Adityanath Yogi is known to be a hard taskmaster and this will help in governance.
Siddhartha Nath Singh, who won his first election from Allahabad, has taken over as health minister in the Adityanath Yogi government. Within hours of being sworn in, Mr Singh was also appointed as the official spokesperson of the state government. He spoke with Amita Verma.
With such an overwhelming majority, the expectations from the Adityanath government are also skyrocketing. How do you propose to fulfil them?
The numbers that we have got are of a mandate that cuts across classes, castes and religion. We are committed to good governance and our “sankalp patra” (manifesto) is our Gita. Actions will be visible soon and policies are already being formulated to fulfil the promise that we have made in the “sankalp patra”.
What will be the priorities of the government apart from the sankalp patra?
We will be working on infrastructure development and good governance. Our focus will be on various sections, including women, farmers and labourers.
We will also address the law and order problem on a priority basis but we will have to take a holistic view on this. For instance, a BSP leader was shot dead in my constituency recently. He had a history sheet and the murder was a result of his underworld dealings. We need to check such activities so that these incidents do not take place.
Majority of the ministers, including the chief minister and the deputy chief ministers lack administrative experience. In such a situation, there is always a threat of the bureaucracy beginning to play a dominant role. How will you deal with this?
The bureaucracy is always an important part of the government and we will identify the good bureaucrats for key positions. For instance, in the past few hours, I have received about a dozen recommendations for officials in my department. I will not accept recommendations blindly but will select one who works well.
In the previous Akhilesh government, the party interference was so pronounced that the dividing line almost vanished. How will you check this in Uttar Pradesh?
The working model of the Narendra Modi government is before us and we will replicate it in UP. We do not foresee any problems on this score here. The government will do its own work and the party will follow its own line.
Chief minister Adityanath Yogi had a very strong image and personality. Will it help the government?
He is known to be a hard taskmaster and this will help in governance. He is also a no-nonsense leader; this will ensure better delivery. His honesty is beyond question and will be reflected in his work and decisions. He is also soft and responsive towards the common people. Moreover, his commitment to the party ideology is another factor that will work in our favour.
With two deputy chief ministers, don’t you think there will be multiple power centres?
Both our deputy chief ministers belong to the party organisation and are well aware of the hierarchy. There will be no problem on this issue and I am confident of this.
What will be the government’s stand on Ram temple and triple talaq now that the party has got a huge mandate?
Our “sankalp patra” is clear on these issues. The issues are subjudice and we have only two options — either to wait for the court verdict, or evolve a consensus. At the government level, we can only pursue the cases with promptness.
The BJP has got youth support in these elections. It was the rowdiness of the youth workers that tarnished the image of the SP government. So how will you check this?
I think the DNA of both parties (SP and BJP) is different and you can compare and contrast it. When the SP government was sworn in, rowdiness was evident at the swearing-in ceremony itself but our young supporters were perfectly disciplined during our function.
Adityanath Yogi is known to be a Hindu hardliner. How will the government create a liberal image?
The image that the chief minister has is largely a creation of the Opposition and the media. Confidence of all sections of society will start building up when the government begins to deliver. People had similar misconceptions about Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the beginning but the perception faded. Today, he is the most-loved and accepted leader in the country.