A view of the River Ganges and Ghats, or bathing steps that line along a river, in Varanasi, in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, India, Friday, Oct. 9, 2015Rahul Trivedi With legislative assembly polls just months away in India’s Uttar Pradesh state, the opposition parties are targeting the Yogi Adityanath-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government over various issues. Amid frequent political attacks ahead of the upcoming assembly polls in India’s Uttar Pradesh, Brajesh Pathak, the state’s law, justice, and rural engineering service minister says the opposition will not be able to stop his party – the BJP – from continuing its rule. Pathak is presently a cabinet minister in the Yogi Adtiyanath-led BJP government in Uttar Pradesh (UP). In an interview with Sputnik, Pathak clarified how the Yogi government has worked on various key issues including law and order, pending court cases in the State, and his party’s strategy for the upcoming polls. Sputnik: The Opposition have been routinely questioning the law and order situation in Uttar Pradesh. As the state’s law minister, how do you look at such allegations and what measures have you actually undertaken in this regard? Brajesh Pathak: The opposition parties are frustrated as they don’t have any real issue to raise. Today, there is a rule of law in Uttar Pradesh. During previous governments’ rule, problems of the common people were not heeded in police stations. The Yogi Adityanath-led state government did work to improve the situation.We have adopted a strict policy of zero tolerance for criminals. The mafias and criminals, who were running parallel power centres in previous governments, are now either in jail or have fled the state.For the first time, the BJP government has brought in police reforms. Under the reforms, we introduced the commissionerate system in the state. Around 138,000 police personnel have been appointed through a transparent recruitment process and over 155 new police stations have been set up. Women help desks have been set up in all the 1,535 police stations of the state. An Uttar Pradesh Special Security Force (UPSSF) has been constituted on the lines of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) to ensure the security of important establishments and buildings in the state.An anti-land mafia task force has been constituted to free public and private land, that was grabbed under the patronage of those who were in power and using other tricks.Apart from this, the Police Forensic University has also been established in the capital city of Lucknow and cyber cells formed in all the districts. We have also formed anti-romeo squad in the state for the first time for women and girls’ safety and security.In the BJP government, no action is taken on the basis of caste or religion unlike it used to happen in the previous government. We believe that criminals have no caste or religion.Sputnik: How does it feel when your government faces criticism for slapping sedition charges on individuals allegedly to curb dissent? Even the Supreme Court of India is concerned over the misuse of this law.Brajesh Pathak: For us, the pride and honour of the country are a priority. What is wrong in taking action against those who are humiliating the country and society?As far as cases of sedition in the state are concerned, they have been filed against those only who committed such acts. To come to power [as a government], political parties like Samajwadi Party and the Congress protect those who are indulged in anti-national activities. They share wrong data about it by favouring the people involved in terrorist activities. People of the State are now aware of the character of these parties.Sputnik: The state has a major problem – pending court cases. The federal government has extended the centrally-sponsored scheme for the development of judiciary infrastructure. How does the Yogi Adityanath government plan to utilise the funds sanctioned under the scheme?Brajesh Pathak: Pending court cases was the biggest challenge before the government soon after we came to power in the state. We started working on it at the ground level. Efforts were made to provide infrastructure as per the requirement of the courts. A total of 110 new family courts and 13 new commercial courts were set up.Besides, separate courts for Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS), Permanent Lok Adalats (People’s Courts) and motor tribunals were set up in every district. Also, Special fast-track court in Allahabad district of the State has been constituted to deal with criminal cases involving former and sitting Members of Parliament and Members of Legislative Assembly.We are continuously working on reducing the burden of the courts and to ensure timely justice for everyone through the scheme of the federal government.Sputnik: With next state assembly polls just months away, how is the BJP planning to form alliances with other parties?Brajesh Pathak: The alliance of the BJP government is with 240 million people of the state while the entire opposition is working on an alliance with each other. However, they will not be able to stop the BJP from forming the government again. Our party workers are directly reaching out to people at the booth level.Our government has worked to improve the law and order situation, in the field of education, for employment, for the farmers and women.We are reaching out to the people with the work done by the Yogi government in the state and the Modi government in the Centre. Our strategy is to extend the benefits of the schemes of the government to everyone and expose the lies of the Opposition. Like-minded parties are already with us.