Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The BJP election manifesto for Uttar Pradesh

The new BJP chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath, is a polarizing figure, with many inflammatory statements directed at Muslims in his account.  He has had various charges to face including attempted murder, and rioting. He is also a 5-time member of Parliament. It is true that to survive in Uttar Pradesh politics, which over the past forty years has become utterly lawless, one has to be something of a thug, and many politicians there have a similar record. The BJP promises to start to  change all that.  It remains to be seen whether with the reins of power in his hands, Yogi Adityanath can indeed be the Chief Minister of all people without partiality to caste or religion.  If you want to worry, there are plenty of good reasons to worry.

Uttar Pradesh is a huge electoral prize, and success in improving the situation there could secure Prime Minister Modi his second term in office in the 2019 elections.  But more relevant to me than the fate of specific politicians is the fate of India's 1.3 billion people, of which Uttar Pradesh holds 200 million. 

If Uttar Pradesh improves its development performance India can really soar. If Uttar Pradesh continues on its current trajectory, the PM Modi development project for India will likely take a big hit; and so will the Prime Minister's political standing; and since PM Modi campaigned on development rather than dynasty, religion or caste, other Indian politicians will learn a very wrong lesson. 

The BJP campaign in Uttar Pradesh was largely about development, but there were enough "dog whistles" that it wasn't completely so.  The situation that the BJP finds itself in now is nicely depicted  by cartoonist Manoj Kureel: on a tight-rope, balancing development and Hindutva, while their political opponents and media personalities feel the burn and fume.

Anyway, in case you wanted to know, here's a rough translation of the BJP manifesto for the UP 2017 elections.  The main list is numbered because folks want to keep track of whether the promises of the manifesto are kept.  Do note that the 32 page document is a five year program for a state of 200 million, one of the poorest states in India.

BJP "Lok Kalyan Sankalp Patra - 2017" (PDF file)

Key points from the preamble:

Via this "Lok Kalyan Sankalp Patra" the BJP is starting a new era of change, progress and empowerment of the poor in Uttar Pradesh.

Key points from the preamble:

* Progress that touches everyone.
* Welfare of the poor
* Empowerment of women
* Dignity and self-sufficiency for youth
* Good governance
* Put UP on the path to progress
* Reestablish faith of people in the government
* Punish corruption
* Respect UP's culture, history and traditions
* Make sure every citizen has food, housing, roads, toilets, schools, employment opportunities, safety of person and property, health, means of transport, especially for the poor, Dalits and backward classes.
* In five years make UP India's top-most state.
* Double farmers' income with dairy, animal husbandry, horticulture, fish farming, food processing, etc.

Economic help to farmers
1. Farm debt forgiveness for all small and marginal farmers
2. Interest-free farm loans for all small and marginal farmers
3. Payment for sugarcane harvest sales within 14 days
4. Payment of arrears for sugarcane from mills and banks within 120 days.
5. Double the farming income of UP farmers by 2022.

Welfare of landless farm workers
6. Bank loans, and welfare projects for them.
7. Free Rs. 2 Lakh insurance under the Deen Dayal Insurance scheme.
8. Grant of cows or other milk animals under the Gau-dhan scheme.

Grain procurement and minimum price support
9. Government will buy grain at the minimum support price.
10. E-mandi (e-market) for farmers to get the correct market price.
11. Potatoes, onions, garlic will be included in the minimum support price.

Foundational framework for agriculture
12. Ensure that all farmers needing or desiring crop insurance under the Prime Minister’s insurance scheme can get it.
13. Ensure that all farms get sufficient electricity at low rates.
14. All farmers get a new energy efficient pump from the government.
15. Godowns (warehouses) and cold storage at each block level in the state.
16. Within 3 years, soil health card for all farmers.
17. Steps to stop crop damage by Nilgai (a variety of antelope) and other animals.

18. Rs. 20,000 crores in the Chief Minister’s Farm Irrigation Fund to irrigate all farms.
19. Additional money in this Fund to address the drought-prone districts of Bundelkhand.
20. Priority start for the Ken-Betwa river linking project
21. Finish quickly the stopped AIBP (Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Program) projects such as Bansagar canal, Kachnoda dam, Middle Ganga canal, Arjun Sahayak Pariyojna .
22. Deliver the benefits of drip irrigation to 5 million farmers.
23. Establish a Water Bodies Development Authority for the maintenance of ponds and lakes.
24. Harness the unused potential of existing irrigation projects

Flood protection
25. Desilting of rivers and dams and new dams for flood protection.

