Some facts about “Double Engine” governments of BJP

[NB : The coinage ‘Double Engine’ governments connotes governments led by the same political party, here the BJP, at the centre and in any state  concerned. See, how it fares in the BJP-ruled states.]

UTTAR PRADESH

  1. Unemployment and job loss
  • Unemployment almost doubled in India’s most populous state, Uttar Pradesh (UP), during the last year compared to 2018 according to the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) data. (Outlook 01-11-20)
  • The number of unemployed educated youth in India’s most populous state, Uttar Pradesh, has grown by over 12.5 lakh in last two years to 34 lakh, Yogi Adityanath government said at the state assembly on 14 February 2020.(Business Today 27-03-20)
  1. Environment pollution
  • Close to 11 per cent or nearly 275 industrial units continue to operate by flouting the pollution control standards in the country. Nearly half of these non-compliant GPIs are in Uttar Pradesh and are responsible for polluting rivers like the Ganga.  There are 992 industries in the main stem of Ganga and its referred tributaries, Kali and Ramganga. Out of which, 851 industrial units are in UP.(Down to Earth 06-06-19)
  1. Poverty and hunger
  • 29.43 people are below poverty line (“You will be on BPL list if your annual income is Rs.27,000”., “Rural India spends most on mobiles: NSSO”., “SDGs India Index”. 31 December 2019.)
  • 62% of households report incomes lower than pre-lockdown period. In Uttar Pradesh, the condition of vulnerable communities like Musahari became precarious. The community collecting chicken feathers for consumption in order to survive.(Counterview 10-12-20)
  1. Hate Crimes
  • Over 200 alleged cases of hate crimes were reported in 2018 against people from marginalised groups, especially Dalits, with Uttar Pradesh recording the highest number of such incidents for the third consecutive year, Amnesty India said.(The First Post 06-03-19)
  • Uttar Pradesh continues to be the hub of harassment of minorities and Dalits. Between 2016 and 2019,National Human Rights Commission registered 2,008 cases where minorities/Dalits were harassed, including cases of lynchings. Of these, Uttar Pradesh alone accounted for 869 cases i.e. 43%.
  • In regard to Dalits, the number of harassment cases registered by NHRC in Uttar Pradesh saw an increase of nearly 41 per cent (from 221 cases in 2016-17 to 311 in 2018-19).This information was revealed in a written reply by the Union home ministry in Parliament on 16 July 2020. (India Today-20-07-19)
  1. Crime against women
  • In just four years, crimes against women increased in Uttar Pradesh by over 66%.(scroll.in 11-10-20)
  • Crime against women in Uttar Pradesh has increased by 20% from 2016 to 2019, says a National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) report.
  • UP had 3,065 cases rape cases in 2019. (Zee News- 07-10-20)
  • 11 rape cases reported every day in UP.(Zee News 07-10-20)
  • In 2018 UP recorded 21711 cases of kidnapping, 8908 of rioting and 3218 of robbery. The cases of violent crime increased significantly over the past few years. (Hindustan Times 10-01-20)
  • According to NCRB data, UP recorded the highest numbers in both categories with 2,524 dowry deaths and 4,324 murders in 2017 for which the figures were released. (Times of India 23-10-19)
  • UP tops the list of crimes against women and the girl child.(Hindustan Times 03-10-20)
  • The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) which works under the Ministry of Home Affairs, has marked Uttar Pradesh as the most unsafe state for women.(Newsclick 10-01-20)
  • UP accounts for the maximum dowry deaths –11,800(Rediff.com 31-01-19)
  1. Encounter deaths
  • Uttar Pradesh Police tweeted that 103 criminals have been killed and 1,859 injured in “5,178 police engagements in the last more than 2 years”.
  • Uttar Pradesh has seen a spike in encounter killings by police since the advent of the Yogi Adityanath government in 2017. In fact, a month after assuming office in March 2017, Adityanath had declared “if you commit a crime, you will be knocked off”.
  • Legal experts, opposition parties and human rights activists have expressed concern about the encounters, which they alleged had targeted people from disadvantaged sections of society. However, the Adityanath government has remained unperturbed. (The Week 06-12-19)
  • The encounter killing of gangster Vikas Dubey may have opened a Pandora’s box for the Uttar Pradesh Police.
