Business India
Yogi At The Helm Image Credit: Business India
Yogi At The Helm Image Credit: Business India

Yogi At The Helm

Can UP become the new engine of growth?

Rakesh Joshi

On the face of it, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s stunning performance in the Uttar Pradesh assembly election has prepared the ground for the Party’s comeback in 2019. An emasculated congress and weakened Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party further bolster its chances in a state, which accounts for 80 Lok Sabha seats. But the UP victory could also be a double-edged sword for the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who will have to show some visible development on the ground in the coming two years. If change for the better does not happen, there could be problems for the BJP in the form of double anti-incumbency – against its 71 sitting MPs and the incumbent state government.

It is in this context that one has to assess the selection of Yogi Adityanath as the Chief Minister of UP. At present, UP is one of India’s most underdeveloped states with its economy failing to take off as it should have. The state has almost 220 million people, or 16 percent of India’s population. But it accounts for only 12 percent of India’s GDP. The annual industrial growth is among the bottom five in the country. Labour ministry data indicate that as many as 148 among 1,000 young people are unemployed at present in the state (compared to the national average of 102 per 1,000). This inevitably sets off the process of migration by the youth in search of greener pastures.

The situation is exacerbated by the fact that UP remains on 14th place

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