Dairy development
26. Bring the White Revolution to Uttar Pradesh over the next five years, and for this establish a Rs 15 crore Dairy Development Fund.
27. With the help of the National Dairy Development Board, for every four zilas (districts) establish a whole? (sampurna) milk processing diary.

Animal husbandry
In the previous administration because of illegal cattle smuggling, the herds in UP are diminished and the dairy industry has not been able to develop.

28. All illegal slaughter houses will be closed; all mechanized slaughter houses will be regulated.
29. Start an Animal Health Insurance scheme and free veterinary care for poor families’ animals.
30 . To protect harvests from animals, each village panchayat will have an animal control program.

31. Grow fruit trees in the hedgerows (?)

Fish farming
32. “Matsya Palak Kalyan” Fund of Rs 100 crores to develop fish farming.

Organic farming
33. Set up an Organic Certification institution to encourage organic farming.
34. Grants for “varmi” (?) compost and biogas plants

Food processing
Develop UP as the “Food Park State”.
35. In each of the six regions of the state, set up a Food Processing Park where packaging, export and research facilities will be available.
36. Interest-free loans for small industry food processing.

Sugarcane processing
37. Experimental effort to make ethanol directly from cane, helping farmers get the true value for sugarcane.
38. Incentives for production from sugar cane of gluten-free flour, disposal cutlery, etc.

Law and Order: Preamble main points - Under the SP government, there has been an increase in the crime rate, crimes against women, illegal occupation of land, and partiality in the administration of law. The basic rights of safety and dignity of the citizens and the possibility of progress has been snatched away. The criminals have been so emboldened that they attack even the police and force the administration to its knees. Ministers removed for corruption have been promptly reinstated sending a message that the government will protect the corrupt. The BJP resolves to uproot this goonda-raj and corruption.

Police reforms
39. The 1.5 lakh vacant police positions will be filled, respecting the reservations allowed by the Constitution, by merit only without partiality to caste or religion.
40. All vacant reserved posts in the police will be filled within one year.
41. To stop the exodus of people due to communal tensions, a special division of the police will be established, and in each zila (district), in particular in Western UP, a deputy collector will be appointed.
42. For better oversight, all police records will be digitized.
43. A special Law and Order wing will be established. For improved investigations the police will be equipped with modern apparatus.
44. It will be ensured that all citizens, without any fear, without any discrimination based on caste or religion, will be able to file FIRs.
45. Six forensic science laboratories will be established.
46. Jails will be modernized, and imprisoned gangsters will be prevented from running crime rings from jail.
47. Within 45 days, all those who have skipped out on their parole will be returned to jail.

Police aid in 15 minutes
48. The “100 Help Line” scheme will be expanded so that police aid wil be available within 15 minutes anywhere in the state.

49. Establish in each zila (district), the “Anti-Land-Mafia Task Force”, restore lands grabbed by land mafias and punish the guilty.
50. Special Task Force for quick and impartial investigation into all instances of corruption brought up during the last 15 years.
51. Stronger policy on illegal mining and a Special Task Force to punish illegal mining.

Administrative reforms to stop corruption

52. End the interview process in hiring of grade 3 and 4 government employees, while respecting Constitutional reservations, to end caste and religion discrimination in hiring.
53. A special helpline direct to the Chief Minister’s office to report corruption.
54. E-Tendering for all government contracts.
55. Enforce the Citizen Charter to ensure all people have access to all government services.
56. Increase the power of the Lok Ayukt (anti-corruption ombudsman).

Justice reforms
57. Ensure all citizens have quick, time-bound and easy access to justice.
58. Withdraw obsolete and useless laws.
59. Computerize the courts in UP.

A job for everyone
60. In the next five years, 7 million employment and self-employment opportunities will be created.
61. 90% of the employment in all industries in UP will be reserved for the youth of UP.
62. Within 90 days, the process of filling all vacant government posts will be started.
63. A member of each household will be eligible for free skills training (“Kaushal Vikas Prashikshan”).

64. A Rs. 1000 crore Start-up Venture Fund will be set up.
65. The country’s largest start-up incubator will be set up in the state.

