Environment Not An Important Agenda In Uttar Pradesh Elections

March 1, 2022
1 min read
Photo - Oka Sudiatmika

The state election in Uttar Pradesh was conducted on February 10, 2022. Various agendas to enhance farmer and women’s welfare have been included in the manifestos of the BJP, the Samajwadi Party, and the Congress party. However, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has opted not to produce a manifesto, claiming that their deeds speak louder than words and that they do not need to flaunt and make false promises like their opponents. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Samajwadi Party have offered farmers free electricity.  Congress took out three manifestoes Bharti Vidhan for youth, Shakti Vidhan for women, and Unnati Vidhan for the general population of Uttar Pradesh.

However, most parties in Uttar Pradesh have not included climate change in their manifestos, despite the fact that it is critical to consider climate change in a state like UP, which is our country’s most populous state. Aam Adami Party has said, “The urgent issue is to offer some type of financial consolation to the COVID-hit jobless people of Uttar Pradesh,”. So, among promises of goodies and cash, the party’s manifesto’s penultimate page mentions environmental and pollution control concerns in general, but not climate change.

Spokesperson Vaibhav Maheshwari from AAP said “we are focusing on matters that are of direct importance to the people and the problem of climate change and pollution is absent in our manifesto but, if elected, we would work to improve the environment by drafting, modifying, and implementing necessary legislation” Climate change is also not addressed in the Samajwadi Party’s election manifesto. None of the document’s 22 resolutions addresses climate change directly. It also combines environmental protection and urban development in a broader sense.

BJP has not openly talked about climate change in its manifesto for state elections. One of the spokespeople from BJP said  “This is not a state assembly election issue, hence it does not find mention in the Lok Kalyan Sankalp Patra 2022” when asked about where climate change stands in the list of BJP’s priorities in the state election. Unlike others, Congress has prioritized climate change in their manifesto and said they want to address this public concern as a priority.

Meanwhile air pollution in cities across Uttar Pradesh remains unhealthy and toxic. As per IQ air UP cities top India’s most polluted cities list. Air pollution and covid-19 variants combined pose a threat for the many who dwell in these polluted cities.

Uttar Pradesh awaits its election results and hopes for a new dawn after an overwhelming pandemic. 2.15 crore people voted in UP to elect the party that deserves to serve the state. Even though climate change was not a part of most manifestos, the awareness around climate change has been spread to people nationwide. The state needs the common man’s power to grow and hopefully, the people of UP will do right by themselves.

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