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Uttar Pradesh (UP) Infographics

Uttar Pradesh: The Political Axis

Located in northern India, Uttar Pradesh came into being in 1937 as the United Provinces and was later renamed as Uttar Pradesh (UP) in 1950. Uttar Pradesh plays a very important role in the politics of the country and sends about 80 members of Parliament – the highest number ever to the Lok Sabha and about 35 to the Rajya Sabha. Despite being a not-so-progressive state, eight Prime Ministers have emerged from it.

Uttar Pradesh Legislature

The Uttar Pradesh Legislature is bicameral in nature and is divided into Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly, which is the lower house and Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council, which is the upper house. Whichever party or alliance gains the majority of seats in the Legislative Assembly gets to elect the Chief Minister.

List of Chief Ministers in the past few years
  1. Akhilesh Yadav
    Party: Samajwadi Party
    Tenure: March 2012 – March 2017
    Son of former Chief Minister and Samajwadi Party (SP) supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav, Akhilesh Yadav is the youngest person to
    assume the Chief Minister’s office. Along with his father, he has been a driving force behind the party. The father-duo led the party to a stupendous victory in the 2012 Assembly polls, raising the number of seats to 224 from a meagre 97 in the 2007 Vidhan Sabha elections.

    Developments undertaken
    Akhilesh Yadav has launched some ambitious infrastructure projects – amounting to about Rs 3.3 thousand crore – which would increase connectivity among the cities in UP, reduce traffic woes and give the state a headroom to expand social amenities. Noida Metro Rail Corporation (NMRC) is one such project, which would join the twin cities of Noida and Greater Noida. According to the NMRC, the rapid metro link would be ready by 2017.
    Besides this, the Akhilesh government has decided to set up a vodka manufacturing plant in collaboration with a Russian-based liquor company in Kannauj. The plant, worth nearly Rs 800 crore, will be set up on 120 acres of land and will give direct employment to about 1,000 people, besides providing a market to the potato farmers of Kannauj.

    He has also focussed on developing Noida, Lucknow and Agra as cycle friendly cities. Some of the announced projects are believed to on the verge of completion.

    Akhilesh has been facing a lot of heat in the wake of rising crime against women in UP. The gang rape and murder of two minor girls, who were found hanging on a mango tree, had shaken not just India but the whole world. Even after this incident, there have been couple of gruesome rape cases. Besides this, scores of communal riots like those in Muzzafarnagar and Saharanpur have occurred, exposing his government’s ineptness in dealing with the situation.

  2. Mayawati
    Party: Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP)
    Last tenure: 2007-10012
    A leader of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Mayawati has served as the Chief Minister of UP four times – briefly in 1995, then in 1997, then from 2002 to 2003. The only time she served the entire tenure was from 2007 to 2012. Coming from a humble background, she made a mark for herself when she went on to become the first Dalit Chief Minister.

    The BSP did a lot in the areas of human development, especially for the Dalit community which Mayawati hailed from. Social policies focusing on health, housing, employment, education and social welfare were introduced. Scholarships for Dalit students seemed to have benefitted over 72 lakh students. Mayawati began the Ambedkar Employment Scheme for Dalit women. The BSP also continued the Ambedkar Village Programme, which was actually started by the Samajwadi government, and implemented it prominently. To provide a developed infrastructure and to improve the lifestyle of the backward and Dalit classes, the BSP introduced Dr Ambedkar Village Development Department where 19,176 villages were adopted to be improved.

    Mayawati is under the scanner for several corruptions scandals – the major being the Taj Corridor case, where it is alleged that funds were misused and diverted to her account. She is also being questioned for the huge amount of money, running to about 2500 crore, spent on erection of statues of Buddha and Dalit icons. Besides this, she is alleged to have interfered in projects funded by the World Bank and put the projects behind schedule.

  3. Mulayam Singh Yadav
    Party: Samajwadi Party
    Last tenure: 2003-2007
    A leader of the Samajwadi Party, Mulayam Singh served as the Chief Minister of UP from 2003-2007. Prior to this, he served as the Chief Minister twice from 1989–91 and 1993–95.

    The Samajwadi Party developed and promoted the other backward castes (OBCs),
    which included Yadavs and the Pals, and also the Muslims. A notable achievement was the ‘Green Revolution’ which benefited the OBCs greatly.

    His stand against capital punishment for those accused in rape cases has earned him ire across the society. His comment that ‘Boys will be boys’ and that ‘rape is not a crime but a mistake’ only added to his supposedly callous attitude towards the rise in the crime against women in his state.

    Voter behaviour in UP
    UP is a populous state and over 80 percent of the people are Hindus, out of which the majority are Scheduled Castes (SCs) and OBCs, which includes Muslim population too. This division is based on the Hindu caste system and ethnic politics is closely linked to this system. Ethnic politics has been an integral part of the political scenario in UP. Often voters’ decisions are influenced by political legislators. To know the behaviour of voters in UP, let us look at a post-poll survey that was conducted in Uttar Pradesh by the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS). The survey involved about 7290 people who were asked different questions after the 2012 polls in the state. The result showed that 90.7 percent of the people voted. Out of the 9.3 percent who did not vote, 33.9 percent were out of station while 29.6 percent could not say why they did not vote. When asked when they made up the mind to vote – 22.1 percent replied on the day of voting. When asked if they took anyone’s advice in voting, 58.3 percent answered in the negative, while 29.2 said they took advice. About 42.6 percent consulted their spouses.

