Ever since the BJP came into power in Uttar Pradesh and Yogi Adityanath became the Chief Minister of the state in 2017 the focus has shifted to improving the general standard of living. The Yogi government has been focusing on the economy, health and infrastructure as well as checking the ministers, improving the law & order situation, and keeping an eye on the development of the state. The government has left no stone unturned to elevate the position of the state in all aspects. Following the same trend of working for the masses, Yogi Government has worked round the clock to end the VIP culture in politics which was prevalent in the state under all prior governments.
While many states, mostly non-BJP, were involved in VIP culture that included tax payment for the elected politicians by state treasury, security cover to every minister as well as other special treatments, Yogi Government took the initiative to abolish all the provisions that enabled and augmented VIP culture.
Just after Prime Minister Narendra Modi stepped in with a move to put an end to the VIP culture in 2017, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath also issued midnight orders to ban the same in Uttar Pradesh as well.
Upon the diktat of CM Yogi, the use of red and blue beacon lights on all vehicles across the state was banned except for escort vehicles. Only the Governor and the Chief Justice of High Court along with army vehicles and ambulances were permitted to use the beacons.
Soon after the cabinet decision, several ministers in the Yogi government had removed beacons from their official vehicles.
In addition to that, the Chief Minister had also ordered to reduce the number of personnel per politician and others. He ordered to cut down or withdraw the security cover of more than 100 leaders in the state. CM Yogi said, “Those, who are enjoying security cover for the sake of status symbol, should be prepared to part with them.”
Another watershed moment was registered in 2019 when the UP government came up with the decision of departure of the practice that dealt with state treasury footing the bill of UP ministers.
Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and Finance Suresh Khanna then stated, “The state treasury will no longer pay the income tax of ministers and the provision in the Uttar Pradesh Ministers (Salaries, Allowances and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1981, requiring the government to pay the income tax of the chief minister and the ministers, will be nullified.”
Moreover, 2019 also witnessed the scrapping of allowances for employees. Additional Chief Secretary of Finance department Sanjiv Mittal issued the order and stated that the government employees will no longer be benefitted from the additional allowances for knowing two languages or more, operating a computer, being postgraduate, allowance for cash handling, project allowance (applicable only in the irrigation department) and for having two children or less.
Yogi is not fond of VIP culture and does not find it appealing not only for the ministers but for himself too. As per the report by firstpost, The Chief Minister’s Office had said in 2017 that Adityanath is “extremely unhappy” over the extravagant arrangements that are made for his visits to homes of martyrs and wants to put an immediate end to this “show-off”.
“The chief minister has given clear orders that no special arrangements be made during his visits and any show-off or inconvenience to common people should be avoided,” an official said.
Among all the governments that have ruled over UP in the past, Yogi’s government is the one which took such initiative to treat the ministers the same way as that of a normal citizen. The days of extravagant VIP culture that was ballooning day by day has been brought to a halt. CM Yogi Adityanath took adequate charge of the situation and eradicated the practice to ensure equal space for all.