Skills Development Centers
66. In each tehsil (sub-district), a modern skills development center will be set up for training in IT, BPO, Logistics, Hospitality, Tourism, etc.,
67. Placement aid will be available for youth in these centers.

Free laptop and Internet
68. Upon admission to college, without discrimination of caste or religion, the students will be given a free laptop.
69. Per the Swami Vivekananda Youth Internet scheme, each college student will get free 1 Gigabyte per month of internet access.

Free Education
70. All girls will get free education to the graduate level under the Ahalyabai Girls’ Free Education scheme.
71. For all boys until class XII and to the graduate level for those who get more than 50% in class XII, free education will be available.
72. Rs. 500 crores of Baba Saheb Ambedkar scholarships will be available for poor students.
73. For poor families, all girls and boys will receive all books, school uniform, shoes and school bag for free.

Expansion of educational institutions
74. Ten new universities of international standards will be opened.
75. Every zila (district) will have an engineering college or polytechnic.
76. All colleges and universities will have free Wi-Fi.
77. All government schools and colleges will be modernized.
78. A panel will be set up to oversee fees at private schools.
79. Special emphasis on research and development will be given in colleges and universities.
80. Accreditation of schools, colleges and universities will be provided transparently online.
81. In every government school the teacher-to-student ratio will be enforced to be better than a minimum value.

Teaching assistants
82. The employment situation for all teaching assistants will be improved within 3 months.

83. A new Madan Mohan Malviya Sanskrit University will be set up.
84. Yoga instructors will be appointed for primary education onwards.
85. Anomalies in the salaries of Sanskrit teachers will be corrected.
86. At places of tourism, Sanskrit-knowers will be appointed as guides.
87. A plan will be prepared to incentivize Sanskrit academics.

Garib Kalyan Card
88. Provision of "Garib Kalyan Card" to all poor people without distinction of caste or religion to give them access to government programs.
89. These cards will give transparent access to government perquisites to BPL and ration card holders.
90. Built on the foundational JanDhan and Aadhar programs, the Garib Kalyan Card is intended to revolutionize economic and social uplift of the poor.

Welfare programs for the poor
91. Cashless access to surgery and critical care at select hospitals with the Garib Kalyan Card.
92. Housing loans upto Rs 6 lakhs at concessional rates for pukka houses, toilets, and provisioning of electricity and water.
93. Provision of oil, salt, dal, sugar, brown sugar at lowest rates for Garib Card Holders.
94. Every zila (district) will have shelters for the homeless.
95. Slum relocation and resettlement plan will be made.

Samanya Nirdhan Varg Aayog
96. Commission on Poverty will be set up.

Programs for unorganized labor
97. Free Rs 2 lakh insurance under the Deen Dayal Insurance program for unorganized labor such as push-cart vendors, labor at retail stores and hotels, household help, cycle rickshaw wallas, newspaper delivery people, etc.
98. Emphasis on enrolling unorganized labor in the Atal Pension scheme.
99. Set up a committee for the welfare of women workers.

Basic utilities
100. 24 hour electric power to all houses.
101. Electric connection set up without charge to houses of the poor.
102. First 100 units at Rs 3 per unit for all houses of the poor.
103. Bhagirathi scheme to get piped water to all houses.
104. Toilet at each house within 5 years.
105. No-cost LPG connection to poor.
106. Piped PNG kitchen gas in all the major cities.

Village Development Programs
107. Mini-bus service from every village to the city.
108. Modernization of all panchayat offices.
109. Chandasekhar Azad Village Development Secretariat office for every four village panchayats.
110. Develop further the National Rural/Village Bank.
111. With the Central government, nationalized banks and commercial banks, set up bank branch offices in 25,000 villages.

City Development Programs
112. Expand the Lucknow and Noida metros; start Metros in Kanpur, Agra, Allahabad, Gorakhpur, Jhansi and Ghaziabad.
113. Air-conditioned bus service at all major cities.
114. Free Wi-Fi at all major public areas like bus stands.

Foundational Framework
115. Road corridor joining Mathura, Kashi, Jhansi and Gorakhpur.
116. New airports in each of the 6 regions of the state to improve air connectivity with the rest of the country.
117. Helicopter service serving the major tourist places (Lucknow, Mathura, Vrindavan, Ayodhya, Prayag, Vindhyanchal, Naimisharanya, Chitrakoot, Kushinagar and Varanasi)

Bundelkhand Development Board
118. Bundelkhand Development Board under direct supervision of the Chief Minister's Office.

