Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Friday trained his guns on the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party, accusing them of promoting "mafia raj" in Uttar Pradesh during their rule as he campaigned for BJP candidates in Pratapgarh.
Though he was addressing an election rally in Rampur Khas, from where veteran Congress leader Pramod Tiwari's daughter Aradhna Mishra is seeking a third consecutive win, Shah only made a passing reference to the Congress while talking about ending Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir.
The SP and the BSP were the target of his attacks, signalling the BJP is not counting the grand old party much in the ongoing high-decibel electoral battle for Uttar Pradesh, where the fifth round of voting is scheduled this Sunday. "For 70 years, SP, BSP and Congress had been feeding Article 370 like a child in their lap which kept Kashmir divided from us. (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi-ji's government came to power and on August 5, 2019, PM Modi struck down Article 370, Shah said.
"Akhilesh Babu would say to me in Parliament that dear home minister, removal of Article 370 would lead to bloodshed. Who are you threatening Akhilesh, we are not scared of your hollow threats. No one dared to throw a stone, let alone bloodshed, Shah said. He said the BJP government worked for the country's unity besides prosperity, education and to encourage its own culture as he addressed the rally in support of BJP candidate Nagesh Pratap Singh in Rampur Khas of Pratapgarh.
The district has seven assembly seats, of which two each were won by BJP, Apna Dal (Sonelal) and Independent candidates, while Rampur Khas was the lone seat retained by Congress's Aradhna Mishra alias Mona. Mishra had won the Rampur Khas seat in a by-election in 2014 and then again in the 2017 assembly polls, continuing from her father who has been an MLA from the constituency for consecutive nine terms since 1980.
Lauding Yogi Adityanath's chief ministership, Shah said in five years of the party's rule in Uttar Pradesh crime cases, including rape, murder, dacoity and kidnapping, have gone down significantly.
"Dacoity reduced by 72 per cent, loot went down by 62 per cent, murders by 31 per cent, kidnapping by 29 per cent, while rape cases went down by 50 per cent. This has been done by the BJP government, Shah said. He attributed the nurturing of criminal elements to previous governments of SP and BSP, and asked people to vote for the BJP if they wanted criminals to stay behind bars.
"This SP-BSP, BSP-SP, the governments of 'bua and bhatija' pushed the state into control of strongmen and mafia. The BJP government in just five years relieved the state of mafia, Shah said, referring to Mayawati as 'bua' and Akhilesh Yadav as 'bhatija'. Citing examples of jailed politicians like Ateeq Ahmed (SP), Mukhtar Ansari (BSP), and Azam Khan (SP), he targeted the previous governments for patronising mafia.
They will come out again to harass you. Ensure BJP's victory and the remaining criminals will also go behind bars, he urged voters. He said the BJP government reclaimed public land worth Rs 2,000 crore encroached upon by the mafia and built houses for the poor there.
Shah said the BJP-led central government provided free ration for two years to people during the pandemic, while Adityanath bolstered the effort by providing them with lentil, oil, and salt. For the agriculture community, he said, Ensure that BJP government is formed in UP, no farmer will have to pay electricity bill. He said the BJP government will provide free scooty to girls and laptop/tablet to the youth to help them in education.
The elections to 403 assembly constituencies of Uttar Pradesh are being held in seven phases this time. Election results will be declared on March 10.
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