Fearing a backlash in Ghaziabad, which he currently represents as a member of parliament, BJP president Rajnath Singh avoided the city and chose neighbouring Gautam Budh Nagar constituency to address his first public meeting in the NCR on Sunday.
Sources in the local BJP outfit said it was also a tactical move to avoid any last minute damage to the prospect of General (retired) VK Singh, who is now contesting from the Ghaziabad seat. BJP workers in the city are upset with Rajnath Singh for leaving this seat.
Although the BJP is yet to release its election manifesto Singh promised loans for youths on lower interest rates to set up their own business after completing their studies. “The government will set up institutions to give 8-month skill training to youths enabling them to set up their own business,” Singh said.
The BJP chief also slammed the UPA government for being corrupt. He said that inflation in the country was due to the ‘flood of corruption’ by UPA government. “Large-scale corruption amounting to R5.5 lakh crore during the UPA rule has caused unprecedented price rise,” he said.
The BJP president claimed there was not a single instance of corruption during the six-year NDA rule under Atal Bihari Vajpayee, and inflation was kept under control.
Rajnath Singh’s campaign trail was also extended as the helicopter he was using broke down, leaving Singh to cover all the rallies using cars. He had to cover four rallies in the day but could reach only Jhajhar. The rest had to be cancelled.
Calling the UPA government ‘extremely weak’, he said Pakistan army was intruding into the country’s territory and killing its soldiers and China was staking claim over Indian territory. “If we are voted to power, we will restore the country’s pride and dignity,” said Singh.
Criticising SP government in UP, Singh said the law and order situation in the state had deteriorated and claimed that when he was the UP CM not a single incidence of communal violence took place.