State Pulse: Uttar Pradesh: Maya fails to uplift State

It is well known that Mayawati did not take up any development agenda during all her tenures of Chief Minister ship. The development of dalits too lags behind, says SR Darapuri During the Assembly elections 2007, the people of Uttar Pradesh and especially the Dalits voted Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party to absolute majority. They expected that this time with a stable government she will be able to take the State out of the quagmire of underdevelopment and backwardness. They also hoped that now she will work out a development agenda for the State as well as for the Dalits and implement it faithfully.

During her previous three stints as Chief Minister she took the plea that due to her dependence on other parties for support she could not act independently. As such she needed a government with majority to give her a free hand in running her government. But even this time Mayawati did not come up to the people's expectations. Neither she worked out development agenda nor stopped wasting public money on installing statues, creating memorials and making parks.
If judged from the point of view of development, at present UP is one of the most backward states of India . As per 2001 Census Report it has the largest population (16.16 crores) which stands as 16.16% of total population of India . According to development parameters the total literacy rate of UP is 56.30% (Male 68.8 and Female 42.2%) whereas at the national level it is 68.84% (Male 75.26 and 53.67%). The sex ratio of UP stands at 898 whereas the national ratio is 933. According to available statistics the per capita income in UP during 2005-06 was Rs. 13,316 which is the lowest in the country excepting Bihar (Rs. 7875) whereas at the national level it is Rs. 25,716. During this period the per capita power production and consumption in UP was 113 and 167 KW Hour as compared with 563 and 372 KW Hour at the national level.

From the Public Health angle the birth rate, death rate and child mortality rate for UP were 30.4, 8.7 and 73 respectively whereas the national rates were 23.8, 7.6 and 58 respectively. As per the findings of NFHS-III, 2005-06 the infant mortality (number of infant deaths per thousand live births in the last five years) rate at national level is 57 whereas for UP it is 73. In India, 46 per scent children under three yeas of age are underweight whereas in UP it is 47 per cent. Almost 38% children (under three years age) are stunted (too short for their age). In UP their percentage is 46.

Almost 79% of children (6-35 months) and 56% of women in India are anemic. In UP the figures are 85 and 51 percent respectively. From the employment angle during 2001 in UP only 23.78% of total workers were Main Workers and 66% were engaged as Agriculture Labourers. At present 32% of UP population is living below poverty line against the national average of 27.5 percent.

From the above details it is clear that from the development point of view UP is one of the most backward states of India. In such a situation, not only Mayawati but every government is expected to utilize all the resources of the State for the development of the people.
But it has not happened for last many years. According to Sudha Pai "There is evidence that the conditions of the poorer sections in UP which include the major chunk of the Dalits have become worse during the 1990s. The National Human Development Report (NHDR) has pointed out the poor conditions of life in comparison with many other states.

The State's position in terms of Human Development Index was 29th in 1981 and has fallen to 31 out of 32 states (NHDR 2001:140-41). Similarly the Monthly Per Capita Consumption Expenditure registered a fall in the State between 1993-94 and 1999-2000; that this is due to a drastic reduction in the consumption expenditure on food between two periods clearly suggest deterioration in the standard of living.

This downslide took place when the BSP supported by BJP was in power in UP for the most part. Despite the fact that the BSP had formed a government twice during the 1990s and was again in power with the support of the Bharatiya Janata Party, the conditions of Dalits have not improved according to the draft proposals of the Tenth Five Year Plan. The BSP did not put forward any policies for improving the socioeconomic conditions of the subaltern sections of the Dalits. The emphasis has been on political empowerment only."



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