  • Questions are being raised on several aspects: from the need to fatally shoot a criminal attempting escape to the police narrative. But it has mainly kicked up dust over Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s alleged ‘thok do’ policy (a quote of the chief minister) which the Opposition has used to decry the rise in encounter killings.
  • Shortly after taking charge of India’s most populous state with the worst crime statistics, Adityanath infamously told India TV in a June 2017 interview, “Agar apradh karenge to hthokdiye jayenge (if they commit crime, we’ll take them out).”
  • Magisterial inquiries have been completed in 74 encounter cases where deaths occurred and the police have got a clean chit in all. In as many as 61 cases, closure reports filed by the police have been accepted by the court. (The First Post 12-07-20 with inputs from PTI)
  1. Custodial deaths and Swelling Imprisonment figures
  • Almost five persons died daily in custody in India in 2019-2020, according to data shared by the union ministry of home affairs (MHA) with Parliament. The total number of people killed either in police custody or jails between April 1, 2019 and March 31 was 1,697. Of this, 1,584 died in judicial custody and 113 in police custody. The most deaths in judicial custody, 400, were reported from Uttar Pradesh (UP). UP’s 72 jails have the highest number of inmates at 1,01,297, while the capacity is 60,340.(Hindustan Times 17-09-20)
  1. Attack on Journalists
  • On 26 March, two days after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a national lockdown to control the spreading of COVID-19, Hindi-language daily Jansandesh Times reported that a tribe in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh state, didn’t have enough to eat due to the sudden announcement and that children were eating grass. The same day, the magistrate of Varanasi district, Kaushal Raj Sharma, sent a legal notice to the newspaper claiming that part of its report was false and “sensationalized.”
  • In Azamgarh, about 170 miles east of the state capital Lucknow, Jansandesh Times reporter Santosh Jaiswal was arrested on September 7 last year after reporting that students in a school were being forced to clean the premises.In Mirzapur, about 180 miles southeast of Lucknow, Pawan Jaiswal (no relation to Santosh) was charged with criminal conspiracy on August 31 last year after he reported that a local school was serving meals below the government’s minimum standards. The state government stopped advertisements to the newspaper for three months.
  • Since the BJP maintained its parliamentary majority in Uttar Pradesh during India’s May 2019, general election, there has been a surge in the number of such incidents in UP.During a trip to Uttar Pradesh in late February and early March, journalists told Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) that they felt under increased threat of criminal charges and physical assault. Such fear could lead to self-censorship.
  • A national lockdown is precisely the time when journalists in a democracy need to be free to write and report without worrying about a midnight knock,” Siddharth Vardarajan, the editor of Indian news website The Wire, wrote April 21 in The New York Times. Vardarajan has been the subject of several defamation suits and criminal complaints for his work – most recently for criticizing Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s conduct during the national lockdown, as CPJ has documented.
  • Since taking control of the state in 2017, though Adityanath claims he has vastly improved law and order in the state, his government has been accused of supporting extrajudicial killings, clampdown on non-violent protesters and arrests of political opponents and civil rights activists, as widely reported in national and international media.
  • Over the past year, CPJ has documented several attacks on journalists related to critical reporting of governance at various levels of the state. These included the arrest on June 8 of TV news channel reporters from Nation Live, as well as a freelancer, for allegedly attempting to incite violence and defaming the chief minister. The journalists are now out on bail, but the news channel was shut down for allegedly operating without proper government clearance.
  • In Varanasi, the city on the banks of the Ganges river in eastern UP, Baccha Gupta, a photojournalist with Swatantra Chetna newspaper, told CPJ that police filed a case of charged him with trespassing and criminal conspiracy in November after he took photographs of children cleaning a flooded police station near river Ganges.
  • Most worryingly, given the public health crisis, Akash Yadav, a journalist with Dainik Bhaskar, accused the police in Varanasi of being aligned with a local hospital mafia, which accused him and five other journalists of robbery and sexual harassment after he reported in October that a private hospital was being run by an unqualified doctor.
