We are a few months away from the Lok Sabha Elections, and the Yogi Adityanath government has announced a populist move to grant pension to sadhus in Uttar Pradesh.
The pension would be provided under the state pension scheme for senior citizens. The Chief Minister said the government would set up special camps across the state till 30th January to help sadhus enrol for pension under the scheme. As per the media reports available, the pension will be provided to Hindu seers who are above the age of 60.
The announcement has been made at a time when Prayagraj in Uttar Pradesh is hosting Kumbh Mela 2019 where lakhs of Hindu seers are attending the religious event.
“The state government has decided that all destitute persons (including women, disabled etc) will get a pension of Rs. 500 per month as compared to Rs. 400 earlier.”
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CHALLENGING ISSUES FOR UTTAR PRADESH :
On the night of 10 August 2017, some 30 children died at a hospital in the state of Uttar Pradesh, highlighting chronic malaise in the public health system. The hospital and state government denied the deaths were caused by a lack of liquid oxygen after bills went unpaid.
The country’s Hindi heartland ruled by the BJP government along with the problems of unemployment, poor health system and low education rate is now facing the challenge of stray cattle. The growing menace of stray cattle is becoming a new challenge for both the rural and urban population of the state. In the last two months, there have been several incidents in which the villagers have locked stray cattle in school buildings or in other government buildings to prevent cattle from destroying their crops.
As per a report by India Today, when they visited a government school in Jiamau area of Lucknow, students had been facing a lot of inconvenience because they hadn’t still received books from the state government. They were studying from books from the last session.
The opposition parties were prompt to level ‘Hindu appeasement charge’ against the Yogi Adityanath government after the move was announced.
Samajwadi Party president and former UP CM Akhilesh Yadav has taken a swipe on the issue, saying he would like the state government to provide Rs. 20,000 per month pension to saints.
“I would also urge the UP government to restart the Samajwadi Pension and the Yash Bharti pension. In fact, the state should also give pension to the artistes who play the role of Lord Ram, Laxman and Sita in the stage adaptation of Ramayan…if there are extra funds, then even the person portraying the character of Ravan (demon king) should be provided the pension,” he added.
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Currently, Kumbh 2019 is going on in Prayagraj and it would continue till 4th of March. During the 45 odd days of the mega congregation of faith, almost 150 million pilgrims and tourists are expected to arrive in the tent city put up especially for the purpose. The Kumbh 2019 has a budget of almost Rs. 4,500 crore compared to merely Rs. 1,200 crore during the previous Kumbh congregation in 2013. The CM said millions of sadhus were coming to the Kumbh Mela for the religious rites and bathing in the holy Ganga.
Adityanath’s move is surely expected to further the ‘hindutva’ agenda of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in the state against the spectre of arch rivals Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) who have joined hands to take on the saffron outfit.
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