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Sunday, July 22, 2018

Yogi in Parliament: As MP, Adityanath wanted India to be called Hindustan, AIIMS in his Gorakhpur seat

A fifth Bill focuses on establishing a permanent bench of Allahabad High Court in his constituency.

Written by Abantika Ghosh , Krishn Kaushik | New Delhi | Updated: March 23, 2017 5:34:22 pm
Yogi Adityanath, yogi, adityanath, UP chief minister, UP new CM, New UP cm, UP CM Yogi Adityanath, BJP, modi, narendra modi, latest news, latest india news Yogi Adityanath (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)

OF THE five private member’s Bills new Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has introduced in Lok Sabha as MP, or has sought permission for introduction in the last two terms, one demands that the country be called Hindustan, and not India, in the Constitution, and another calls for a Uniform Civil Code. A third Bill seeks a ban on cow slaughter across the country, and another calls for a nationwide ban on forced religious conversions. A fifth Bill focuses on establishing a permanent bench of Allahabad High Court in his constituency. The last two Bills are yet to be introduced in the House, and none of them has been passed yet.

Adityanath took up the issue of spending on graveyards back in 2014 in Parliament. Taking part in a discussion on setting up an effective mechanism to tackle communal violence on August 13, 2014, the Gorakhpur MP spoke about Rs 300 crore earmarked for building graveyard walls in UP. In the same speech, he also called the Sachar Commission an “attempt to divide society on communal lines”.

Among the most vocal representatives of his constituency —Gorakhpur, in eastern UP — the five-time MP has raised issues such as inclusion of Bhojpuri in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution, demanded an AIIMS in Gorakhpur (and got it — the institute is on course), raised the issue of pollution of Aami river, encephalitis, central varsity status to Gorakhpur University, and establishment of a unit of Hindustan Fertilisers Corporation Limited in Gorakhpur, and had demanded the carving of a separate state of Purvanchal multiple times.

With an attendance of 77 per cent in 11 sessions since 2014 — it was 100 per cent in two sessions, according to data collated by PRS Legislative Research — Adityanath has taken part in most major discussions in the Lok Sabha since Prime Minister Narendra Modi assumed office.

The first Bills Adityanath introduced soon after the Modi government came in were to bring a Uniform Civil Code and to ban cow-slaughter — both in July 2014. His Bill for a uniform code sought removal of Article 44 of the Constitution. While Article 44, a directive principle (which is not legally enforceable) in the Constitution, states that “The State shall endeavour to secure for the citizens a uniform civil code throughout the territory of India”, Adityanath’s Bill wants to insert a new part IVB and article 51C which won’t be a directive principle, to read, “The State shall secure for the citizen a uniform civil code…”

Speaking again on the topic in November last year, Adityanath told the House, “The sharply reducing numbers of not just (followers of) eternal Hindu religion but also that of Sikhs and Buddhists, and the sustained increase in Muslim population, points to a dangerous situation of population imbalance that is striking. India is possibly among a handful of nations where there is silence on such dangerous bad practices.”

He said, “In any country…the majority decides the fate of the country, but when existence of that very majority is in danger then it is a grave challenge not just for unity and integrity of that country but also a danger to democracy. Census figures of 2001 and 2011 make a strong case for universal civil code and an effective law for controlling the population…”

In March 2015, Adityanath had introduced a Bill demanding that India be replaced with Hindustan in the Constitution. According to the Bill, the phrase “India, that is Bharat…” in Article 1 of the Constitution should be replaced with “Bharat, that is Hindustan…”. The word “India”, Adityanath contended, “denotes symbol of slavery, and thus deserves to be omitted from our Constitution”.

Adityanath is also the chairperson of the Joint Committee on Salaries, Allowances of Members of Parliament since September 2014. The committee under his leadership proposed that MPs should get Rs 1 lakh per month (double of present Rs 50,000), and receive a daily allowance of Rs 4,000 when Parliament is in session (up from Rs 2,000). It also recommended a hike in MPs’ pension from the current Rs 20,000 to Rs 35,000 per month.

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