Lucknow: Yogi Adityanath, the new Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, made a surprise check today at a major police station in Lucknow. Pictures showed him inspecting records and the mini-cells or lock-up facilities at Hazratganj, the famous shopping area in the heart of the capital.
The saffron-robed monk has been quick to move, as promised, on the top promises made by the BJP ahead of the election that saw the party winning the strongest result since 1977 in India’s most populous state.
His administration, just five days old, has begun shutting down illegal slaughterhouses and the police is patrolling public areas including colleges and malls to round up young men harassing women. The Chief Minister has said that the “Anti-Romeo Squads” have been ordered to target genuine offenders while steering clear of moral policing. Young couples would not be harassed, both he and the police have publicly stressed. But pictures yesterday showed some couples being questioned aggressively before being led away, including by a woman police officer who said “incidents that are unbecoming for the social atmosphere will not be tolerated.”
The Yogi or monk, who is 44, has said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s mantra of “sabka saath sabka vikas” (development for all) will inform his decisions and that his priority is providing a safer state and ensuring that the police responds immediately to public complaints to purge Uttar Pradesh of its notorious and decades-long goonda raj (lawlessness).
Also borrowing from the PM’s Swachh Bharat (Clean India) campaign, Yogi Adityanath on Monday led government officials in pledging to clean public spaces with a 100-hours-per-year contribution. Today, a minister grabbed a broom to spruce up his filthy office in the state legislature.