‘I’m A BJP Supporter But Don’t Want Yogi To Be CM Again’

Rahul Jaiswal, 30, from Deoria in Uttar Pradesh, says he will not vote for BJP this time as Chief Minister Yogi promotes negativity among polity

I am an ardent supporter of Bharatiya Janata Party. If you follow Uttar Pradesh politics closely, my surname is enough for you to presume my political leaning. The entire Jaiswal community in the state forms the core BJP support base and my ideology is no different from the community. For as long as I can recall, I have been voting in favour of the BJP –Assembly elections, Lok Sabha elections, or local body elections.

But this time, I am not rooting for the party. Well, I am not voting for Yogi ji specifically. He’s the Chief Ministerial face of the BJP and if the party wins, he will be the in-charge of Uttar Pradesh again. I don’t support his brand of politics and way of governance.

Yogi is very short-sighted in his approach. His vision is myopic and devoid of any fruitful outcome. If you look at his major decisions in the past, you can see he has failed to provide a single positive result to the masses.

All those things which he is recognised with – bulldozer, police raj, and fake encounters – are related with destruction, negativity and profiling. Even his laws for the safety of cows couldn’t yield a positive outcome; the stray cattle have turned into a menace now.

I want to make it clear that I want all the things that Yogi ji proclaims to achieve. I want the land mafia raj to end. I want my state to be crime-free. I want cows to be protected. But, the way these targets have been sought to achieve by the chief minister has brought about more devastation than progress.

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He brought the protection law for cows and I thank him from the bottom of my heart for this. But I want to know where are sheds for abandoned cows! I want to know why this state still has one of the highest crime rates in the country! After killing criminals, why are police now targeting innocent people? We saw what happened in Gorakhpur when police killed an innocent businessman and labeled him a criminal.

The state has become a laughing stock nationally. All those grievances which we had against other parties in the UP are now laid at the doors of the BJP. It has acquired all the shortcomings of other parties and is no different from them any longer. Probably, Yogi ji thinks that his voter base doesn’t see or hear things and is blinded by the love for the party.

I don’t know whether the situation in Uttar Pradesh will improve if Samajwadi Party comes to power. Currently, I am looking at the present and the scenario looks bleak. I think UP needs change for now. No political party or leader should feel complacent. Political leaders must know that the ultimate power rests in the hands of us the people.

As told to Md Tausif Alam

‘I Want Yogi To Return As CM, And Here Is Why…’

Pratham Raj, 19, a college student and a first time voter in Uttar Pradesh, recounts the reasons why he will cast his vote in favour of Yogi Aditynath

I am excited to be able to vote for the first time as the assembly elections date draws near. For a state as big as Uttar Pradesh, we all need to take our votes seriously. Even though I don’t follow news religiously, you cannot call me unaware. I am a socio-politically aware youngster even if I don’t understand the nitty gritty of politics very deeply.

I would be delighted to see chief minister Yogi Adityanath return to power for a second term. I have been happy with his tenure from 2017-2022. And I believe Yogi ji and the BJP will go from strength to strength in the next five years or so.

For me, the highlights of his tenure are the bhoomi poojan at Ram Mandir in Ayodhya and also the Kashi Vishwanath corridor project. As a Hindu, I feel very happy that my identity is being respected. People might say what they want but Yogi Adityanath has done many things for the state, be it handling Covid well, bringing the crime rates down and an overall lessening of the dabangai attitude. Most importantly, he has taken good care of the education of the youth.

Raj is appreciative of the decicisiveness of CM Yogi (right)

I study in a government college in UP and when even in normal times the education at government colleges would not be up to the mark, I am satisfied that even in these difficult times my education at government college is going well. Government employees have begun to take their work more seriously, because the CM takes his work seriously.

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During Covid, the government did a great job with supplying timely rations to the poor and the needy. No matter which community people belong to, they should appreciate a good job when they see it, irrespective of the party. I agree with what Yogi Adityanath said about this election being an 80-20 fight. Many still do not appreciate even a bona fide project like the Swacch Bharat Abhiyan in the state by Yogi just because he carries his Hindu identity on his sleeve.

When I grow up I want to take an active part in politics. I like the decisiveness with which Yogi Adityanath handles matters. His relatively young age also means he understands the requirements and aspirations of the youth. He is a balanced leader in my understanding and the Hindutva factor totally works for me. I am looking forward to see what more Yogi Adityanath can do in the next 5 years.

‘Polarisation And Pandemic Will Dominate UP Elections’

Danial Faraz, 26, a lecturer in Uttar Pradesh, considers Yogi a better leader than Akhilesh Yadav and warns against hate-mongers like Waseem Rizvi (aka Jitendra N Tyagi)

What a time to be voting in! In the middle of the pandemic. The virus has kept everyone on their toes, and depending on the severity of the Omicron variant, the number of people attending political rallies can go up and down. Which is to say that the situation and its handling by leaders might play an important role in deciding which way the wind blows.

