Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath today left over 200 journalists stumped when he refused to field questions from them at a press conference that he had called to mark 100 days of his government. He made a 15-minute speech highlighting the young government's achievements, said he was "satisfied" with the work done so far, and then agreed to hear out one journalist from a local Hindi newspaper. The reporter had a request, not a question - he wanted the state government to improve the lot of journalists who work in small newspapers.
"You are part of our "Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas" policy (cooperation of all, development for all)," beamed the Chief Minister and then folded his hands and walked off, refusing to answer questions on farmer loan waivers, law and order and vigilantism amid loud protests by journalists.
"Read our book and then ask questions," offered UP's health minister and government spokesperson Sidharth Nath Singh, referring to a booklet released by the Yogi Adityanath government on the occasion. "The problem is the media comes with pre-mediated questions. We have given a book to you highlighting our achievements. You don't want to read it but to put questions. I don't think that's fair to the Chief Minister," Mr Singh said.
Questions, the minister said, could be posed "in many forums available".
Yogi Adityanath, 45, took over as UP's Chief Minister in March this year after his party the BJP swept assembly elections in the state. A 100 days, he said today, were not enough to bring complete change from what he called the misgovernance of previous governments, but said his government has made a beginning by taking big initiatives to improve infrastructure and law and order in the state.
He is following, the Chief Minister said, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's mantra of "Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas," reiterating that his government will work for all sections of the society without any discrimination.