Set to complete four years in office next week, the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh is likely to announce a new scheme that, it claimed, will benefit the youth of the state. The focus would be on Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was the face of the 2017 Assembly polls, officials said on Monday.
Adityanath is likely to address the press on March 18 to list his administration’s achievements. A series of events are likely to be held the following day.
The new scheme for the youth is likely to be announced on either of the two days next week. According to sources, the scheme will “benefit all sections, including men, women, farmers, the working class, and a large section of unemployed young men and women who returned to the state during the Covid-triggered lockdown last year”.
The publicity campaign assumes significance as it comes a year ahead of the state Assembly elections. Apart from focussing on highlighting infrastructure development — from health and industries to aviation — the government plans to publicise the impetus it gave to “religious faith” by undertaking the development of Ayodhya and the Kashi Vishwanath Dham in Varanasi; the celebration of “Krishnaotsava” in Mathura and Rangotsava in Barsana; and the ongoing work on the Buddhist and Ramayana circuits.
Among other things, the government is planning to highlight its pro-farmer policies, including the Rs 36,000-crore loan waiver promised by Modi before the 2017 elections and implemented by the state administration. It benefitted about 86 lakh farmers. The Adityanath administration also wants to highlight the Rs 27,000-crore assistance provided to about 2.42 crore farmers under the Prime Minister Kisan Samman Nidhi scheme. The government will also publicise its achievements in the upkeep of “stray cattle”.
The government’s push to develop the state’s health infrastructure during the pandemic is also likely to find a mention, along with the claim it succeeded in controlling 95 per cent of encephalitis cases in east Uttar Pradesh. Central and state government schemes such as the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana, Prime Minister Awas Yojana, Chief Minister Jan Arogya Yojana, and Mukhya Mantri Awas Yojana are likely to be highlighted.
The government is also likely to provide figures on the amount of employment it generated through different schemes and projects, especially its flagship One District One Product (ODOP) scheme. The government’s efforts to empower women, especially Muslim women, are likely to be mentioned in the list of achievements. It is likely to point out how it ensured “Muslim women” are allowed to undertake the Haj pilgrimage without a “marham [male guide]”.
Among the infrastructure development successes that the government will publicise are the development of new expressways such as the 341-km Purvanchal Expressway, which is nearing completion, the Bundelkhand Expressway that is still being built, and the upcoming Ganga Expressway; and the development of new airports.