The Karma Yogi


India Today - - CONTENTS - By Ajit Ku­mar Jha

Yogi Adityanath has de­throned Ma­mata Ban­er­jee as the ‘best per­form­ing CM’

WHEN IT COMES TO am­bi­tion and per­for­mance, there’s no stop­ping Ut­tar Pradesh’s Yogi Adityanath, ad­judged the ‘Best Per­form­ing Chief Min­is­ter’ in the coun­try in the lat­est in­dia to­day Mood of the Na­tion (MOTN) poll. Adityanath, who se­cured 20 per cent of the votes, was ranked sec­ond in the last MOTN poll (Jan­uary 2019), where he shared the hon­ours with Delhi’s Arvind Ke­jri­wal.

An early set­back in his po­lit­i­cal ca­reer—the BJP’s de­feat in the Go­rakh­pur and Phulpur Lok Sabha by­polls

in March 2018, ex­actly a year af­ter he be­came chief min­is­ter—had opened Adityanath’s eyes to, in his own words, his “over­con­fi­dence and in­abil­ity to gauge the strength of the BSP-SP al­liance”. Hav­ing won the Go­rakh­pur seat five times in a row in the past, he took the loss to heart.

Since then, the saf­fron-clad chief min­is­ter has been work­ing like a monk on a mis­sion. His first big achieve­ment was the suc­cess­ful or­gan­i­sa­tion of the Kumbh Mela in Praya­graj (the re­named city of Al­la­habad) be­tween Jan­uary 14 and March 4, which was at­tended by an es­ti­mated 240 mil­lion peo­ple. Even some of his crit­ics had praise for how the event was man­aged. This was fol­lowed by the BJP’s spec­tac­u­lar per­for­mance in UP in the Lok Sabha elec­tion de­spite the chal­lenge posed by

the SP-BSP al­liance. Of the 80 seats, the BJP won 62. Though the BJP’s na­tion­wide vic­tory is largely seen as a vote for Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi, Adityanath’s metic­u­lous cam­paign in UP played no mean part.

With Adityanath at the helm, UP has topped all states in cre­at­ing af­ford­able hous­ing un­der the Prad­han Mantri Awas Yo­jana (PMAY), push­ing Andhra Pradesh to the sec­ond spot in 2018-19. The State Ur­ban De­vel­op­ment Agency (SUDA) fa­cil­i­tated the cre­ation of 1.24 mil­lion homes un­der the Ben­e­fi­ciary Led Hous­ing and 1.34 mil­lion un­der the Af­ford­able Hous­ing in Part­ner­ship schemes.

The Adityanath gov­ern­ment has also or­gan­ised two of the most suc­cess­ful in­vestors’ sum­mits in the coun­try. At the UP In­vestors Sum­mit held in Fe­bru­ary 2018, 1,045 mem­o­ran­dums of un­der­stand­ing (MoUs) worth Rs 4.68 lakh crore were signed with more than 1,000 pri­vate and public sec­tor com­pa­nies. By March this year, projects worth Rs 1.25 lakh crore had been in­au­gu­rated. The sec­ond in­vestors’ sum­mit was held in Luc­know last month and saw the launch of more than 250 projects worth Rs 65,000 crore.

That one of the two de­fence in­dus­trial cor­ri­dors, an­nounced in the Union Bud­get in 2018 will pass through Bun­delk­hand, UP’s poor­est re­gion, is ex­pected to give a leg-up to de­vel­op­ment in UP and raise Adityanath’s stock. Adityanath be­lieves the state has the po­ten­tial to be­come a $1 tril­lion econ­omy. What may help at­tain this goal are the cen­tral high­way projects worth Rs 11,595 crore an­nounced in western UP.

With 10 per cent votes, Bi­har’s Ni­tish Ku­mar takes the sec­ond spot in the MOTN poll, sur­pass­ing Ke­jri­wal, Odisha’s Naveen Pat­naik and Deven­dra Fad­navis (Ma­ha­rash­tra), who rank a joint third. Ni­tish was the best CM be­fore the Au­gust 2017 MOTN, when West Ben­gal’s Ma­mata Ban­er­jee as­sumed the man­tle. Ma­mata, who topped the charts four times in a row, is now down to fifth po­si­tion (6 per cent votes), af­ter Ja­gan Mo­han Reddy of Andhra Pradesh.

To Naveen’s credit, 75 per cent of the re­spon­dents from his state con­sider him the best CM. Ra­jasthan’s Ashok Gehlot com­mands 73 per cent sup­port within his state. Both Adityanath and Ni­tish re­ceived 54 per cent sup­port from within their re­spec­tive states.

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