Anand Singh Bisht the 85-year old father of the new chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath, has revealed the advice he gives his son. As the Yogi embarks on his new role he should bear his father’s words in mind.
“I do try and tell Adityanath to keep a check on his speeches but he follows his own mind”, the elder Mr Bisht said. “I hope that he follows the BJP’s agenda of sabka saath sabka vikas. This is also my advice to him that he should follow the BJP’s agenda, which is inclusive of Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, the rich and the poor.
The Yogi’s sister-in-law, Asha Devi, has shed further light on his relationship with his father. “Whenever Mahantji comes home, his father sits with him and tells him to keep calm. His father tells him to keep certain things in his heart and not be too vocal about everything he feels.”
This advice is not just well meant but necessary. After all, the Yogi has made a career of saying provocative and offensive things. Now is definitely the moment to change. As his father put it: “Ab jimmedari badi ho gayee hai.”
There are, however, two specific areas where he would do well to think carefully before he proceeds to implement his party’s manifesto promises. I realise after its sweeping mandate he must feel the BJP’s manifesto has got widespread acceptance and must be fully implemented. But in two areas the reality of the state he rules should make him think again.
Uttar Pradesh has a fiscal deficit of 5.85%. It’s more than doubled since 2013-14.
Though the country’s largest state, its growth rate is amongst the lowest, its per capita income half the national average and its poverty rate, at 30 per cent, one of the worst. UP’s share in India’s GDP is 7% but its share of the population is 17%. Against this background would it be wise to fully and immediately implement the manifesto promise to waive all outstanding loans to farmers and to hereafter ensure all new loans are interest free?