the Opposition’s allegations that his government had not only failed to utilise a large part of its 2017 Budget, but also reduced allocations for respective departments this year. “…In fact, compared to the previous year, the government’s expenditure has increased by 14 per cent… with first Budget being tabled in July (2017), his government had just eight to nine months to implement it…,” he said.
Reiterating that the government has “zero tolerance” on crime and corruption, Adityanath alleged that with the previous government leaving uncompleted works including expressways, his government has made provisions in the Budget to complete projects like Lucknow-Agra expressways.
Further, he blamed the Opposition for the problem of stray animals damaging crops. “They release stray animals and crops are being damaged… No calf can grow so much in nine months (since BJP came to power) that it would damage crops…,” he said while blaming the previous regimes for the problem.
Claiming the industry’s perception towards UP had changed following the recent Investors summit, CM said from this month, the government has started implementing MoUs worth Rs 25,000 crore. “Once all MOUs signed are implemented, it would generate jobs for at least 33 lakh people,” he added.
Meanwhile, during Question Hour, the entire opposition, staged a walkout alleging that the government was not serious about problems faced by farmers.