Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday sounded the poll bugle in Uttar Pradesh, launching a two-pronged attack, on the SP and the BSP, and saying the politics of casteism, nepotism and favouritism mus
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday sounded the poll bugle in Uttar Pradesh, launching a two-pronged attack, on the SP and the BSP, and saying the politics of casteism, nepotism and favouritism must end. In the land of “Ma Ganga”, “vikas”, or development, was yet again the Modi mantra.
Addressing a mammoth rally at the Parade Ground near Sangam in Allahabad, the Prime Minister said amid chants of “Modi, Modi” that “development will gain momentum only when the seeds of communalism, dynastic rule and corruption are removed”.
Asserting that UP needs development and that the BJP is the only party with a “vikas mantra” , Mr Modi, seeking support for the BJP in the 2017 UP Assembly polls, said he would like to repay the debt he incurred when the state sent him to Parliament as its representative. Mr Modi is an MP from Varanasi.
The PM lauded UP’s contribution in the last general election and appreciated how the state helped the BJP-led NDA get a large mandate. He engaged the crowd, asking them to flash their cell phones, and said the collective light was an indication of the change that is to come in UP and for the Opposition to realise the saffron party’s growing strength across India. He also mentioned the BJP’s performance in the recent Assembly elections, including in Assam where it formed its first government.
Earlier, while mentioning the names of party leaders, Union ministers and BJP chief ministers on the dais, Mr Modi said UP has a “dabdaba (dominance)” in the Union council of ministers as he named Union ministers Rajnath Singh, Manohar Parrikar, Kalraj Mishra, Santosh Gangwar and Sanjiv Balyan. He described Mr Rajnath Singh as UP’s “aan, baan aur shaan (pride and glory)” and referred to Mr Kalraj Mishra as his “oldest friend”. BJP veterans L.K. Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi were also present and Mr Modi described Dr Joshi, MP from Kanpur, as “UP’s pride” and the party’s “source of inspiration”.
Invoking “Nishadraj”, a character from the Ramayan, he said the credit for a single political party getting a huge mandate (a simple majority) after 30 years goes to UP, which gave the BJP 71 out of the state’s total 80 parliamentary seats.
Mr Modi said whenever the country faced any difficulty, UP took the initiative to sort it out, and described UP’s people as generous.
He said Prayag (Allahabad) got this name because in ancient times a yagna was held for “lokhitaarth” (people’s benefit) and that the same yagna would be performed in the state for development. He said UP needs to rid itself of corruption, nepotism, goonda raj, communalism, casteism and arrogance. Though he did not name any political outfit, the BJP has been attacking the ruling SP on these issues. He also mentioned the various surveys of two years of his government at the Centre and said “Modi passed 1st class”.
Earlier, at the national executive meet, Mr Modi, in his concluding remarks, gave party leaders and cadres seven mantras to implement in their manner and policies — balance, patience, coordination, positive attitude, dialogue, compassion and a helpful nature. He told party leaders that shouting slogans would not help the party but what would help was the inclusion of people in taking forth the message of development and the government’s initiatives.
Briefing the media on the PM’s talking points at the meeting, Union finance minister Arun Jaitley said Mr Modi had said that governance should be used to benefit society and that the BJP has made geographical advances in areas where it was historically weak. When told that UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav has claimed nothing as alleged happened in Kairana, Mr Jaitley said if the UP CM was ready, then he should accept the people’s referendum on the law and order issue in the 2017 polls. “Let the people of the state decide whether the law and order of the state is good or not,” he remarked.
When asked about the national executive’s view on the Kairana and Mathura incidents, he said party president Amit Shah had already taken up both issues during his inaugural speech on Sunday. “There is nothing to add to it as the BJP has already expressed its concern on law and order in the state, the exodus of Hindus in Kairana and the violence in Mathura,” he said
Earlier, Union road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari said Mr Shah has set up a nine-member team to visit Kairana to probe the exodus of Hindus over the past couple of years
The national executive also adopted a political resolution which hailed the party’s performance in the recent Assembly elections. It also asserted that every election, from panchayat to Parliament, was important to expand its electoral and ideological influence. The document also said that the BJP is gearing up for the next round of Assembly elections, due early next year, with the “renewed energy and vigour that it has derived from the recent electoral successes as well as the successes achieved by the Modi government in the last two years”. It described the BJP as the only pan-Indian party and as one emerging as the natural party of governance in many states.