Uttar Pradesh Transforms Under Modi and Yogi Leadership: Amit Shah

NEW DELHI: Highlighting Uttar Pradesh's transformation from a state known for producing country-made pistols to cannon balls, Union home minister Amit Shah said at an election rally in Lalitpur on Saturday that the state started developing only after Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister and Yogi Adityanath the chief minister. Mr Shah also addressed an election rally in Banda and took part in a roadshow in Amethi in favour of BJP candidates.

Canvassing for his party candidate from Jhansi Anurag Sharma, who is eyeing a second term, Mr Shah said, "There was a time when country-made pistols were produced in Uttar Pradesh. But Mr Modi built a defence corridor in Bundelkhand and now cannon balls are made here."

He added that "if Pakistan makes any mistake", the shells made in Bundelkhand will be used to "destroy" them.

Slamming Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar's atom bomb remark that has sparked a political row, he said, "Mr Aiyar said Pakistan should be respected as it has the atom bomb and not ask for PoK (Pakistan-occupied Kashmir) from the country. But this is Narendra Modi's government. We are not afraid of the atom bomb. PoK belongs to India and will remain so. We will take it."

In a purported video clip that went viral on social media, Mr Aiyar is heard saying India should give respect to Pakistan as it is a sovereign nation and engage with it as it also possesses the atom bomb.

Making a clarification, Mr Aiyar had said the video was old and dredged up now that the BJP's election campaign is faltering. The Congress said it totally disagreed with the remarks made by him some months ago.

In a veiled attack on the Opposition, the Union minister said, "This land fought against the Mughals and the British. Now Bundelkhand also has to fight against the desi angrez present in our country."

Urging people to vote in favour of the BJP, the home minister said, "This election is for the development of the country, for securing the country. This election is an election to protect our religion and culture. This election is to make India great. It is for the welfare of the poor in the country. And to quench the thirst of Bundelkhand."

Launching a scathing attack on the Opposition, Mr Shah said, "In this election, on one side there is the INDIA bloc which has committed a scam of `12-lakh crores. On the other hand, there is Mr Modi, who has together served for 23 years as a chief minister and Prime Minister, but no one can level a corruption allegation of even `25 paise on him."

""On one side are (Congress leader) Rahul Gandhi and (SP chief) Akhilesh Yadav, who were born with a silver spoon. On the other hand, there is our leader, Mr Modi, who was born in the house of a poor tea seller," the senior BJP leader said.

"On one side, there is the Samajwadi Party, which opened fire on Ram bhakts. On the other side, there is Mr Modi, who is building the Ram temple," he added.

The home minister said the Congress party wants to divide the country into two halves -- South India and North India -- but no one can break India" as long as the country is run under Mr Modi's leadership.

Later, while addressing an election rally in Banda in favour of BJP candidate R.K. Singh Patel, Mr Shah pointed out that this election is between those who opened fire on Ram devotees and those who built the temple of Lord Ram in Ayodhya.

The Union minister reminded the gathering that the Samajwadi Party government in Uttar Pradesh had opened fire on karsevaks and devotees of Lord Ram during the Babri Masjid demolition and turned Saryu river red with blood.

Mr Shah also said Mr Yadav, his wife and Dimple Yadav, Mr Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi did not attend the 'pran pratistha' ceremony at the Ram temple in Ayodhya as they are afraid to lose their votebanks.

Attacking the INDIA bloc and Mr Gandhi, the Union home minister said the Opposition Alliance members have said they will have different Prime Ministers on a rotational basis. "But Rahul baba, this is not a grocery shop. To run the country, a strong Prime Minister is needed, one who has a 56-inch chest," he added.

Sharpening his attack on the Opposition, he said, "This entire 'ghamandia gathbandhan' (arrogant alliance) is an alliance of familists who work only for their sons and daughters. Sharad Pawar wants to make his daughter Supriya Sule the chief minister, while Uddhav Thackeray wants the same position for his son Aditya Thackeray and Mamata (Banerjee) wants it for her nephew. And Mrs Gandhi wants to make her son the Prime Minister."

In Uttar Pradesh, on the last day of campaigning for the fifth phase of polling in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections, Mr Shah took part in a roadshow taken out to garner support for Smriti Irani, the BJP's Lok Sabha poll candidate from Amethi.

Mr Shah and Ms Irani greeted people in an open-top vehicle decorated with saffron flags, banners and flowers, with the slogan of the Narendra Modi government at the Centre written on it.

As the roadshow started from the Ramlila Maidan and proceeded till the Devipatan temple, the crowd raised the "Jai Shri Ram" slogan.

The Jhansi, Banda and Amethi Lok Sabha seats will vote in the fifth phase on May 20.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle with agency inputs )
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