New Delhi: In his first address to Uttar Pradesh voters after the announcement of the election schedule, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday targeted the Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party (SP) without naming it, saying when Western UP was burning due to riots, those in power were celebrating. Mr Modi also cautioned voters that the BJP’s opponents, who have “dangai soch” (rioters’ mentality) are waiting to take revenge from those who voted them out in 2017.
In the BJP’s poll plank in the region, 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots is one of the main issues, which had created a major divide between Muslims and Jats in the region. While Muslims are considered the SP’s vote-bank, Jats have been firmly backing the BJP since 2014. The BJP also named Union minister S.P.S. Baghel, a former close associate of SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav, as a candidate against the SP chief from Karhal Assembly seat, considered an SP stronghold.
“We are putting all our efforts to transform UP, but they are waiting to take revenge from you. Those who are given tickets by them are its proof, revenge is their ideology,” said the PM. Mr Modi also hailed the development work done in the state by the Yogi Adityanath-led government.
Mr Modi, who addressed his first virtual rally ‘Jan Chaupal,’ covering 21 Assembly constituencies in five districts — Baghpat, Shamli, Gautam Buddha Nagar, Muzaffarnagar and Saharanpur – said five years ago muscle men and rioters used to be the law unto themselves in Uttar Pradesh but the BJP government taught them the law.
“Five years ago, houses, land, shops of poor, Dalit, deprived, backward were forcefully occupied by Samajwad… There were reports of exodus. Today everyone, including farmer, employees, businessmen, women are safe. Those mafias and bad elements, who used to think they were above law, have been taught the law by the BJP government,” said Mr Modi.
Insisting that the first-time voters are with the BJP, Mr Modi said the people will once again bless the BJP for its “kaam (work)” and their “karname (exploits),” Mr Modi said and took a dig at the SP chief for his earlier remarks against India’s Covid vaccine and believing in superstition.
“Those who fear losing power because of a superstition and avoid visiting Noida, which is a land of youth’s aspiration, how can they lead the youth… Those who have no trust in their own country’s vaccine and spread rumours against it, can they value the talent and innovation of the youth,” said the PM.
In UP, the first phase polling will be held on February 10, the second phase on February 14, the third phase on February 20, the fourth phase on February 23, the fifth phase on February 27, the sixth phase on March 3 and the seventh phase on March 7. The counting of votes will take place on March 10.