UP polls: Modi hits out at opposition for offering freebies to people
People are clearly saying BJP and Yogi Adityanath will come to power again, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asserts in Sitapur during a rally for the UP polls
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday hit out at the opposition for offering freebies to the people during the UP polls and added that the BJP government has ensured an effective law and order situation, a priority for all.
People are now saying “jo kanoon ka raj laye hain, hum unko layenge (we will vote for those who ushered in the rule of law),” Modi said. He added, “People are clearly saying that BJP and Yogi Adityanath will come to power again.”
He also said that he had grown up by not hearing speeches on poverty, but by living it He described in detail how each of his government’s pro-poor measures had been born out of his own poverty-stricken life.
He was addressing his fifth physical rally at Sitapur in Uttar Pradesh.
Sitapur district goes to polls in the fourth phase of the Uttar Pradesh assembly election on February 23.
“Only a son who has emerged from poverty can understand the pain of the poor family, (and) that of the mother,” he said. Government is meant to work for the poor, Modi stated.
“These days, you will see leaders vying with each other to offer you something or the other. One will say I will give you ₹1000, other will say I will give ₹1100. But I want to ask you would your riches mean anything without law and order? That is what my government has prioritised,” he said. He said the BJP government had given 4.5 lakh jobs to people in five years in UP, against two lakh in 10 years of rule by the Bahujan Samaj Party (2007-2012) and the Samajwadi Party (2012-17).
With a picture of dalit saint Ravidas in the backdrop of his campaign stage in Sitapur, Modi recalled a couplet by the saint to describe how his government had been living up to the ideals espoused by him through the government’s free ration scheme.
“The saint had said: ‘aisa chahoon raj main, miley saban ko anna, chot bado sab sam base, Ravidas rahe prasann’,” Modi said and explained what the verse meant.
“The saint had said he wanted a rule in which all get food, all are treated equal. This is what my government has committed itself to,” Modi said, stating that the BJP government had for the last two Covid-hit years, distributed free ration to 9.5 crore OBCs, three crore dalits and an equal number of poor from general category.
“My government has also worried about the minorities, too,” Modi said, adding that he has kept awake to ensure that poor didn’t go to bed hungry.
Hours earlier, Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had visited the Sant Ravidas temple in Varanasi, Modi’s Lok Sabha constituency and were seen serving food to the people at the traditional langar (community feast). Without mentioning them, Modi, while accusing previous governments of ignoring demands for beautification of the Sant Ravidas temple in Varanasi, took a veiled swipe at leaders who, he said, only showed up at langars and vanished.
“For years, saint Ravidas ji disciples had been demanding to previous governments beautification of the place associated with the noted saint who was born in Varanasi. But elections came and all that would happen would be that these people would attend langars, get themselves clicked and vanish. I am happy that I became the medium to fulfil that demand. My government is also working on a Sant Ravidas Janmsthali Vikas Pariyojana,” Modi said.
He also took a veiled pot-shot at the Samajwadi Party, claiming that he was pained to notice that those who ran the government before 2017 hated Sant Ravidas.
“I am pained that those who ran government for five years before 2017, hated Sant Ravidas and you know this better than me,” Modi said.
“I, too, like you all, have been from a poor family. I have not heard speeches about poverty, I have lived that,” he said while describing that the free medical insurance for the poor was the result of the desire to ensure that poor don’t shy away from seeking treatment for lack of money.
“I know what a poor man’s life is like as I have passed through it all. Poor mothers would refuse operation as she wouldn’t want her children to take loans for it. Isn’t it? Who will end this? Who will worry about the poor… Who will get the poor man’s mother treated,” he asked as the audience responded with “Modi, Modi” chants.
“That is why the ₹5 lakh medical insurance for the poor was brought. What else is the government for? Government is for the poor,” he said, while talking about his government’s other pro-poor measures, including free houses, tapwater in each house, toilets.
“In UP, our government has so far built 34 lakh houses for the poor. And those, who haven’t got it yet, will get it too,” he said. “Your turn will come too. Ye Modi hai karke rahega, de ke rahega (Modi will get it done, ensure houses for all),” he said.
He mentioned “two crore izzatghars” (toilets) in the state.
“I was in UP once and it was the women here who coined the term izzatghar to describe the toilets. These people who ran governments from Delhi wouldn’t know the importance of a toilet in a poor person’s life,” he added.