So we will have to take each month as it comes until elections are due in India’s most populous state. After the virus, it is polarisation that can sway the votes, and polarising people is something that BJP and its leaders know how to do really well. One would have thought that after the Ram Mandir Bhoomi Poojan in August 2019, there would be no more issues on which people could be polarised, but that is not the case. Polarisation continues and people give in.

If you were to ask me whose tenure I found better between Akhilesh Yadav & Yogi Adityanath as CM, as an individual, I would say Yogi Adityanath. Even though Akhilesh Yadav started the Laptop Distribution Scheme for the youth and the Dial 100 scheme, there were many things that were left to be desired.

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The Muzaffarnagar riot took place under his watch and people were not brought to task. I feel Akhilesh Yadav has become greedy for power like many others and forgotten to carve his own separate way. There was a lot of biradariwad (nepotism). Yadavs were preferred over efficient people in the administration. I don’t know how his alliances with the smaller parties or independent candidates will work, but he needs to step up his presence.

Faraz considers Asaduddin Owaisi (right) a strong contestant in UP elections

Under Yogi Adityanath, the crime rate has definitely come down. If we don’t go into the means used to bring the crime rate down, then we can say that the lowering of crime rate has proved beneficial to many. One work of Yogi Adityanath government that I really like is the Scholarship Schemes for graduates where 60% marks is the set criteria for receiving aid and students have been receiving them consistently for the past 4.5 years.

I am not scared of living in UP, himmat se kam lena chahiye. Take life each day as it comes. I believe in the Indian Constitution and also believe that a good leader is one who teaches us the Constitution (as in our rights and duties) better.

I feel Asaduddin Owaisi (AIMIM) is the right leader. Many people think he is a polarising figure as well, but I don’t believe that to be true. Just because he takes care of the Muslim community doesn’t mean he doesn’t care for Hindus. There are Hindus in his party. If his party’s results in Bihar elections are anything to go by (a nearly 25% success rates) then he should be able to make headway in UP as well. Many people think he is an outsider and would not have an understanding of local issues, but I believe deep down our issues are more or less the same, given that we are all humans.

It is leaders like Waseem Rizvi aka Jitendra Narayan Singh Tyagi who do major harm to the whole political landscape. People like him are mere opportunists, ready to go to any length to remain relevant, and the youth needs to be especially weary of turncoat leaders.

I believe youngsters should give weight to the party leader, but also take note of what kind of work their local leader has done. One should give importance to individuals over party. Choose a leader who is good for you.

‘Muslims In UP Are Ill At Ease With Yogi At The Helm’

Mohammad Afsar Saifi, 29, a welding and fabricating business owner at Pilakhuwa (Hapur, Uttar Pradesh) says there is palpable uneasiness among Muslims under Yogi Adityanath rule

There was an uneasy calm when we first heard in March 2017 that the BJP has chosen Mahant Yogi Adityanath to be the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh. He had made fiery speeches in the past and hence the minority community was generally apprehensive.

In the last four and a half years of his rule, the same sense of fear, uneasiness and the risk of a communal flare up has constantly been there, even though there has never been any untoward incident in my locality. I feel it is his duty as the chief minister to work towards allaying this fear.

I am a fabricator. My earnings have improved over the last four years, despite a breakdown of business during Covid-19 lockdown for several months. But financial wellbeing has not lessened out anxiety about our safety. As elections are drawing near, members of my extended family and community are afraid of what will happen if Yogi is re-elected as the state chief minister.

I personally don’t think much about it as I am the one who goes out and face the world to earn bread for my family and so far I have not faced any single case of discrimination which my community people have been thinking.

Yet, my family members cannot vote for him as the perception still reigns among our minds that he is a Hindu hardliner. Largely, this idea is being used as a political tool also in both the communities. Polarisation of votes on communal lines suit all politicians. Yogi’s detractor will naturally fuel our fear factor to gain Muslim support and organize votes against him.

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Many people talk about an improvement in the crime situation under his rule and that the mafia lords have been tamed. But, frankly, to someone like me who is from an economically weaker section, I cannot feel any difference as far as the law and order is concerned.

There are certain apprehensions which are still in our mind about the image of the chief minister. Apart from whatever happened during CAA-NRC protest and other isolated incidents, we feel there is a lack of inclusiveness as our community is largely missing from the policy brought in by the Yogi government. Sometimes we feel left out, but at the same time, we think that we have spent last 4.5 years in the same apprehension when nothing untoward actually happened.

Watch – ‘If You Kill A Cop, Your Days Are Numbered’

LokMarg speaks to former Director General of Police Vikram Singh about the reason behind rise of dreaded gangster Vikas Dubey and the ‘police encounter’ that ended his crime run. Singh feels corruption and caste are the real culprit behind rise of criminals in the state, and the likes of Vikas Dubey are present in every block and district of UP.

In this interview, he also slams the candle-holding civil society members who question each and every police encounter, saying that killer of a policeman, in every society and nation across the world, does not survive long.