  • In one case, a mob attacked Krishna Kumar Singh, a journalist with Hindustan newspaper in Mirzapur, in September. He told CPJ that he has been the subject of legal accusations of physical assault and abuse since he started reporting on a local parking mafia, which he alleged is supported by local politicians. “The police took over six hours to register a case of assault even though many police officials were present when I was mercilessly beaten up,” he said.
  • Manoj Kumar Soni, a journalist with Hindi daily Dainik Perfect Mission in Sonbhadra district, told me he was attacked by six men with iron rods on 4 November resulting in broken knees and other injuries.
  • Yogesh Mishra, senior journalist and editor of Newstrack, a Hindi-language news website, said police in Uttar Pradesh are going after journalists for even the smallest matter. “Once upon a time politicians used to bring tea and ask you for your source. Now they outrightly abuse you,” he said. “It doesn’t seem like we live in a democracy,” he added. (Committee to Protect Journalists 23-04-20)
  1. Illegal confinement of Dr Kafeel Khan
  • The Supreme Court dismissed an appeal by the Uttar Pradeshgovernment against an Allahabad High Court decision quashing the detention ofDr.Kafeel Khan under the National Security Act (NSA)
  • Dr. Khan, a pediatrician, first shot into focus when 60 children died in a government hospital at Gorakhpur in 2017. He was initially hailed a hero for arranging emergency oxygen cylinders for the sick children, but then later arrested. A court finally absolved him of medical negligence onhis part.
  • Dr. Khan had been in custody since 29 January 2020 for his remarks during a speech at an anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) event in Aligarh Muslim University in December last year.
  • The High Court had, in its order, said that his speech did not “disclose any effort to promote hatred or violence” and termed the three extensions of his detention illegal. The UP government, however, claimed that Dr. Khan ignored orders regarding the imposition of Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code. It said his remarks were inflammatory. (The Hindu-17-12-20)
  1. ‘Love Jihad’ and anti-conversion law
  • The Uttar Pradesh government had in November 2020 promulgated an ordinance, Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, 2020.
  • Four former judges have criticised the new anti-conversion ordinance of Uttar Pradesh, aimed at curbing cases of “love jihad”, calling it unconstitutional, against fundamental rights, and one of the strangest laws, with one even terming “love jihad” a “creation of religious extremists for the purpose of dividing people.”
  • Former Delhi High Court judge and former chairman of the National Law Commission, Justice AP Shah, said the new law reflects the philosophy of a khap panchayat, with the objective essentially being to subjugate women. “In any criminal case (where) conversion is presumed to be illegal, the burden of proof is usually on the prosecution. In this ordinance, every religious conversion is presumed to be illegal. The burden of proof lies on the person accused of illegal conversion to prove that it is not illegal. So there is a presumption of guilt. The offence is cognisable. It is non-bailable and the police can arrest anyone,” Justice Shah said.
  • Similarly, former Supreme Court judge, Justice Madan B Lokur, in a written statement to NDTV said that “it will require a miracle to uphold its constitutional validity,” while calling it “one of the strangest legislations” he had ever seen.
  • Justice Deepak Gupta, a former Supreme Court judge, too called the law “absolutely unconstitutional,” while adding that it takes away the right of choice of every human being.
  • Justice M Sasidharan Nambiar,former judge of the Kerala High Court, also said that in his view, “the ordinance will not survive the test of constitutional validity as it violates Article 21 of the Constitution which guarantees personal liberty of every citizen of this nation irrespective of religion, caste and gender.” (NDTV 18-12-20)\
  • UP ‘Love Jihad’ Arrest case–A private lab in Bijnor has confirmed that the 22-year-old woman, who was sent to a shelter home pursuant to a report by a Bajrang Dal unit to the Uttar Pradesh police about an alleged instance of ‘love jihad’ made punishable under the recently promulgated anti-conversion ordinance in the state, had a miscarriage. (The Wire 20-12-20 with inputs from PTI)

