Reports say SP-Congress alliance leading race in Uttar Pradesh.
New Delhi: With 48 hours left in the first phase polling in Uttar Pradesh, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday launched a scathing attack against state chief minister Akhilesh Yadav. As for the reports reaching the BJP from the state, the SP-Congress alliance is leading the race at this juncture.
Addressing the BJP’s “Parivartan Sankalp Rally” in Ghaziabad, Mr Modi alleged that the ruling SP government was “sheltering” and “nursing” crime and corruption and asserted that this UP election was about ending the 14-year “exile of growth” in the state. Mr Modi said this upcoming election was not a contest among parties, but a battle of “vikas over vinash (growth over destruction)”.
The BJP has also been reaching out to the Jats, which are numerically strong in the western UP, which will be going to polls in the first phase. BJP president Amit Shah held a meeting on Tuesday with the Jat leaders and presented his party as the best bet for them, saying voting for the Ajit Singh-led RLD or any other party would not help their cause. The community had supported the BJP during last general elections but have been miffed with the central government over various agrarian issues.
In his nearly 45-minute address, the PM attacked the Akhilesh-led government on several fronts, including law and order.
“When Akhilesh came, we felt he is young and educated and will try to do some good. ‘Par nirash kar dia, paanch saalo ke andar UP ka vinash kar diya (But he has disappointed us, destroyed UP in five years),” the Prime Minister said.
“They keep attacking me, and accuse that I have not kept promises. I tell you, I will give answer to the public in 2019, but Akhilesh government must answer to the people as it had ruled it for the last five years... If you do not answer in Uttar Pradesh, how will you make it Uttam Pradesh,” Mr Modi said, alleging that the law and order has failed as powerful people with protection of the ruling party are controlling police in their areas.
The Prime Minister also hit out at the SP government over several plans of the Centre which have “not been adequately implemented” in Uttar Pradesh. He also made a veiled attack on BSP supremo Mayawati, saying a “favourite” government official of the BSP supremo was now “languishing in jail”.
Union ministers Mahesh Sharma and Gen (retd) V K Singh, also Ghaziabad MP, earlier addressed the rally and attacked the SP government. The polling in the state will be done in seven phases between February 11 and March 8 and counting of ballots will take place on March 11.