In the run-up to the upcoming assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, defence minister Manohar Parrikar visited Ghaziabad on Friday and said the prime agenda for his party this elections will be the issues of ‘gundaraj’ and corruption.
He was accompanied by Ghaziabad MP General (retd) VK Singh to meet BJP workers and masses and also to spread the word about the achievements of the Modi government in the past two years.
“We will be highlighting the achievements made under Modiji’s leadership. The assembly elections in UP will be fought with an agenda against corruption and ‘gundaraj’. It is time the government changed in the state... Corruption is at its peak and the state would be ranked somewhere in the top two most corrupt states in the country,” Parriker said.
Targeting the UP government over the recent violence in Mathura, Parrikar said he drives his own car without any security in Goa whenever he is off official duties. But such a sense of security is not there in UP, he said.
Since 2002, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Samajwadi Party (SP) led governments have ruled the state in alternate terms. Sources said this time, the BJP is vying to form the government in UP by cashing in on the Modi wave that won them 71 seats from the state in the 2014 general elections.
Parrikar said there would soon be a decision about a face for the BJP for the upcoming UP elections.
“The question of an outsider (a person from outside UP) is remote and a person from UP will be selected. The state has given some big politicians and the person is likely to be among those. We had no prominent face from the BJP in Assam elections but it hardly affected the results,” he said.
The defence minister, however, declined to answer whether the construction of ‘Ram Mandir’ will be among the major agendas of the BJP in its manifesto for the upcoming elections, saying party president Amit Shah has already spoken on the issue.
With UP assembly elections approaching, the BJP is spreading the word around about Modi government’s two years of achievements. There had been several visits by BJP brass to UP, especially western UP, where the party wants to strike a chord with the electorate.
BJP president Amit Shah visited Loni in April for an interaction with farmers under ‘Gram Uday se Bharat Uday’ – a rural connect programme. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh visited Amroha on June 5.
Two Union ministers, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Mahesh Sharma, also recently visited Noida. During the last week of May, PM Modi and Rajnath Singh visited Saharanpur and showcased the two years of the National Democratic Alliance government and gave a launchpad for the BJP’s campaign for the UP elections.