    In another survey conducted by the Election Commission of India ahead of the 2012 polls in UP, about 60 percent of the voters felt that corrupt candidates should not be given the tickets, while 30 percent believed that caste politics should be discouraged.
Election Awareness in UP
In the same survey conducted by CSDS, when the people were asked about the vote they had cast and if they were influenced by anyone’s decisions, then 71.9 percent said they took their own decision, showing that they were aware of who they were voting for. While 16.9 percent said they were influenced by others, 11.2 could not say anything.

Education System in UP
The survey conducted by CSDS also took a look at the education level of the voters in the last Assembly election conducted in the state in 2012. The findings are:
  • 34.1 percent were illiterate
  • 5.3 percent were below primary
  • 9.8 percent were primary or middle fail
  • 11.7 percent were middle pass or matriculation fail
  • 12.9 percent were matric pass
  • 14.7 percent had attended college but did not have the degree
  • 8.2 percent were graduates
  • 2.4 percent were post graduates
  • 0.6 percent had professional degree
  • The status of .2 percent could not be ascertained.
*Source Courtesy: *CSDS-Lokniti

Job and employment
As per CSDS Lokiniti data, about 19.4 percent of the people in UP are agricultural labourers. About 10.5 percent are tenant cultivators. About 3.2 percent were owner cultivators, possessing above 20 acres of land. The state has about 3.3 percent of unskilled labourers. Around 2.6 percent were small businessmen, 0.3 percent were scientists or college teachers, 0.1 percent were engineers or doctors and 0.1 percent were other high professionals.

Road and Infrastructure
The economic health of a state is determined by the way its infrastructure is shaped.

When it comes to roads, UP has the largest network in the country. The state is well-connected not only with its neighbouring states, but also with the rest of the nation through national highways. The state has invested a lot in infrastructure. In the Budget presented this year, about Rs 49,000 crore has been set aside for infrastructure. This is about 82 percent more than the previous year.

The international airports in UP are Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport, which is located in Lucknow; and Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport that is situated in Varanasi. The other airports are situated in Kanpur, Agra, Gorakhpur and Allahabad. Another international airport – the Taj International Airport – has been announced by the government and is in the pipeline.

When it comes to economy, UP is fourth in number among the states in India at a GDP of Rs 7,080 billion. Service and agriculture are the sectors that contribute maximum to the economy. In the Budget presented this year, about Rs 8,000 crore has been set aside for agriculture and associated services.

UP receives over 70 million tourists every year, making it one of the most sought-after destinations in the country. The Taj Mahal is one of the most popular destinations, apart from pilgrimage destinations like Kumbha Mela and Magh Mela. In a report by the India Brand Equity Foundation, about seven public private partnerships costing about USD 169.4 million are in the pipeline to boost tourism.

Cultural Heritage
UP is one of the states which can boast of having a rich cultural heritage that can be traced to the Harappan era. Consecutive governments have been putting in efforts to preserve the heritage of the state. Like for instance, recently the state government along with the Department of Archaeology has taken under their wings the construction of few site museums in the districts of Sonbhadra, Mahoba and Lalitpur. The purpose is to preserve and display the architectural findings at the site of discovery itself. Besides this, Agra is being developed as a solar city with a view to protect the Taj Mahal from pollution. Many other such projects are in the pipeline.

As per the survey conducted by CSDS Lokiniti that included about 7290 people, 47 percent were found to be above poverty line, while 24.1 still lived below poverty line.

Health and Sanitation
Health in UP has not been impressive and has been declining over a period of time. The public sector health infrastructure in UP is large, no doubt, but is not very robust. Only around 9 percent are able to take advantage of this infrastructure. The life expectancy is one of the lowest, and the state has a large number of undernourished children. In the recently announced budget, the government has allocated Rs 14,377 crore for family welfare.

Sanitation is a huge concern in the state. The rise in rape cases in UP is linked to the lack of toilets in the state because women would often wait for it to get dark to go out and answer the nature’s call, and this is when they fall prey to rapists. As per a survey, out of 3.29 crore households in the state, only 1.17 per cent have toilets. The SP government has come under a lot of criticism for not utilising the Rs 293 crore that was meant to build toilets.

Women security and social security
Ever since the Samajwadi government has come to power, rape cases have been on the rise. A spate of rape incidents in 2014 has lent UP a very unsafe image where the common perception is that no lady can move about safely. In a recent public address, CM Akhilesh Yadav admitted that women security is a top priority to the government and many decisions have been taken in this direction. He also talked about ‘1090’ service line for women and focused on improving policing in the state. His government is reeling under heavy criticism for not taking stringent measures against criminals committing crimes against women.

Crime rate
As per the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), UP has the highest crime rate. When it comes to children, it is the most dangerous state for kids to live in. The latest statistics from NCRB show that crimes have risen ever since the party came to power - from 18 lakh in 2012 to 21 lakh in 2013. In 2012, crime against women stood at 23,569 cases, while in 2013 it touched 32,546. The highest number of children murdered was reported from Agra, while Lucknow had the maximum number of rape cases. In the previous government led by Mayawati, the cases stood at 22,369 in 2011. The rape cases are believed to have risen to 3,050 in 2013 from 1,983 in 2012.

Last Updated on September 05, 2014