Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday targeted the Samajwadi Party, alleging it stands for “Jinnah, Azam Khan and Mukhtar (Ansari)”, and asserted that Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has rid the Purvanchal region of “mosquitoes and mafia”.
“Modiji brought ‘JAM’ – Jan Dhan bank accounts, Aadhaar cards and a mobile phone to every person – for a corruption-free system, but the SP people say they have also brought ‘JAM’ – Jinnah, Azam Khan and Mukhtar (don-turned politician Mukhtar Ansari),” Shah said addressing a rally in Azamgarh, an SP bastion represented by party chief Akhilesh Yadav in Lok Sabha, in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh.
“You should tell me whether you want BJP’s JAM or SP’s JAM. These people can never work for the welfare of Uttar Pradesh. They indulge in dividing people on the basis of caste, causing riots, appeasement and vote-bank politics,” Shah said.
As the election season is approaching, Akhilesh Yadav is seeing greatness in Mohammad Ali Jinnah, he said, referring to the Pakistan founder.
“There are so many people from the minority community here. Is there anyone here who sees greatness in Jinnah,” Shah said.
Akhilesh Yadav has drawn flak for his statement in which he equated Muhammad Ali Jinnah with Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel and Jawaharlal Nehru, saying they helped India get freedom.
Shah said Chief Minister Adityanath has ensured the migration of mafias from Azamgarh and other parts of Uttar Pradesh.
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Noting that the people of Uttar Pradesh had given an overwhelming mandate to the BJP in the previous elections, he spoke about doing away with Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir and setting up a grand temple of Lord Rama under the Modi government.
Speaking at another public meeting in neighbouring Basti, Shah praised Yogi Adityanath for bringing all-round development of the state and sought another term for him with “record-breaking victory” for taking ‘vikas ki aandhi” (development wave) forward in the state.
Yogi Adityanath has “‘freed Purvanchal (eastern UP) of mosquitoes and mafia”, the BJP leader said.
”You (Akhilesh Yadav) never cleaned this area. Mosquitoes were ruling and children were dying of brain fever. But Prime Minister Modi’s Swachhta campaign was implemented here by Adityanath and the region became mosquito-free,” he said.
Shah was addressing the rally in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh after laying the foundation of a new state university in Azamgarh.
The BJP governments at the Centre and in the state have inaugurated many projects in recent weeks in the Purvanchal region (eastern Uttar Pradesh), where it had bagged a large chunk of seats in the 2017 assembly polls.
Shah also urged the UP Chief Minister to name the new university at Azamgarh after Maharaja Suheldev, and as soon as the Union minister ended his speech, Adityanath announced that the state university will be named after Maharaja Suheldev.
Suheldev was a legendary king from Shravasti, popularly known to have defeated and killed the Ghaznavid general Ghazi Miyan at Bahraich in 1034 CE.
Electorally important Rajbhar and Pasi castes see Suheldev as an iconic figure.
Om Prakash Rajbhar who was with the BJP in the 2017 polls has joined hands with the SP for the upcoming state election.
Comparing the present BJP government with the previous SP government, the Union Home Minister said, “I want to thank Yogi ji as the Azamgarh which under the rule of the SP was known in the world for fundamentalist thought and sheltering terrorists, on this very soil, a ‘dhaam’ (abode) of Maa Saraswati is being built.
Showering praises on the UP Chief Minister, Shah said he has brought many transformations in the state which was earlier plagued by casteism, dynastic politics and appeasement.
Before 2017, UP was the sixth largest economy in India, and today it is the second-largest economy in the country. UP’s GDP was 10 lakh 90 thousand crore rupees, and now it is 21 lakh 31 thousand crore rupees, he said.
Previously the unemployment rate was 17.5 percent, and now it has come down to 4.2 percent.
“There were two ‘aadhe-adhure’ (half-built) expressways, but now five new expressways have been built,” he said.
Citing the “exodus” of Hindus from Kairana under SP rule, he said the mafia has now beeen forced to leave the state and there is rule of law in Uttar Pradesh
“The land which was grabbed by the mafia has been freed and utilised for developmental works. The welfare schemes for the poor have been implemented at the ground level,” he said.
“The ‘vikas ki aandhi’Â has to be taken forward, a lot has been done by Modi ji and Yogi ji but a lot still needs to be done for which your blessings are required once again,” Shah who was in Basti to inaugurate ‘Sansad khel mahakumbh’ said.
The Union minister, who has been on a two-day visit of the state beginning Friday, also credited Adityanath for making UP a ”riot-free” state.
Considered as the architect of the BJP victory in the previous general election as well as the 2017 state polls, Shah held a meeting to draw strategies for the 2022 polls at Varanasi the previous day.
(With inputs from PTI)