- Yogi Adityanath ordered 18-hour power supply in villages
- Bundelkhand would get 20 hours of electricity every day
- A farm loan waiver headlined the UP government's first cabinet meet
The Chief Minister has directed officials to ensure that there is uninterrupted supply to villages from 6 in the evening to 6 in the morning to ensure that students preparing for exams are not disturbed. And also to ensure that defective or burnt transformers are replaced soon so that agriculture is not disrupted.
"It is the dream of BJP chief Amit Shah and the Chief Minister that every house, every poor, and every village get power by 2018," said UP's Power Minister Shrikant Sharma after the three-hour cabinet meeting.
This would be the first time that UP's villages would get 18 hours of assured power supply, the minister said, also announcing that the Bundlekhand region would get 20 hours of electricity every day.
Mr Sharma said the BJP government, which took charge three weeks ago, had successfully provided uninterrupted 24-hour power supply at all "shaktipeeths" during the Navratri festival that ended last week.
Before the cabinet meeting senior minister Sidharth Nath Singh had tweeted that today's agenda was "to serve the common man."
There was buzz that the second cabinet meeting could be held in Allahabad in an effort to take governance to the doorstep of people and assess local issues closely, but the offsite meeting plan has not been implemented just yet. Today's meeting, like the first last week, was being held in UP capital Lucknow's Lok Bhawan.
Yogi Adityanath, 44, a saffron-robed monk, had held his first cabinet meeting a full fortnight after he was sworn in on March 19, not calling a meeting of his new ministers immediately after the oath as most Chief Ministers do. He delayed the meeting to be able to announce a waiver of loans for UP's small and marginal farmers as promised by his party the BJP.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said in campaign speeches that a farm loan waiver would be announced in the first cabinet meeting if the BJP came to power, and Yogi Adityanath did that at the meeting last week, announcing a write-off of loans worth more than 36,000 crore.
He has also lost no time in making announcements on other election promises of the BJP like the closing of illegal slaughterhouses and setting up anti-Romeo squads to target men who harass women.