It has been 100 days since the polarising swearing-in of Yogi Adityanath as the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister. How has the Yogi performed?
The Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister himself (surprise! surprise!) expressed satisfaction with the work his government has undertaken even taking the trouble of listing out as many 200 achievements of his government in a 48-page booklet titled 100 Din Vishwas Ke (Hundred Days of Trust). But he also admitted that 100 days was too short a time to bring about a complete transformation.
At a press conference on the occasion, he recalled the journey of his government saying, "With the promise of transformation and development, we took oath of office on March 19. A hundred days' time is a brief period. The resources were rather limited, but we accepted the challenge. And at this point of time, I am experiencing satisfaction."
The Chief Minister took just one question from the media, probably to avoid any queries relating to law and order and other challenges before his government.
During the press meet, he asserted that no development can take place without improving the lives of farmers, more so at a time when farmers across the country have been seeking better prices and demanding easing of the burden of loans.
The UP government has paid nearly Rs 23,000 crore as dues to sugarcane farmers. It has announced Rs 36,500 crore farm loan waivers. The financial burden is huge and Yogi Adityanath has a daunting task ahead when it comes to addressing this issue.
In DailyO, veteran UP-based journalist Sharat Pradhan was dismissive in his review of the first 100 days, noting that "Saffron-clad Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath has very little to boast of on completion of his 100 days in office".
Pradhan slammed the need for celebrating this as a milestone, observing "Hundred days may be too short a time to pass a judgement on any government’s functioning. Yet, Yogi chose to go ahead with a self-assessment as CM. And as if to give credibility to his own verdict on his performance in UP, he ensured his 47-member council of ministers were in tow when he held the press conference."
Hindustan Times, meanwhile, chose to turn the focus on Adityanath’s governance style, which it noted centers around two key elements -- mass contact and very close attention to policy detail across ministries.
Prashant Jha and Umesh Raghuvanshi, the authors of the article, went on to state that "If the establishment of a clear power centre in UP is one change from the past, another big departure from the past is the role of the Centre in UP affairs. For the first time in 28 years, the same party is in power in both Delhi and Lucknow. And the result is closer convergence, and a degree of Delhi's supervision that Lucknow is not familiar with."
India Today sought to bring to readers’ attention the fact that the saffron flavour still remains the dominant theme for the CM.
"Amid the talk of development and crime control, Yogi Adityanath has given ample hints that Hinduism remains his core agenda. His visit to disputed Ram Temple site in Ayodhya, a first by any Uttar Pradesh CM in 15 years, underlines the fact," it wrote in its report card.
The website stated that "Crime control remains one of the most challenging tasks for the Yogi Adityanath government. The state witnessed a spree of multiple murders and gangrape cases after Yogi Adityanath took over".
Sadly, this was reiterated by the news that on the eve of the 100-day celebration the UP police had arrested three Hindu Yuva Vahini (HYV) activists on charges of rape and beating a police officer in Bareilly. The Hindu Yuva Vahini had been formed by the Uttar Pradesh CM himself and was the single biggest factor in catapulting him to power.
Hindu Yuva Vahini activists gang rape a girl in UP, burn her house. She dies of burn injury. When will Yogi Adityanath fix Yuva Vahini?— M K Venu (@mkvenu1) June 28, 2017
There was some interest in the 100-day celebration amongst foreign media too, with Al-Jazeera electing to run Dhirendra K Jha's essay titled The fall and rise of India's Yogi Adityanath, excerpts of which appear in Jha's book Shadow Armies: Fringe Organizations and Foot Soldiers of Hindutva.
The Yogi also also took time to sit down with India’s famous TV anchor with a mike (or should we say India's most famous mike?), Arnab Goswami.
In the interview, Adityanath had this observation to make.
"Hindutva is not in opposition to Vikas. Hindutva is 'Sabka Saath Sabka Vikaas'", he said, adding, "Who is more secular than a Hindu?"