Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath made the comments while addressing a session organised by RSS-affiliated magazines Organiser and Panchjanya. (File Photo)

By Deeptiman Tiwary / Indian Express

The Eid Namaz was not conducted on roads for the first time in UP, and “the volume of the mosque loudspeaker has gone down” following the state’s recent crackdown, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said on Sunday while referring to his government retaining power in the elections this year.

He was speaking at an event organised to celebrate 75 years of RSS-affiliated magazines Organiser and Panchjanya.

Other BJP chief ministers also spoke at the event, with Goa’s Pramod Sawant calling for temples destroyed in the past to be rebuilt and Uttarakhand’s Pushkar Singh Dhami reiterating that his state will form a “special committee” to implement Uniform Civil Code.

The chief ministers of Manipur (N Biren Singh), Himachal Pradesh (Jai Ram Thakur) and Haryana (M L Khattar) spoke mostly about various government schemes and development projects in their states.

Adityanath referred to the BJP retaining power in UP, and spoke about his government’s achievements, especially in law and order in the context of communal clashes occuring in some other states amid a string of religious festivals last month.

“In many states, there were riots after the elections were over. There were no riots in UP during or after the elections,” he said.

“After the formation of the government, Ram Navami was celebrated with fervour. Hanuman Jayanti celebrations passed off peacefully. This is the same UP where small issues led to riots. Now, you must have seen for the first time that Eid namaz was not held on roads. Now, you must have heard that either the volume of the mosque loudspeaker has gone down or the loudspeaker has been removed completely. Now these loudspeakers are being donated to schools and hospitals for their use,” he said.

More than 1 lakh loudspeakers have had their volumes turned down or been removed, he said.

Adityanath also spoke on the issue of stray cattle in the state and detailed the steps taken by his government. “You may remember that when our government came to power in the state, it shut down all illegal slaughterhouses. But there was an adverse consequence of this that we had to bear — of stray cattle roaming on the roads and in the fields,” he said.

“Earlier, they were smuggled into illegal slaughterhouses. To meet this challenge, we set up over 5,600 shelters for stray cattle. We are also setting up a new model where we will make CNG from cow dung, which will be bought at Rs 1 per kg from people. We have taken all necessary steps to protect cows,” he said.

Adityanath spoke about how a “grand Ram temple” is being built in Ayodhya, the “splendour” with which the Kashi Vishwanath temple complex has been rejuvenated, and new life being injected into pilgrimage sites such as Mathura, Vrindavan and Chitrakoot.

According to the Chief Minister, UP has started moving towards becoming the No.2 economy in the country under a “double engine” government, with the BJP at the helm in the Centre too.

“In 70 years, UP has reached the sixth position among economies in the country. In the last 70 years, the per capita income of UP had remained one-fourth of the nation’s. In the past five years, we have doubled it. In ease of doing business, UP has climbed up to No.2 spot in the country. And in ease of living, in 44 schemes, UP is No.1. The maximum infrastructure development is happening in UP and the state is now known as an expressway,” he said.

Goa Chief Minister Sawant said his government has made a budgetary allocation for renovation of temples destroyed by the Portuguese.

“In the 450 years of Portuguese rule, there was destruction of Hindu culture and many people were converted. Temples of the state were destroyed. We are going to rejuvenate all of them… I believe wherever there are temples in destroyed condition, they should be rebuilt,” he said.

Sawant said that beyond beaches, the Goa government was promoting cultural and spiritual tourism in the hinterland and coaxing people to go to temples. “In every village, there are a couple of temples. We have to take people from the beach to the temple,” he said.

Sawant said Goa already has a Uniform Civil Code, and urged other states to implement it. “We have discussed the Goa UCC with other chief ministers also,” he said. The Goa government is also working on restarting mining in the state, he said.

Uttarakhand’s Dhami said that apart from moves to bring in the Uniform Civil Code, a special drive was on to identify infiltrators and that the anti-conversion law will be made “stronger”.

“We have decided to form a committee on Uniform Civil Code. The committee will have legal experts and stakeholders. We will implement the draft that the committee submits… We will implement Uniform Civil Code for which we are making preparations and we want other states to follow suit,” he said during an interaction with Hitesh Shankar, editor of Panchjanya.

Asked about “infiltrators” like “Rohingyas” or those having criminal records settling down in the state, Dhami said: “We have done surveys and a special drive by the police is also on to identify such elements.”

This article first appeared on indianexpress.com