The BJP demanded on Sunday a separate state for Bundelkhand and alleged the Uttar Pradesh government was blocking the Centre’s welfare schemes, aiming to make inroads into the water-starved region known as a Samajwadi Party stronghold.
Speaking at a rally to flag-off a road-show in Jhansi, party president Amit Shah said if illegal mining in the region – which comprises eight districts in UP and five in MP -- came to an end, every Bundelkhandi would be able to afford a car.
“I promise you that UP will become the richest state in the country once BJP comes to power. There will be no loot of public money, no scams, as have been taking place under Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party,” he said, flagging off the Parivartan Yatra.
This was the second of four such yatras to be launched ahead of next year’s assembly elections.
Union water resources minister Uma Bharti demanded statehood for Bundelkhand, a longstanding demand in the under-developed region where locals struggle despite abundant natural resources.
Union home minister Rajnath Singh was also present for the event and said if the BJP formed the government, it would end the area’s water crisis in 5-10 years.
Shah flagged off the first Parivartan Rath from Saharanpur on Saturday. Two more Parivartan Rath Yatras will be taken out, one from Sonbhadra and another from Ballia on November 8 and 9, respectively. Uma Bharti will lead the Jhansi leg of the yatra will November 10.
These Parivartan Rath Yatras will criss-cross all the 403 assembly constituencies in next 50 days before culminating at Lucknow on December 24 where Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to address a mega rally.
The yatras are aimed helping the BJP connect with the rural and backward constituencies ahead of state polls where the saffron party is facing a strong fight from the SP, BSP and Congress.
In the rally, Singh called honesty the hallmark of the BJP and said governments led by party chief ministers such as Kalyan Singh, Ram Prakash Gupta and himself never faced corruption charges.
He also pointed out that the Narendra Modi government at the Centre had a clean record.
Commenting on the family feud in the ruling Samajwadi Party, he said elections must be called immediately to end the uncertainty if the power tussle doesn’t end soon.
(With agency inputs)