Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Saturday claimed that there exists no casteism in the state politics.
And to substantiate his claim, the chief minister cited instances of repeated elections of some lawmakers from some assembly segments inhabited by the people of castes different from those of their elected MLAs.
The chief minister made the claim in his valedictory address to a two-day orientation and training programme for the newly elected UP, during which he also announced that President Ram Nath Kovind will address both Houses of the UP legislature on June 6.
Claiming the absence of casteism in UP politics, the chief minister asked, "If politics of casteism is true in Uttar Pradesh, how come Suresh Khanna was elected as an MLA for the ninth time from Shahjahanpur?”
“There are not even a thousand votes of his (Khanna 's) caste in Shahjahanpur," he pointed out. “Similarly, our speaker Satish Mahana was elected from Kanpur for the eighth time. He too does not have voters of his caste but he has still been elected," the chief minister said.
"If we live up to the expectation of the people, they will also continue to support us," he said, adding that it is important for people’s representatives to perform in accordance with their electors' expectations.
Both Khanna and Mahana belong to the Khatri caste, not a dominant community in the two assembly segments.
Continuing his counsel to the new MLAs, the chief minister said patience and decency are the virtues that help one progress in public life and also cautioned them against working to meet their personal interests and interfering with official work.
Adityanath said he is of the view that the more practical a public representative becomes, the easier it is for him to communicate with the people and live up to their expectations.
"I have seen that negativity can never take a public representative forward," he said.
"In public life, a person's patience and decency always take him forward while haste, affection for (government) contracts and interference in every single matter leads to his downfall," he said.
The chief minister said public representatives should serve the interests of the state and the country.
"Politics should never come in the way of developmental works," he said while counselling the members to develop the skill of putting their views effectively and succinctly in a lesser number of words.
He also said one or two member(s) should be honoured as an "ideal member" and the new members of the House should get an opportunity to speak.
Governor Anandiben Patel who also addressed the orientation programme for newly elected MLAs was earlier welcomed by the chief minister and other members of the assembly.
In her address, the governor welcomed the 128 new MLAs who have been elected for the first time to the assembly. Patel said she is happy that 47 women have been elected to the assembly and their number is increasing.
She asked the members not to promise anything to the public that they cannot deliver.
"The image of a public representative is tarnished when your children and relatives move with you and start performing your duties," Patel counselled the MLAs in subtle sarcasm and added, "To keep the right image, one must follow the law."
Earlier on Friday, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla inaugurated ‘e-vidhan' system of the functioning of the House which is to switch over steadily to the paperless mode of working, using digital communication means and streaming of the House proceedings on YouTube as well.
The first session of the new 403-member UP assembly is starting on Monday.