To mark its one year in power in Uttar Pradesh, the Yogi Adityanath government launched a media blitzkrieg highlighting numerous achievements. All of the highlighted achievements point to a massive economic transformation underway in the state. While some the claims need to be taken with a pinch of salt, others seem to be bang on target.
The Yogi government, for instance, has claimed credit for central sector schemes pertaining to housing, LPG connections and vocational training – whose benefits are available alike to the states ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party and others. Here is a fact-check on some of them:
CLAIM: 3.2 million households provided electricity connections under Sawbhagya scheme
FACT CHECK: The Narendra Modi-led central government officially launched the Saubhagya scheme last year and has been monitoring the scheme quite intensely to achieve its stated objective of electrifying all villages of India by March 2019. According to Rural Electrification Corporation, the nodal agency monitoring this scheme, 1 million households across Uttar Pradesh have been provided electricity connections under the scheme to date. This is less than one-third of what has been claimed by the Yogi Adityanath government. A look at the progress report of each district shows that most of the electrification work under the scheme picked up pace only in 2018, while it was modest during the last three months of 2017.
VERDICT: The claimed number of households has been inflated by 2.2 million
CLAIM: Rs 360 billion provided for farm loan waivers
FACT CHECK: In its maiden Budget, the Yogi Adityanath administration did indeed make a provision of Rs 360 billion for farm loan waivers. This provision led to a steep 813 per cent rise in the budgeted expenditure for the agriculture sector in the state in 2017-18. The farm loan waivers, which will be implemented in phases, is still a work in progress. In the 2018-19 Budget, the state sanctioned Rs 116 billion for the agriculture sector which is more than double the expenditure on the sector during the Akhilesh Yadav government’s last Budget, in 2016-17.
VERDICT: The claimed allocation for farm loan waivers has indeed been made
CLAIM: 200,000 youth were placed in jobs after vocational training
FACT CHECK: The Centre’s flagship vocational training and placement programme, the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (Prime Minister’s Skill Development Programme) claims to have placed 382,227 people to date. Information available with the government shows that 101,606 people from Uttar Pradesh have been trained under this scheme. Out of these trained individuals, 7,062 have been placed under the Centre’s scheme.
The state also implements a rural skilling programme called Deen Dayal Upadhayaya Grameen Kaushal Yojana. However, across India 69,741 people were trained and placed under this programme during 2017-18. The state, meanwhile, sanctioned 37 projects since February 2017 for training individuals involving various companies. Quite evidently, the number of people placed from the state would be a fraction of the all-India figure. There are some other state-level schemes to train people in the state, details of which are not entirely clear.
VERDICT: The number of people placed has been exaggerated by 192,938, while the number of people trained falls short of the claim by 98,394
CLAIM: 6.5 million households received LPG connections under Ujjwala Yojana
FACT CHECK: The Ujjwala Yojana to provide LPG connections to 100 million households across India was launched in 2016 by the Modi government at Ballia in Uttar Pradesh. The scheme was primarily targeted at poor households in the states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar and it seems to have achieved the desired results in Uttar Pradesh.
Central government data show that close to 6.5 million households across Uttar Pradesh received LPG connections during 2017-18.
VERDICT: The number of claimed beneficiaries have indeed been provided LPG connections in the state
CLAIM: 1.2 million houses built under the Prime Minister’s housing scheme
FACT CHECK: This claim also seems to be well off the mark for the Yogi administration. According to Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Puri’s statement in Parliament, only 8,080 houses had been completed under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) over the past three years in the urban areas of Uttar Pradesh. In the state’s rural areas, 61,348 houses had been constructed in 2017-18. In fact, Uttar Pradesh, seems to have fallen way beyond its targets under the scheme. The state just about managed to construct 15 per cent of the houses it was supposed to under the housing programme.
VERDICT: The claim on the number of houses built seems to be exaggerated by 1.1 million
CLAIM: End of criminal gangs, mafias and enforcing rule of law
FACT CHECK: There is little doubt about the Yogi’s administration’s clampdown on criminal elements in the state, even as human rights activists have been crying foul. Until February this year, there had been 1,142 police encounters with criminals across the state. As many as 34 criminals were shot dead, 265 were wounded before capture and over 2,700 criminals had been arrested according to the Uttar Pradesh’s government’s own figures. The National Security Act has been imposed against 277 criminals and assets worth Rs 1.5 billion have been seized according to reports. Whether this crackdown has led to a letdown in crime on the ground will be evident only in the months to come.
VERDICT: The state has indeed launched a massive crackdown on criminals
CLAIM: 3.7 million tonnes of wheat and 4.3 million tonnes of rice procured from farmers
FACT CHECK: The Yogi government has ramped up procurement facilities since coming to power last year. It procured 3.7 million tonnes of wheat this year – 92 per cent of which was procured by state agencies according to information available with the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution. This is a significant jump from 2016-17, when government agencies – both central and state ones – managed to procure just about 800,000 tonnes of wheat from farmers. The Uttar Pradesh government managed to surpass its own target of 3 million tonnes that it had set for 2017-18. However, information from the ministry shows that only 2.9 million tonnes of rice was procured from the state’s farmers during the kharif marketing season as on March 1, 2018. As in the case with wheat, most of the rice was procured by state agencies during the season.
VERDICT: The Yogi government has not only achieved its targets but also set higher procurement goals for next year
CLAIM: 150 advanced life support ambulances launched
FACT CHECK: While it is true that 150 advanced life support ambulances were launched by the Yogi administration after coming to power, it may not be correct of his government to take credit for it. The request for proposal had been issued by the erstwhile Akhilesh Yadav government in November 2016, while the funds for the project had comes from the National Health Mission lunched by the Manmohan Singh government at the Centre in 2005.
VERDICT: The Yogi administration is claiming credit for a scheme launched during Akhilesh’s tenure and funded by the previous dispensation at the Centre