Purvanchal Development Board
119. Purvanchal Development Board under direct supervision of the Chief Minister's Office.

Industrial Development
120. New industrial policy to promote investments in the state.
121. Single Window Clearance Department in the supervision of the Chief Minister's Office
122. Investment Board to be set up with the goal to triple investment in the state
123. Six IT parks to be set up to promote the technology and service sectors.
124. Pharma Park for modern pharmaceuticals
125. Industrial parks to be set up along the national highways
126. Dry Port to be set up to promote exports.

Vishvakarma Shram Samman Yojana
127. Rs 1000 crores in the Vishvakarma Shram Samman Yojna to provide loans, tools, technical & marketing help to traditional self-employed professions such as carpenters, potters, tailors, basket-weavers, barbers, gold- and iron- smiths, etc.
128. Promotion of regional products such as porcelain in Bulandshahr, toys in Meerut, glass in Firozabad, locks in Aligarh, knives from Rampur, brass in Muradabad, mint in Sambhal, furniture in Bareilly, perfumes in Kanauj, shoes in Agra, leather from Kanpur, etc.,etc.

Trade development
129. "Vyapari Kalyan Board" set up for the welfare of merchants.
130. Mediation Board in each zila (district) to help settle disputes.
131. Reform the administrative framework to make it trade-friendly.

Small and traditional occupations
132. Trains and freight corridor to ensure weavers and traditional handicrafts can reach their markets.
133. E-commerce portal to help reach international markets for traditional handicrafts.
134. Handicraft Center for each of the six regions of the state for training in manufacturing, research and marketing.
135. A permanent exhibition and export center in Lucknow, and marts in various other cities.
136. Training in handicrafts and cottage industries for scheduled castes and tribes.

Bhagya Lakshmi Yojana
137. To every poor family, on the birth of a daughter a Rs 50,000 bond; Rs 3000 on reaching class 6, Rs 5000 on reaching class 8, Rs 7000 on reaching class 10 and Rs 8000 on reaching class 12 will be granted. On reaching 21, Rs 2 lakhs will be awarded.

Beti Bachao Beti Padao
138. Beti Bachao Beti Padao to be implemented across the entire state.
139. On birth of a daughter, the mother will be given Rs 5001 via the Garib Kalyan Card.

Protection of Women
140. Three new women's police battalions - Avantibai battalion, Jhalkaribai battalion and Urda Devi battalion.
141. For issues of harassment of women, a special division of 1000 women officers and 100 fast-track courts.
142. Based on the opinion of Muslim women,the state government will take up the triple talaq issue with the Supreme Court.
143. Ensure each police station has adequate number of women police.
144. Three women's police stations to be set up in each zila (district).
145. In the police stations near each college, anti-Romeo squad will be set up.
146. Public toilets for women living in city slums to be built.
147. Public toilets for women in villages to be built.

Anganwadi workers
(Wiki: anganwadi)

148. Improvement in working conditions and emoluments for workers and helpers in Anganwadis and mini-anganwadis
149. Within 120 days of the government taking office, increases to emoluments based on the report of a committee to be set up.

Asha Bahu
(An Asha Bahu is a local maternity health worker).

150. Increase in emoluments within 120 days of the government taking office, based on the report of a committee to be set up.

Pension for Widows
151. Widow pension to be increased to Rs 1000.
152. End the age limit on widow pensions.

15 minute ambulance
153. Expansion of 108 ambulance service to ensure ambulance within 15 minutes.

Reform of Healthcare Institutions
154. Well-equipped Primary Healthcare Center in each village.
155. A pharmacy to supply generic drugs in each block.
156. Twenty-five new medical colleges and super-speciality hospitals.
157. In the state's six regions 1 AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Sciences) to be established.
158. Childbirth facilities in all hospitals to be modernized.

Freedom from malnourishment
159. Shabari Sankalp Abhiyan to get rid of malnourishment in 5 years.

Indian systems of medicine
160. Development of yoga, ayurveda, homeopathy, naturopathy and other medical systems.

Cultural heritage
161. BJP has a clear stand on all issues that have to do with the preservation of our vast cultural heritage.
162. BJP repeats its stance on the Ram Mandir - all constitutional compliant ways to build the Ayodhya Ram Mandir will be pursued.

