‘No Challenge For Us, We Just Want To Raise Our Bar For Development': UP Deputy CM Brajesh Pathak

In conversation with Team Outlook, Pathak talks about the resolve of the Yogi government to make UP a trillion-dollar economy and also exudes confidence about the BJP’s chances of sweeping the next Lok Sabha elections in the largest state.

Uttar Pradesh Deputy CM Brajesh Pathak

Brajesh Pathak has risen from the grassroots level in Bharatiya Janata Party to become the deputy chief minister in the incumbent Yogi Adityanath government of Uttar Pradesh. In a short span of time, Pathak has made a mark as an able leader and administrator. In conversation with Team Outlook, Pathak talks about the resolve of the Yogi government to make UP a trillion-dollar economy and also exudes confidence about the BJP’s chances of sweeping the next Lok Sabha elections in the largest state. Edited excerpts:

Your government has lately been talking about turning Uttar Pradesh into a trillion-dollar economy from public platforms? What are your preparations to attain this ambitious goal?

UP is at present the fastest growing state on the economic front. We have the largest infrastructure in the country. Our state has more national highways and expressways than any other state in the country. As of now, 17 airports are being built in UP. Also, unprecedented work is being done to improve health services. We have put in place a system that enables us to get the data related to the health of the people on a daily basis.

Nowadays, doctors are seeing about 1.5 to 2 lakh patients on a daily basis across the state. Our doctors are doing about 5,000 operations every day only in medical and health department institutions. Ever since our government assumed office in 2017, efforts have been made to ensure that the residents of UP do not have to wander from one place to another for kidney transplants and bypass surgeries. Our government has also increased the MBBS seats in large numbers. We are about to reach the top position in the country in terms of food production as well and we are already number one in sugar production.

The youth of the state are our strength. We are organising skill development training camps across the state for their social and economic prosperity. With proper training, they are being made self-reliant in the field of their interests. Work is also being done to connect every district of Uttar Pradesh with the global market through the idea of the 'One District One Product (ODOP)' scheme.

Chikan craftsmanship and Zardozi work of Lucknow, knives and violins of Rampur, brass utensils of Moradabad, flutes of Pilibhit, dholak of Amroha, locks of Aligarh, saree and wooden toys of Banaras, imarti of Jaunpur, guava of Prayag Raj, Dussehri mangoes of Malihabad are some of the items that are going from local to global. Workers, small-scale industries, farmers, and artisans associated with such products are all getting recognition and money. When Prime minister Modi ji gifted some of the products from UP to different heads of the state, it created a buzz across the world.

What do you think are the challenges for your government?

There is no challenge for us. We have set a benchmark of development for ourselves on the basis of our performance between 2017 and 2022. We want to raise that bar further now. UP has witnessed excellent work on the development front over the past five years or so. There were only three airports earlier but now we are building 17 airports. The largest airport in Asia is also coming up at Jewar which will be completed on time. Now, flights from UP are available for almost every destination. We face every challenge with strength and move forward.

Poor law and order had been a major hurdle in the development of industries in UP. But your government appears to have done a good job to create a crime-free environment in the state. What steps are being taken by your government to further strengthen the law and order situation?

When Yogi Adityanath ji's government was formed in 2017, law and order and crime were the biggest challenges for us. We took the first step by constituting an Anti-Romeo Squad and took strict action against the miscreants who were harassing girls and women. We have registered about 5,000 cases and put 15,000 men behind bars. The positive results of our initiative were visible within days after its launch. As a result, women and girls were able to leave the house without any fear across the state.

Later, we worked without any delay to destroy the organised crime mafia that had spread their tentacles across UP. Today, the same infamous crime mafia members are spending their time in jail. In fact, our government has given all the necessary resources and freedom to the state police administration to deal sternly with the crime, which has sent shivers down the spine of the criminals across the state.

The UP government has adopted a zero-tolerance policy towards crime and taken strict action against the rioters, mafia elements and other anti-socials under the provisions of the Goonda Act, the National Security Act and the Gangster Act. We have made it abundantly clear that there is no place for criminal thinking in the state. If need be, we will even enact new laws to keep the law and security situation under control in any situation. UP was witness to several riots before 2017. In Muzaffarnagar alone, hundreds of people lost their lives. But thanks to Modi ji and Yogi ji, not a single riot was allowed to take place ever since our government came to power in the state.

The return of the Yogi Adityanath government to power after the BJP's massive victory in the 2022 assembly elections was a historic event. Now, all eyes are on the next Lok Sabha elections. What are your preparations for 2024?

It was a historic event. It was for the first time in the 37 years of UP’s history that a ruling party had returned to power. All the credit for that goes to the welfare schemes initiated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji as well as to the efficient leadership and strong will of the honuorable Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath ji. Now, even the last person in society feels his importance and participation in the government. Earlier, UP was governed by the directives of one person and one family that had the interests of only one particular caste and community in mind. UP has an inclusive government in a real sense now.


Now, marginalised, exploited and deprived sections of society are joining the mainstream through welfare schemes for the poor. After decades, smiles have returned on the faces of the sections that were deprived of basic necessities such as house, electricity, water, toilets and gas connection for years. This is the reason behind our victory and progress. Also, the way India's international image has increased under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the way India dealt with the corona pandemic with his vision and determination, I am sure that we are going to win as many as 80 Lok Sabha seats in UP in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. In any case, the public has become aware of the propaganda and appeasement politics pursued by the Opposition parties. They understand that other parties are forever ready to join hands with anti-national forces just to gain power.


On the completion of 100 days of government formation, you launched the "Invest UP" campaign, but it is also true that the youth of UP have to migrate and seek work outside the state. How is your government going to help them and what is its target for the next 100 days?

Our government is committed to the welfare of the new generation. Since youth is the future, every decision of the state government is taken in keeping with their interests. We want to make the youth so skilled through skill development training centres that they do not face any problems even in a distant country. During the Covid pandemic, when migrants returned home in large numbers, we conducted a skill-mapping exercise to provide them jobs as per their expertise. We also worked to create employment opportunities in their native districts to help them stay back with their families. We brought them back into mainstream society.


UP has jumped many spots to emerge at No. 2 in the country in ease of doing business. How did it happen?

We have implemented the single window system across the state. Now, all the necessary services, certificates, licenses, etc are made available to the public through the digital medium in a week. For speedy settlement of the business disputed, we have also done the work for opening commercial courts in 18 divisions. We are committed to the development of every section, every citizen of Uttar Pradesh.