UP: Yogi Adityanath-Led Govt Shifts Its Policy From 'Business First' To 'Locals First' After Facing Electoral Defeat In Lok Sabha Elections 2024

UP: Yogi Adityanath-Led Govt Shifts Its Policy From 'Business First' To 'Locals First' After Facing Electoral Defeat In Lok Sabha Elections 2024

The new policy allows displaced shopkeepers to take possession of 500 newly constructed shops on interest-free, long-term installments.

BISWAJEET BANERJEEUpdated: Monday, June 17, 2024, 11:29 AM IST
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Ayodhya: Shaken up after a significant electoral defeat in Ayodhya, the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh has shifted its policy from "business first" to "local first."

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which heavily emphasized the Ram Mandir in its campaign, lost the Faizabad Lok Sabha seat, an area central to its temple politics, to the Samajwadi Party (SP). The BJP's loss in Faizabad, home to the newly consecrated Ram Temple, has been attributed to the discontent among local shopkeepers. Many locals, whose shops were demolished for the construction of the Ram Path, expressed their dissatisfaction through their votes. This discontent was a major factor in the defeat of BJP's two-time MP, Lallu Singh, who lost to SP's Awadhesh Prasad by a margin of 54,567 votes.

Statement Of Pankaj Gupta, President Of The Ayodhya Dham Vyapar Mandal

Many traders and residents feel the compensation they received was grossly inadequate. Pankaj Gupta, the President of the Ayodhya Dham Vyapar Mandal, told FPJ that the blame for the BJP's defeat in the Faizabad parliamentary seat has been unjustly attributed to the local traders.

"Our shops were demolished for the widening of the Ram Path, and we were given compensation that felt more like charity—merely Rs 1 or 2 lakhs. As a protest we closed our shops for two days, but no public representative or official addressed our grievances," he said.

Gupta said that before the assembly elections of 2022, the then Deputy Chief Minister, Dinesh Sharma, had assured traders that they would receive new shops free of cost in exchange for the demolished ones. This promise led many to vote for Ved Prakash Gupta, who subsequently won on BJP ticket. However, after the election, traders were given a meagre compensation of one lakh rupees, and were being asked to pay between Rs 20 and Rs 25 lakh for new shops. "How can a small trader, who earns daily, afford such a huge amount?" Gupta asked.

Another businessman said that the BJP government has targeted traders the most under the guise of development. Shops were taken away, and the compensation provided was minimal. The ongoing widening of the Parikrama Marg continues to displace residents, who had invested significant sums into their homes, only to receive nominal compensation in return.

Policy Shift In The Yogi Adityanath-Led Government

The Government seems to have woken up after the electoral setback as Yogi government has announced a significant policy change aimed at benefiting local traders affected by the Ram Path project.

The new policy allows displaced shopkeepers to take possession of 500 newly constructed shops on interest-free, long-term installments. Previously, shopkeepers had to pay upfront to take possession of the shops, which ranged in cost from Rs 20 lakh to Rs 25 lakh. This requirement forced many traders to consider bank loans, making it nearly impossible for them to afford the new shops.

The revised policy, however, allows shopkeepers to pay for their shops over a 20-year period without any interest. The decision has been welcomed by the affected traders.

"The Ayodhya Development Authority (ADA) is now handing over shops without requiring any down payment," said Ayodhya Divisional Commissioner Gaurav Dayal.

He further told FPJ "They will pay the entire cost in easy, interest-free instalments over 20 years."

Mohinder Srivastava, a local trader leader, expressed relief over the policy change, noting that it should have been implemented earlier.

"After this decision, 150 shopkeepers have already taken possession of their shops," he said.

The Yogi government's policy shift in Ayodhya reflects a broader attempt to regain the trust of local communities and address the grievances that contributed to the BJP's recent electoral defeat. As the political dynamics in Uttar Pradesh continue to evolve, the focus on balancing development with local interests will be crucial for the ruling party.

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