Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday accused the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party of working on caste lines when in power in Uttar Pradesh, and said his BJP has worked for all communities in the state since 2017.
Addressing an election meeting for party candidates in Kushinagar, Shah said free scooters will be given to girls and free tablet and smartphones to poor youths who want to pursue higher education if the BJP returns to power in Uttar Pradesh.
He hit out at both the SP and the BSP, accusing the previous governments of “bua and bhatija” (Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav) of keeping Uttar Pradesh divided on caste lines.
“One government would come to power and work for one caste, the other would come and work for another caste. Then the government was formed under Narendra Modi’s leadership which worked for whole Uttar Pradesh on the principle of ‘sabka saath, sabka vikas’,” Shah said.
“Of all parties today, only BJP and Prime Minister Modi are the one who worked for the welfare of the poor and the deprived. For 70 years, parties came and went, SP-BSP talked about poor, backwards, Dalits and deprived classes but did nothing for them,” he said.
The district of Kushinagar, which goes to polls on March 3, has seven assembly seats — Kushinagar, Khadda, Padrauna, Tamkuhi Raj, Fazilnagar, Hata and Ramkola — of which the BJP had won five in 2017 elections.
The seat of Tamkuhi Raj was won by Ajay Kumar Lallu of the Congress while in Ramkola, Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party’s Ramanand Baudh had emerged victorious despite a BJP juggernaut in the state.
Notably, Swami Prasad Maurya, considered a prominent face of backward class voters, had won from the Padrauna seat but he recently switched over from the BJP to the Samajwadi Party.
However, former Congress leader R P N Singh switched over to the BJP recently in a move that was considered a significant gain for the saffron party in the region.
In his speech in Kushinagar, Shah took to cricketing analogy as he slammed the Samajwadi Party chief for caste-based politics, saying Akhilesh Yadav is a “loose” bowler who has bowled a full toss of “casteism” this time at the BJP.
”Would a good batsman (BJP) leave a full toss bowled at him or hit it for a four,” Shah said, alluding to the BJP’s victorious run in Uttar Pradesh during 2014 and 2019 parliamentary elections and the 2017 state polls.
He said it was Kushinagar, the land chosen by Lord Buddha for Parinirvana, from where the BJP’s victory campaign had started in 2013 and a year later Narendra Modi was elected with full majority as the country’s prime minister.
”For the first time since Independence, a non-Congress party had won full majority in Lok Sabha elections,” he said.
Listing various welfare schemes in Uttar Pradesh, he lauded the BJP government in the state for its work since 2017.
”Today, I have come here to tell that 1.67 crore poor people’s homes have been provided with free cooking gas cylinders. Toilets have been built in 2.61 crore households by BJP’s Yogi Adityanath government, while 1.41 crore households were connected with electricity,” Shah said.
He slammed the BSP-SP for electricity situation in the region during their regimes in the past as he credited the BJP for the job.
He also lauded the Centre for giving Rs 6,000 per annum directly to farmers.
”If BJP wins again, no farmer would have to pay electricity bills for next five years. It will be free of cost,” Shah announced.
The Union minister also announced, “The daughters of poor people wanting to pursue higher education will be given a scooty free of cost, while other youths wanting to pursue higher education will be given tablets and smartphones by the BJP government.” He lauded the Centre for its role in COVID-19 vaccination in the country but slammed Yadav for his anti-vaccine remarks campaign when inoculation of people began.
”It’s good that you all do not listen to Akhilesh ji. Had you listened to him and not taken the Covid vaccine, would you have survived the third wave? Such type of a politician who provokes public for his own political benefits,” he said.
Elections to the 403 assembly seats in Uttar Pradesh are being held in seven phases this time. Five rounds of polling is over while the last two are scheduled on March 3 and 7. Results of all phases will be declared together on March 10.