Meerut: In his first rally in Uttar Pradesh after polls were announced, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday alleged the corrupt he had “robbed” with note-ban have ganged up to bring him down and targeted the SP-Congress alliance, saying the two parties which abused each other till recently
are now locked in an embrace to save themselves.
In his over-an-hour-long address, he spoke at length about corruption, law and order and nepotism allegedly prevailing in the state as he sought people’s vote for BJP to change the state’s fate.
“It is UP which made me the Prime Minister,” Modi said, adding that he wanted to repay its debt and that he can do it only with a government that joins hands with the Centre to develop the state unlike the current dispensation which is a “hindrance” in its progress.
Attacking Congress and Samajwadi Party, he said Congress ran a campaign against the Samajwadi Party government and wondered as to what happened that both have now joined hands. “What happened that overnight they are embracing each.
Those who could not save themselves cannot save UP,” he said. Wooing farmers, he reiterated the party’s promise of waiving loans of small and marginal farmers and paying the dues of sugarcane growers within 14 days of coming to power. Playing the pro-poor and pro-farmers card, a plank BJP has assiduously tried to claim for some time, Modi said the recent budget was all about them besides the middle class.
Noting that the rebellion against the British rule in 1857 had started from Meerut, Modi said he has chosen this place to start the war against poverty, corrupt forces and land grabbers. The Prime Minister again attacked the opposition parties over demonetisation and surgical strikes to strike a chord with the audience as he said he was determined to cleanse the system at the top and was not interested in small fights.
“Those who filled rooms with currency notes collected by selling party tickets are very anguished as I forced them to deposit their money in banks with an announcement at 8 pm on November 8….
“I knew they will all gang up against me. They will kick up a storm because Modi has robbed them and they will bring him down. Do you think that corruption should be ended and black money finished off? I have been doing this and will not rest nor will let these robbers rest. No matter how many of them
gang up to oppose me, my fight will not stop. Modi will not stop,” he said.
Targeting Congress, he said a minister in the party-run Karnataka government has been found in possession of Rs 150 crore and but it has not taken any action against him. Targeting Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, he said first his concern was all about family, then about himself and now it is about the chair.
Those accused of running mine mafia, patronising criminals, rapists and land-grabbers have been given tickets in SP, he alleged. Uttar Pradesh has potential to be a leading state in the country but has remained mired in poverty and unemployment due to its governments, Modi said.
“You made me Prime Minister and I have done everything in my capacity to bring honour to the state. Still, some debt I have to repay. In the last two and a half years, I have done a lot for the poor, farmers, deprived, dalits and some is yet to to be done.
“You tell me if all the good I want to do for the state will not remain unfulfilled if the state government here works as a hindrance. So long as you do not send such a government home, the development the central government wants will not happen. It is necessary to remove them,” he said, seeking votes for BJP.
Only about Rs 2,800 crore of Rs 7,000 crore the Centre had sent to UP for health care development in 2015-16 was spent and not even Rs 40 crore of the Rs 950 cr sent for ‘Swachh’ campaign was used, he said and cited more figures to accuse the Akhilesh government of not being interested in the state’s development.
“It (SP government) believes if the money cannot be spent on those who are its vote bank, then it will let the funds rot. Tell me if assistance to those who are ill should be based on vote bank politics,” he said. “The whole day the government is busy with uncle, son, papa, nephew…. If you want to change UP’s fate, change the government. You demolish the rule of SCAM with your votes,” he said in a dig at the Yadav clan’s feud.
Modi’s political attack was largely focused on SP-Congress alliance with BSP being mentioned only
tangentially. Referring to surgical strikes, he said the valour of our armed forces was underestimated so far and enemies would kill them in night and disappear but they could not use their guns due to atmosphere created earlier.
“Now countries across the world are studying as to how Indian forces did such an operation on Pakistani soil. We made them (enemies) account for everything,” the PM said. While other politicians go to various locations to celebrate Diwali and their birthdays, he went to forces deployed on border, the PM said.
He targeted the opposition parties for questioning the strikes and alleged that some of them doubted the operation because no Indian soldier lost his life.