GUJARAT

  1. i) Industries closed down
  • More than 2000 industrial units in various estates of the Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) are closed, according to information provided in the Assembly by Gujarat Government in a written reply.
  • With regard to this data on closed units, Secretary General of Federation of Gujarat Industries (FOGI) told KNN India that “As per the information provided, there is no mention of how many industrial units shut down year on year basis. Highlighting the reason of the closure, he mentioned “There could be various reasons attached to it but do not rule out that a few might have not been able to sustain because of demonetization and roll out of GST due to slow refund circle process in first year.
  • According to the media reports collated data, around 2,069 units were shut in GIDCs in 31 districts as of December 31, 2018.
  • In Jamnagar, 36 units were shut in GIDCs, but 19 of them closed down since 2016. Similarly, 19 out of 50 units in Kutch, and 10 out of 18 units in Banaskantha downed shutters in last two years, the CM said. (KNN/YV) (knnIndia 20-02-19)
  1. ii) Industrial accidents
  • A total of 89 industrial accidents happened between January and July 2020 across Gujarat. Over 130 workers died in industrial accidents in Gujarat during the first seven months of 2020, of which 57 per cent were reported in four months after the Covid lockdown was lifted in phases in the state. (Indian Express 22-08-20)

iii) Unemployment and job loss

  • The CMIE, in its “Unemployment Rate in India” report, noted that Gujarat’s unemployment rate which was 6.7% in March, increased to a whopping 18.7% in April. (Times of India  12-05-20)
  • In 2014, Narendra Modi promised to bring the Gujarat model of development to India. But the state’s focus on megaprojects at the expense of SMEs hurt job creation, says a new book. But the Gujarat government in February last told the state Assembly that 4.58 lakh educated youth are registered with various state employment exchanges. Of these, 4.34 lakh are ‘educated’ while 23,433 are in the ‘semi-educated’ category, Gujarat Labour and Employment Minister DilipThakor said in a written reply during Question Hour in the assembly.(PTI and New Indian Express 28-02-20)
  • Six states saw rising joblessness in cities in July-September 2019. The highest spike in the urban unemployment rate was seen in Gujarat where it rose 1.3 percentage points to 4.3 per cent. (Business Standard 20-10-20)
  1. IV) Poverty and Suicide
  • 16.63%people are below poverty line (“You will be on BPL list if your annual income is Rs.27,000”., “Rural India spends most on mobiles: NSSO”., “SDGs India Index”. 31 December 2019.)
  • Gujarat showed signs of distress related to economy when state authorities recorded 294 suicides in 2018 where reason for ending life was termed as ‘poverty’.318 persons ended their lives citing ‘unemployment’ as the reason. The figures were 163% and 21% more than the ones recorded in 2017.(Times of India 11-01-20)
  • Data on crime tabled by the state home ministry in the assembly stated that a total of 14,702 cases of suicide were registered in Gujarat in the last two years, suggesting that on an average nearly 20 persons took their lives every day.(Indian Express 03-03-20)
  • Minister of State for Home Pradeepsinh Jadeja said 90 persons had ended their lives in Kheda and 111 persons had committed suicide in Anand district of Gujarat in 2019. (Business Standard 02-03-20)
  1. V) Hunger
  • The ‘Hunger watch’ survey carried out by Anna Suraksha Adhikar Abhiyan (ASAA), Gujarat to track the hunger situation amongst vulnerable and marginalised communities amid the of Covid 19 pandemic revealed that 20.6 per cent households sometimes skipped meals due to lack of food while 21.8 per cent said they sometimes slept withouta single meal.”The government has not given accurate information to the families, many of whom are from very deprived communities, as to why their ration cards cannot be used anymore to claim their basic entitlements. This process of making ration cards ‘silent’ has happened at the local taluka and/or district level. Additionally, in many areas, taluka level committee meetings are not being held due to Covid-19 effectively depriving families their right to food security,” the report stated. (Indian Express 11-12-20)
  1. VI) Crime against women
  • Numbers question ‘Safe Gujarat’ tag by ruling BJP. The data released by the National Records Crime Bureau for 2019 has revealed that complaints of crimes committed against women have been increasing steadily. While about three molestation cases were by women every day in the state, more than one rape complaint was filed daily last year. organizations working for women say that the cases of crime against women are much more than reported.(Times of India-02-10-20)

VII) Rape cases

  • Gujarat reported nearly four rapes every day in the two years beginning January 1, 2018. The state reported 2,723 rape cases, of which 41 were incidents of gang-rape,while 35 involved girls younger than five years old.(Times Of India 12-03-20)

