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UP elections: Akhilesh flashes facts to counter Modi’s claims of discrimination

The chief minister’s team has now armed itself with government orders and CM’s twitter posts for a counter-attack to prove how Modi “lies”.

assembly elections Updated: Feb 20, 2017 15:30 IST
Pankaj Jaiswal, Lucknow, Hindustan Times
Narendra Modi,Akhilesh Yadav,Samajwadi Party
Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav (C) poses for media at the release of the party’s manifesto in Lucknow on January 22.(Reuters File Photo)

A war of words has erupted between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav over the PM’s “kabristaan and shamshaan” remarks at a public rally in Fatehpur.

While voting was on for the third phase of UP assembly election on Sunday, Modi drew a parallel between Hindu and Muslim festivals and the last rites in the two communities, accusing the Akhilesh government of practising discrimination on the basis of religion.

The chief minister’s team has now armed itself with government orders and the CM’s Twitter posts for a counter-attack to prove how Modi “lies”.

Allegations and counter-allegations have gone intense with the UP assembly elections crossing the halfway mark.

PM Narendra Modi, BJP president Amit Shah and all top leaders of the party have been trying to corner Akhilesh and the Samajwadi Party on the law and order front. They have been claiming that Uttar Pradesh is the crime capital of the country.

In retaliation, Akhilesh and his loyalists are calling Modi and his team a “band of liars”. In their counter-attack, they read out how the BJP-ruled states figure higher than UP in cases of crime.

As the state goes for the fourth phase of election on February 23, the BJP and the SP have recognised each other as their main rival and are sharpening attack.

“If you create ‘kabristaan’ (graveyard) in a village, a ‘shamshaan’ (cremation ground) should also be created. If uninterrupted power supply is given in Ramzan, it should be given on Diwali too. ‘Bhedbhaav nahin hona chahiye’ (there should be no discrimination),” Modi said, apparently playing the Hindutva card.

Senior SP leader Rajendra Chowdhary was quick in launching counter-attack by calling Modi and Amit Shah “terrorists – as they terrorise people”.

Team Akhilesh retrieved all the tweets and government orders related to Hindu cremation grounds and power supply during Diwali.

The CM Office’s (GoUP) tweet of February 24, 2015, has resurfaced which announced Rs 100-crore budgetary provision for cremation grounds in rural areas.

A tweet of October last year from the same Twitter handle hash-tagged ‘Deepawali’ spoke about Diwali arrangements in the state regarding “power supply according to proper roster, security, and safety”.

Read | Narendra Modi, Amit Shah are terrorists spreading fear: Uttar Pradesh minister

Addressing a rally in Unchahaar on Monday, Akhilesh said: “We believe in the Ganga. We believe in truth. When I say something by lifting my hand towards the Ganga, we say the truth. People around him misinform him, and he speaks lies. We do not discriminate by religion. We have worked for ‘kabristaan’ and ‘shamshaan’ or power supply on Diwali and Ramzan without discrimination. We made power supply a 24-hour affair.”

List of religious places in UP that get 24-hour power supply
  • Jain Mandir Hastinapur
  • Deoband
  • Shukratal Muzaffarnagar
  • Panch Pyara Hastinapur (Sikh)
  • Dargaha Alia Nazabae Hind Nazizabad, Bijnore
  • Deva Sharif, BARABANKI
  • Vrindavan, Mathura
  • Nami Sharayan, SITAPUR
  • Dargarh Kichoha Sharif, Ambedkarnagar
  • Sarnath, Varanasi
  • Kasia, Kushinagar

Senior SP leader CP Rai said: “He (Modi) is the head of the country. It is assumed and is expected of him that whatever he says — be it in the Parliament, a ceremonial dinner, or a political rally — should only be truth. But he only lies. The credibility of his words is questionable. There have been orders in black and white for everyone to see about cremation grounds and Diwali – just the way they were about graveyards and Ramzan.”

Modi drew loud applause when he made the statement. Akhilesh too evoked cheers when he invoked the Ganga to indicate Modi was lying.

The Ganga flows barely 10 km south west of Unchahar.

First Published: Feb 20, 2017 14:48 IST