Ahead of the inauguration of Purvanchal Expressway, a flagship project by the Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government, top state officials spoke about the law-and-order situation in the state at a media briefing on November 17, 2021. Here, Awanish K Awasthi, Additional Chief Secretary (Home), and other top officials made claims about the state's crime rate and economic growth.
FactChecker looked at data recorded by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) and the Union Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation to verify their claims.
Claim 1: Uttar Pradesh is a crime-free state now, Awasthi was quoted as saying in a Hindustan Times report. "The crime rate has come down drastically in Uttar Pradesh. There is no danga (riots) in our state now as this government has a zero-tolerance policy against such elements," he added.
Fact: Misleading. Since it is unclear what sort of crime Awasthi was referring to, FactChecker referred to overall crime statistics of the state and found that in 2020, 3.55 lakh crimes punishable under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and 3.02 lakh crimes punishable under the Special and Local Laws (SLL) in were registered in the state, according to NCRB data. So, a total of 6.57 lakh crimes were committed in the state in 2020.
Moreover, 6,126 cases of riots were registered in UP in 2020 and the state recorded a 7.2% hike in riots cases since 2019. The only two states that saw more riots than UP in 2020, were Bihar (9,422) and Maharashtra (9,157).
In fact, during 2016-2020, an average of 7551 cases of riots were registered in UP every year. And, here too, UP ranks third, behind Bihar and Maharashtra, that have recorded an average of 10,055 and 8357 riots cases every year.
The NCRB classifies rioting cases in to 16 types: communal or religious-related rioting, sectarian, industrial, political, caste conflict, agrarian, students, money dispute, water dispute, land/property dispute, family disputes, enmity/rivalry, electric/power supply disputes, rioting while in andolan/morchas, rioting/attacks on police personnel or government servants and other rioting. Among these 15 categories, except 'other riots', these 5 topped the list in yearly average cases in the country:
11,241 riots over land or property dispute
4,489 riots over enmity rivalry
4,172 riots over family dispute
2,276 agrarian riots
1,943 riots during andolans or morchas (protests or rallies).
Between 2016 and 2020, the country saw an average of 55,299 cases of riots get registered every year and UP reported 13.6% of these.
FactChecker tried contacting Awasthi's office and other members of UP's home department, but the numbers were not reachable. This story will be updated as and when FactChecker gets a response from the official.
Claim #2: Uttar Pradesh is the second-largest economy in the country after Maharashtra, another top official claimed.
Fact: Misleading. Uttar Pradesh's Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) for 2020-21 was Rs 17,05,59,337 lakh while Tamil Nadu's GSDP was Rs 19,02,68,887 lakh, which is almost Rs 1,97,09,550 lakh more than that of UP's, according to data provided by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI), as on August 2, 2021.
The State Domestic Product data for 2020-21 is provided for 19 of 36 states/UTs, while for the remaining 17 states (which includes Maharashtra), the latest GSDP data is available for 2019-20. But Maharashtra's revised GSDP estimate of 2020-21 decreased by 6% from 2019-20, according to the Maharashtra Budget Analysis 2021-22 provided by PRS Legislative Research.
The state's GSDP for 2019-20 was Rs. 28,18,55,457 lakh, according to the data provided by MoSPI. This means, Maharashtra's GSDP for 2020-21 was around Rs. 26,49,44,129.58 lakh — which proves that UP's economy was behind that of Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu in 2020.
As per the revised estimates, the GSDP of Tamil Nadu is estimated to be 5.3% over the 2019-20 value (Rs 18,45,853 crore), according to PRS's Tamil Nadu Budget Analysis 2021-22. Based on this, Tamil Nadu's 2020-21 GSDP stands at Rs 19.43 lakh crore, which is higher than the revised estimate of UP's GSDP in 2020-21(Rs. 19.40 lakh crore), according to PRS's Uttar Pradesh Budget Analysis 2021-22. So, UP's economy, in 2020-21, was not the second-largest in the country, and was behind Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu.