Lucknow, May 14: The bulldozer politics that originated in Uttar Pradesh nearly two years ago has now become a mascot of the Yogi Adityanath government.
The bulldozer first gained prominence in the Yogi Adityanath government in July 2020 when this mean machine was used to pull down the house of gangster Vikas Dubey in Bikru village in Kanpur. Dubey was the main accused in the massacre of eight police personnel and bulldozing his palatial house ensured speedy justice in the terror-stricken area.
Thereafter, the bulldozer was used to demolish the ill-gotten properties of mafia dons like Mukhtar Ansari and Atiq Ahmad, both of whom were behind bars.
The state government happily released photographs and videos of the houses, shopping complexes, hotels and buildings of the mafia crumbling under the power of the bulldozer.
The bulldozer gradually emerged as a symbol of justice against wrong-doers and Yogi supporters, mainly Hindus, cheered the initiative.
In the midst of the assembly election, a local daily named Yogi Adityanath as ‘Bulldozer Baba’ and this took the BJP campaign to the next level.
Leader after leader spoke about the might of the bulldozer in the elections and how Yogi Adityanath had brought criminals down to their knees with his bulldozer.
The results of the UP assembly elections where the BJP staged a return to power, put the seal of approval on bulldozer politics and the opposition that had tried to project the bulldozer as a symbol of tyranny, was put on the backfoot.
While the results made other states like Madhya Pradesh and Delhi adopt the bulldozer formula with open arms, it also gave Yogi Adityanath the opportunity to pursue this brand of politics even more aggressively in his second term.
The UP police are now targeting those linked to mafia dons on an almost daily basis and people are lapping it up.
Bulldozer Baba’s politics is getting increasingly popular and so is his image as a stern administrator who will spare no wrong doer.
Though there are allegations of the bulldozer politics being ‘selective’ but the voices of approval are far louder.
The popularity of the bulldozer can be gauged from the fact that a whole range of bulldozer toys are now being sold on e-commerce sites like Amazon and Flipkart.
Yogi Adityanath is being felicitated with miniature bulldozers at various functions and the chief minister is not complaining.
The bulldozer politics, meanwhile, has hurt the Samajwadi Party the most.
The Samajwadi Party had used the bulldozer to hit back at the BJP in its election campaign and Akhilesh Yadav, in his every speech, projected the bulldozer as an example of dictatorship (‘tanashahi’) of the BJP leadership.
SP leaders drew a parallel between the bulldozer and the excesses of the Emergency but the ploy did not work. In fact, it boomeranged.
The results dampened the Samajwadi spirit because the voters, apparently, approved of the bulldozer politics.
Post-election, the Samajwadi leaders have almost stopped talking about the bulldozer and have reverted to the incidents of crime and the poor law and order situation to hit out at the Yogi Adityanath government.