'Muslims in UP Have Availed More Benefits': Citing Stats, Yogi Adityanath Reiterates Govt's 'Sabka Vikas' Pitch
New Delhi: Underscoring his government's policy of discriminating against none, UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath has said that despite Muslims constituting less than 20% of the state population, every third beneficiary of government schemes in his state is from the Muslim community.
In an exclusive interview to News18 Network Group Editor-in-Chief Rahul Joshi on Wednesday, Adityanath said that his government had not discriminated among beneficiaries, and if one were to look up statistics, Muslims had availed greater proportion of welfare schemes.
"See, poor is poor. Government plans should reach everybody without discrimination. It has been our motive that development is for everybody. Remember, in 2014, PM Modi said ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’. This is not a slogan, this is a reality and we are proud that we took everything to the ground-level," Adityanath told News18. He added, "If we have given 25 lakh houses, all were not for Hindus. Muslim population in UP is 18%, but 30-35% houses have gone to Muslims."
He said that if one were to look at hard facts then Muslims have got twice as many houses, in proportion to their population than Hindus.
"It is double. There were poor Muslims, they needed benefits and we provided them. We did not provide help because they were Muslims. We defined a criteria and whoever fell into that category got the benefits. For us, it is the citizen of the state that matters," the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, who is through half of his five year tenure told News18.
In an effort to challenge the narrative about UP government with him as its chief being pitted against minorities, Adityanath said that he maintained the same relationship with Muslims that he did with the others.
"I have the same relationship with them that I have with the rest of the people. We don't divide the society on the basis of caste and religion."
Adityanath also talked about the statements that he had issued in the course of 2019 general poll campaigning, where for instance, he called Kerala's Muslim League a "green virus", or pitted 'Ali' against 'Bajrang Bali'.
"I might have given statements considering the situation at the time. But yes, we have never tolerated communalism, hooliganism and we won’t tolerate in future either."
Adityanath-led BJP government completes its half-way mark of its tenure – 2.5 years of its stipulated five-year term – on Wednesday. The saffron robed chief minister faces his first big test, after the 2019 general polls, in what is being called a mini-assembly election with 13 assembly of UP going to bypolls in the coming months.