Welfare of Scheduled Castes and Tribes
163. Twenty-five new courts to handle expeditiously the cases filed under the 1989 law against atrocities on SC/ST.
164. The amount of scholarships to SC/ST students will be increased, and the eligibility limit on their guardians' income will be increased.
165. Concessional loans to SC/ST students for higher education.
166. Assistance grants to help with the marriage of girls of B.P.L. (Below Poverty Line) SC/ST families.
167. Baba Saheb Ambedkar Community Centers in the SC/ST localities.
168. Concessional loans for SC/ST entrepreneurs for self-employment and for purchase of land for small industries.

169. Cultural tourism circuits, such as "Ram Circuit", "Krishna Circuit", "Buddha Circuit" to be set up with improvements in the facilities in Mathura, Vrindavan,.....etc
170. 24x7 State Tourism helpline for tourism information, booking help, etc.
171. All pilgrimage centers will be joined to the national highways with 4-lane roads.

Cultural Development
172. Training for folk artistes.
173. Grants to incentivize films.
174. Grants of musical instruments to folk artistes.
175. Establish an Arts Council at the level of Bharat Bhavan
176. Kabir Academy to be established for regional languages and folk modes(?)
177. Arts festivals in big cities and at the zila (district) centers.

Namami Gange
178. Priority to clean up of Ganga, Yamuna and their tributaries with the help of the Central government.
179. Sewage treatment plants for all villages on the banks of the rivers.

180. Solid Waste Management arrangements in all towns and cities.
181. Energy generation from garbage
182. Water treatment plants for leather factories and slaughter houses.
183. Make cheap solar panels available.
184. Undertake Afforestation (social forestry?)
185. Fruit-tree planting programs on be held on national holidays.

Police employee welfare
186. Shahid Roshan Singh Residential Townships with schools to be built for police and their families in large cities.
187. Commission to examine service conditions, promotions and salary framework for police.
188. Grievance Cell under the supervision of the Home Minister for police workers' complaints.
189. Health camps for free check-ups for police and families.

Government employee welfare
190. Rs 2 lakhs of health insurance for government workers and their families.
191. "Karma Yogi Campaign" to encourage government workers to work to their full potential.

Veteran welfare
192. The government will add triple the amount for all donations made on the Armed Forces Flag Day.
193. Loans of upto Rs 3 lakhs at 4% for retired soldiers and their widows.

Advocate welfare
194. The age limit for survivors' benefits for advocates who die will be increased to 70 years.
195. The amount of the benefit will be increased from Rs. 1.5 lakhs to Rs 5 lakhs.
196. For beginning advocates a book and journal allowance of Rs 5000 for the first three years will be provided.

Senior citizen welfare
197. Doorstep delivery of government benefits to senior citizens.
198. Old age pension to be increased to Rs 1000 per month.
199. Pilgrimages for senior citizens will be a government responsibility.

Welfare of people with disabilities
200. All government posts reserved for the disabled and lying vacant will be promptly filled.
201. Loans on easy terms for employment for the disabled.
202. Government will ensure all ATMs are handicapped-accessible.

203. Ekalavya Sports Fund with Rs 500 crores will be established; revive sports colleges and provide sports fellowships to students.
204. Well equipped modern sports university to be set up.
205. Monthly stipends to sportspeople at all levels.
206. Training, food and international coaches for all state level teams.
207. Provisions for honoring winners of medals at the national and international levels.

Key point from afterword: Despite sufficient funding from the Central Government, Uttar Pradesh has not been able to develop. The BJP governments in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chattisgarh have all taken those states out of "BIMARU" status; and will do the same for Uttar Pradesh.

------ Manifesto complete. Please excuse errors & omissions -----

My commentary on the BJP manifesto for UP is - it is filled with social safety-net type of items, and also infrastructure items. For the state to be able to pay for this, it needs a surge in economic activity and new private investment. For that, people and property need to be safe and people need to feel safe.

So the top priority has to be law and order, police reforms, court reforms as outlined in the manifesto. Fortunately, success in this is immediately palpable and will win public support. As and when private investments and businesses start flourishing, the government will be able to fulfill its other promises.

Just under the law & order and justice items are those for the farmers, who are still the drivers of the UP economy.

There are a number of time-bound 90-day or 120-day promises made by the government; to gain credibility it must fulfill these as close to the promised time period as possible.