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Double Check: Fact Checking the Uttar Pradesh Assembly Election

Double Check: Fact Checking the Uttar Pradesh Assembly Election

Misinformation about Uttar Pradesh’s upcoming election is already circulating. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is bringing in star campaigners with hopes of maintaining power, the former chief minister from Samajwadi Party (SP) Akhilesh Yadav is deemed to be the incumbent party’s biggest contender forming alliances with smaller, marginal parties, and the Indian National Congress (INC) and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) are hoping to make inroads offering several sops. False and misleading claims about parties’ performances, poll promises, and political leaders’ governance records are being shared on social media. 

Here are a few claims pertaining to Uttar Pradesh that we checked. We will be updating this section with more fact checks in the coming weeks. 

MISLEADING: ​​ The employment rate in Uttar Pradesh has reduced by over 12 percent since 2016.

The unemployment rate was at three percent when Adityanath took office in March 2017, and stood at 4.2 percent for the month of October 2021. While quoting the 17 percent figure, Adityanath took an unemployment rate from almost seven months before he came to power in March 2017.  The highest ever unemployment rate recorded in Uttar Pradesh was 18 percent in June 2016, followed by 17.1 percent in August 2016 under the former Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav's government, before gradually decreasing throughout 2016 and early 2017. 

If looking at just the unemployment rate metric, the state today is worse off from when the BJP government took over. Due to the COVID-19 lockdowns, the highest unemployment rate under the BJP government in the state was 21.5 percent in April 2020, followed by 20.4 percent in May 2020.

Read the full fact check here.

FALSE: Uttar Pradesh has the highest crimes against Scheduled Tribes.

Madhya Pradesh reported the highest atrocities against Scheduled Tribes as per NCRB's 2020 report while U.P. reported the highest crimes against Scheduled Castes.

According to National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data, Madhya Pradesh reported 2,401 crimes/atrocities against STs in 2020. The increase is attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic, as migrant workers returned to their villages after the central government declared a nationwide lockdown. According to the report, Uttar Pradesh recorded three cases against STs in 2020. However, the state reported the highest atrocities against scheduled castes, with 12,714 cases. 

Read the full fact check here.

MISLEADING: Instances of serious crime in Uttar Pradesh in 2020 is the lowest since 2013.

The rate of serious crimes across India saw a decline in 2020, not just in Uttar Pradesh.

Serious crimes like rape, homicide, and theft offenses in U.P. decreased from previous years, according to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) report for 2020. Between 2013 and 2017, however, each of these violations grew. Only since 2018 has there been a considerable decrease in serious crimes.

The NCRB data also suggests that crimes under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Special and Local Laws in U.P. surged, with 585,157 recorded in 2018, 628,578 reported in 2019, and 657,925 reported in 2020.

While national crime rates of serious crimes declined in U.P. through 2020, it was in line with the decrease across India. Thus, it will be misleading to single out Uttar Pradesh in seeing a decrease in serious crimes.

Read the full fact check here.

UNVERIFIABLE: Uttar Pradesh ranks last among big states in governance, study finds.

A Bengaluru-based think-tank, Public Affairs Center (PAC India), published a report measuring governance among 18 states in India. According to this study, in the large state category, Kerala topped the list, followed by Tamil Nadu, while U.P. ranked last for the quality of governance. The PAC report is based on 43 indicators and three broad-based parameters.

However, with no other studies or reports supporting the findings, we cannot objectively ascertain if U.P. is the worst-governed large state in India. BJP’s Yogi Adityanath has repeatedly been rated as the best performing chief minister, according to the India Today Mood of the Nation poll.

Read the full fact check here.

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