Claiming that the BJP ruled states in the Hindi-belt have started shedding their Bimaru ((backward) tag, BJP leader Lal Krishna Advani on Wednesday said his party would also lift Uttar Pradesh "out of penury" if voted to power.
"We have been telling the people of Uttar Pradesh that if they give us a chance then we will strive to bring the northern state out of the Bimaru tag as happening with Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and other states in Hindi belt where we are in power," Advani said.
He was addressing a felicitation function of former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kailash Joshi for completing 50 years in active politics.
Advani arrived in Bhopal from Udupi in Karnataka after offering his condolence to the family of higher education minister VS Acharya, who passed away on Tuesday.
BJP chief Nitin Gadkari could not attend the function due to illness, organisers said.
"Congress failed to translate Swaraj, the country had gained post Independence, into development despite being in power for so many years," Advani said.
Praising Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Advani said his "humbleness and kind-heartedness" is a major asset for the ruling party.
"The chief minister is doing a very good job," he said, adding, since BJP came to power, the Hindi-belt states have started shedding their BIMARU tag.
BJP which is trying to bring Uttar Pradesh out of Bimaru tag and Madhya Pradesh is an example to emulate, Advani said.
Describing Joshi as an "excellent man", the former deputy prime minister said, "In west a person's intelligence is gauged by measuring his IQ (Intelligence Quotient) and later the concept of EQ (Emotional Quotient) too arrived. But Indians were known worldover for one more thing and that is for their SQ (Spiritual Quotient)."
He asserted that the ideological movement of RSS has catapulted leaders like Atal Bihari Vajpayee, late Bhairon Singh Shekhawat and himself to hold highest constitutional posts.
Besides Advani, the chief minister, former chief ministers Joshi and Sunderlal Patwa, BJP general secretary in-charge of Uttar Pradesh, Narendra Singh Tomar and the state unit president Prabhat Jha addressed the function.