VIII) Cybercrime

  • Gujarat turns hub of cybercrime during lockdown. As per data released by the Cyber Crime Cell of Ahmedabad Police, over 15,300 complaints related to financial frauds have been received from all over Gujarat between January and July this year.
  1. IX) Patel statue
  • Built at a cost of Rs 2,989 crore.(Economic Times 31-10-18)
  • The statue’s construction has affected 75,000 tribals across 72 villages in Gujarat’s Narmada district, NDTV reported on October 20, 2018.(TheWire-31-10-18)
  1. X) Namaste Trump
  • US President Donald Trump’s three-hour Gujarat visit set to cost over Rs 100 crore.(Times of India 15-02-20)
  • Ahead of US President Trump’s visit, Ahmedabad wants to use a wall and trees to screen slums from the road. A similar exercise has been carried out before at least thrice.
  • Back in September 2017, Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife Akie Abe visited Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar in Gujarat. During their three-day visit, Abe and PM Modi presided over the stone-laying ceremony of the Rs 1 lakh crore Ahmedabad-Mumbai bullet train project. At that time also, the government put huge green cloths to screen the slums from the roads.
  • In January 2017, when the Global Summit hosted presidents, prime ministers and foreign ministers of several countries in Gandhi Nagar, Gujarat, the government used cloth to shield the Saraniyavaas slum. Over 3,000 people were believed to have been living in the 556 kaccha houses. The slum-dwellers said they felt “isolated” from the world.(The Print 13-02-20)

MADHYA PRADESH

  1. a) Unemployment
  • Madhya Pradesh’s unemployment rate increased 15.1 percentage points, rising to 27.5% in May 2020, according to a survey conducted by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE). Over a longer time period, unemployment has moved from 1.2% in Jul 2017 to27.5%. (live mint 01-06-20)
  1. b) Rape cases
  • As per the National Crime Records Bureau 2019 statistics, Madhya Pradesh recorded 2485 rape cases which makes the state third highest in this regard.
  1. c) Dowry deaths
  • 3,550-third highest in the country.
  1. d) Cybercrime
  • In lockdown, 3 e-fraud cases reported every 24 hours in Madhya Pradesh. (Times of India-26-04-20)
  1. e) Poverty
  • 31.65 people are below poverty line (“You will be on BPL list if your annual income is Rs.27,000”., “Rural India spends most on mobiles: NSSO”., “SDGs India Index”. 31 December 2019.)

BIHAR

  1. Unemployment
  • Unemployment in Bihar greater than national unemployment rate of 23.5%. Bihar’s unemployment rate increased 31.2 percentage points, rising to 46.6% in Apr 2020, according to a survey conducted by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE). Over a longer time period, unemployment has moved from 1.6% in Apr 2017 to its current rate. (live mint-01-05-20)
  1. Job loss
  • Among those who lost employment, the worst affected were casual workers, with eight in 10 such workers losing jobs in Bihar. (Indian Express 04-06-20)
  1. Rape and murder
  • Bihar records 2,406 murder, 1,106 rape cases in 9 months. (Times of India 25-12-20) Average one rape case is reported in less than six hours every day in Bihar, according to the official data of the state crime records bureau (SCRB).  (Times of India-07-12-19)
  1. Dowry deaths
  • 5,992-second highest in the country.
  1. E) Poverty and illiteracy
  • Bihar is the only state in India where the incidence of poverty is uniformly at the highest level (46-70%) in all the sub-regions.The annual real per capita income of Bihar at Rs 3650 is about a third of the national average of Rs 11,625. Bihar is also the only Indian state where the majority of the population – 52.47% – is illiterate. (National Herald-12-07-20)
  • 39.9% people are below poverty line (“You will be on BPL list if your annual income is Rs.27,000”., “Rural India spends most on mobiles: NSSO”., “SDGs India Index”. 31 December 2019.)

TRIPURA

  1. Unemployment
  • Tripura ranks second highest in Unemployment as per CMIE report. Tripura’s unemployment rate increased 11.3 percentage points, rising to 41.2% in Apr 2020. Over a longer time period, unemployment has moved from 8.3% in Nov 2017 to its current rate. (live mint-01-05-20)
  1. Outsourcing Government jobs
  • Amid news of escalating unemployment, the BJP-led Tripura Government has launched a shocker on the youth of the state by reportedly outsourcing a number of jobs in government departments to private firms. This distressing news has exposed the reality of reportedly false claims made by several ministers including Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Deb that the BJP government in the state has provided over 23,000 government jobs since it came to power in 2018.(News click 11-03-21)
  1. Poverty
  • 14.05 %people are below poverty line (“You will be on BPL list if your annual income is Rs.27,000”., “Rural India spends most on mobiles: NSSO”., “SDGs India Index”. 31 December 2019.)
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