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How The Law And Order Situation In U.P. Could Cost The Samajwadi Party During Elections

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By Saurabh Verma:

UP 2017_modi_maya_akhileshThe most populous state of the country, Uttar Pradesh, is going to have elections next year. All the parties are planning their strategy. Even the Congress has hired the seemingly invincible Prashant Kishor, a poll strategist, to make them the winning party and help form a government in the land of Awadh. Meanwhile, an ABP News survey came as a big shock for the ruling Samajwadi Party (SP). From the survey, it seems that it will hardly win around 80 seats.

According to the survey, Mayawati, the supremo of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) is the first choice of the people as the Chief Minister of U.P. This reflects in the projected seat share too, which is over 180. The Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) is at the second position with 120 seats.

It’s very shocking for the ruling party that 60% of respondents felt that the law and order situation in the state has worsened in the last four years of Akhilesh’s regime. The question is why is Akhilesh Yadav inefficient in maintaining law and order in the state. It’s the public perception that Samajwadi Party encourages the ‘Goonda Raj’ (Goons’ Rule) in the state. I was on a research project in Varanasi and I found that most people had the same feeling on the law and order situation. And the same people feel that only Mayawati can handle the situation in U.P.

Recently, SP workers opened fire to celebrate the victory of an SP candidate in local body elections. The murder mystery of two girls from Badaun embarrassed the state government as it became a national issue at that time. The Muzzafarnagar riots are another example that show how inefficient the ruling government is in U.P.

It is evident that if Mayawati comes to power again, the only reason will be her capacity to deal with the law and order crisis. Her skills in administration have helped her win elections in the past also and she will be looking to repeat the same. I was working on a college project – a PR campaign for a party in U.P. elections. I found only one issue that will be at the centre and that is law and order. I compared the crime records of Mayawati’s rule with the Akhilesh’s regime. I found huge gaps there. Although, I could not find the crime data for 2015. Nevertheless, the SP is far ahead of the BSP as the crime graph shows. All the major crimes–murder, rape, burglary, dacoity, molestation, riots and thefts–have increased. In a previous article, I had talked about how Nitish Kumar’s government is good at maintaining the law and order situation in the Bihar.


Why is it so? I can’t find the answers. But, all development would seem hollow if the government is not able to protect the citizens. In Bihar, a journalist predicted that if Nitish comes to power again, it would be because of the electrification of villages by Nitish’s government. In this election, however, as ABP survey showed, there will be four key issues – unemployment, inflation, corruption and poverty. But I can promise that the party which is able to convince the people that it will provide a good state, better law and order along with these four issues will win.

BJP will be happy with the result that 62% respondents feel happy with the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre. And Modi is still at the top among the famous leaders. Mayawati comes second. AIMIM (All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen) is also seeking to expand its influence in U.P. where around 19% of the population is Muslim. In the upcoming elections, however, the two parties–BSP and BJP–will be at the centre of power. Whether alone or with any other but, I predict, one of these two parties will be part of the government after the 2017 elections.

Update: “..where around 40% of the population is Muslim” has been changed to “where around 19% of the population is Muslim”.

You must be to comment.
  1. Ila

    Trust me we would be happy if it costs them the next elections.
    They have ruined the state completely. It is on a downwards spiral.
    We really need a stronger and better educated government in that state.
    Life of a middle class person in that state is a struggle.
    And i come from Western UP, the more prosperous part of the state.
    It is much worse in Eastern UP which is pretty much lawless.

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Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

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Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

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A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

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A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
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