As the capital city of Uttar Pradesh goes to polls in third phase of assembly elections, people of Lucknow voice what their concerns in the city are and what they would like to see improved.
Law and Order
An issue overriding most others is the maintenance of law and order and the Samajwadi Party government hasn’t really had a good record on this front. Kashif believes this needs to be addressed on priority. “It has started improving now, but for the first three years (of the Akhilesh Yadav government), the law and order situation was really bad. It created a huge problem for us,” he said.
Pawan Kumar Pathak paints a more grim picture. “Rape, murder, robbery, assault became common occurrences in this government. Law and order is where the government has failed terribly,” he said.
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Wasim Siddiqui says the development has been good and if the government is given more time, they will do better. “However, all complaints of lack of safety especially by the women need to be addressed and taken care of strictly,” he adds.
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Anurag Thakur raised the concern of no industries being set up in the state in the past five years leading to lack of employment. Noida is brimming with jobs and companies, which Thakur wants to keep aside while talking about employment. It is the rest of UP that is facing lack of education that leads to a job to sustain families. “We need education that will help us solicit jobs. We don’t want to keep sitting with our degrees,” he says.
In a state that has high populations of Dalits, Hindus, and Muslims, politicians do tend to resort to casteist or religious polarisation to ask for votes. Even though the Election Commission issued a guideline prohibiting use of of casteist or religious terminology in order to solicit votes, the history of it happening in the state is hard to erase or overlook. “In Morena, we weren’t given electricity, we arranged for it ourselves. However, the Muslim village next to us was given everything,” said Pawan Kumar Pathak.
Kashif believes the polarisation often happens on the basis of caste if Mayawati is in power. “General public is not paid attention to,” he says. “It is only those belonging to a certain caste that benefit.”
Pathak simply wants all resources to be equally divided among all regardless of caste and religious affiliations and wants governance to be above these lines of division.
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Whether a supporter or non-supporter of Akhilesh, most in the city believe that they have seen development and certain things have improved in the city. Kashif wants a continuation of that. “So many projects are lying incomplete, for example the Gomti project (the Gomti Riverfront Development Project). A new government will start from scratch, but should this government remain, it could focus on completing pending projects,” he said.
Lack of facilities in government hospitals is another problem that Anurag raises. “We have to rush to the more expensive private hospitals when we know that the government can provide us these facilities. They should work on making government hospitals better than private hospitals,” he says.