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Halfway into his term, Yogi boasts of controlling crime; oppn disagrees

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: September 19, 2019  | 20:41 IST

(Eds: Adds oppn reax, merges stories) Lucknow, Sep 17 (PTI) Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath Thursday said "strengthening" law and order in the state has helped changing its image, a claim that opposition parties sought to quickly puncture. Addressing a press conference to mark the halfway point in his five-year term, Adityanath claimed Uttar Pradesh has set a record in implementation of central schemes. “In the past two and a half years, Uttar Pradesh has been pulled out from a state of identity crisis as we converted challenges to opportunities,” he said. "The biggest achievement of my team has been changing the perception of Uttar Pradesh and restoring its identity," the BJP leader said. "Strengthening law and order in the state has played an important role in changing its perception. There has not been a single incident of 'danga' (riot) in the state in the past two-and-half years," he said, apparently referring to large-scale clashes. Adityanath claimed that dreaded criminals have either fled the state or are behind bars. "There has been a sharp decline in dacoity, rape, extortion-kidnapping, loot and clashes,” he said. "Dacoity cases declined by 54 per cent, incidents of rape fell by 36 per cent, murder by 15 per cent, loot by 45 per cent, extortion-kidnapping by 30 per cent and 'balwa' (clashes) by 38 per cent," he said. Adityanath claimed all major festivals were held peacefully. Referring to the safety of women, particularly minors, the chief minister said the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act has been enforced strictly, and the pace of prosecution stepped up. "In Auraiya a minor girl was raped in the first week of August. The charge-sheet was filed in 20 days and in seven days prosecution was completed, and the guilty person given life imprisonment," he said. Opposition parties rejected Adityanath’s claims on controlling crime –- and on development of the state during the past 30 months that his BJP government has been in power. Hardly had Adityanath wrapped up his press meet, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav held his own press conference at the SP headquarters. “The pace of state's development is not that of double-engine machine but of a bullock cart,” he said, mocking the BJP argument that the state would do better if the same party is in power in Lucknow and at the Centre. "It is wrong to claim improvement in the law and order situation as the reality is just the opposite," he said. “The reality is that during his tenure crime against girls has hit an all-time high. So many murders never took place in the past. UP has surpassed other states in incidents of loot, rape and murder," Yadav claimed. BSP supremo Mayawati described Adityanath's tenure as "disappointing", saying he “failed" to control crime. UP Congress chief Raj Babbar claimed atrocities are being committed on women. The party’s state unit spokesperson Anshu Awasthi alleged that the Adityanath government is trying to save “rapist MLAs”. Their remarks came amid the row over a student alleging rape by former Union minister Swami Chinmayanand in Shahjahanpur, and the earlier charges of kidnapping and rape against expelled BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar in Unnao. During the hour-long press conference, the chief minister released a booklet listing the Kumbh Mela in Allahabad and Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas in Varanasi among the successes of the state government. A film titled 'UP ke karmayogi' was also screened. "Sanyasi ke karmayog se damak raha UP ka bhaal (Because of the work of a saint, UP is shining)," the video said, claiming that the two and half years of the Adityanath government were better than the past 65 years. Adityanath said the condition of farmers in the state earlier was bad and they were forced to commit suicide. "We devised a number of schemes for the farmers. Crop loans up to Rs 1 lakh given to 86 lakh farmers in the state were waived and a there was record purchase of crops," he said. The state has witnessed huge investments and creation of job opportunities, according to the booklet titled “Vikas evam sushashan ke 30 mah”, or “Thirty months of good governance and development”. He said the state government's plan is to make Uttar Pradesh a USD 1 trillion economy. Another major achievement is a significant decline in deaths caused by encephalitis, Adityanath said. The BJP, which had stormed to power in the state with a massive majority, maintained its grip over the electorate in the recent Lok Sabha polls. The party and its ally Apna Dal (S) won 64 of the 80 parliamentary seats. PTI NAV SAB SMI NSD ASH ASH

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