In 400 seats push, PM Modi sets 80/80 target for UP | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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In 400 seats push, PM Modi sets 80/80 target for UP

By, Varanasi
Feb 24, 2024 01:21 AM IST

The most impressive Lok Sabha performance in UP has been by the Bharatiya Lok Dal in 1977, when it swept all the 85 seats in the state at the time

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday set an ambitious target for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Uttar Pradesh as part of his quest for 400 seats for the National Democratic Alliance in the 2024 general elections, saying India’s most populous state had decided to give all 80 seats to his party and hitting out at the Opposition for being dynastic and corrupt.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Varanasi on Friday. (ANI)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Varanasi on Friday. (ANI)

In a two day-long visit to his parliamentary constituency of Varanasi, Modi inaugurated the foundation stones of projects worth 13,000 crore for the Purvanchal region and spoke at three places. He hit out at Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for his recent comment on the youth of the state and accused the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) of casteist politics that hurt the progress of Dalits and tribals.

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“This time, Modi is giving the guarantee of saturation of benefits. Hence this time, UP has also decided to give all 80 seats to Modi. This means in UP, 100% of the seats will be with the NDA,” he said at Karakhiyaon in Varanasi.

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Uttar Pradesh, which sends the largest chunk of members to the Lok Sabha, formed the backbone of the BJP’s sweeping victories in 2014 and 2019, especially in north India. The BJP won 71 seats in 2014 (73 with allies), its highest tally so far, and 62 (64 with allies) in 2019.

The most impressive Lok Sabha performance in UP has been by the Bharatiya Lok Dal in 1977, when it swept all the 85 seats in the state at the time.

Modi reached the city around 9.50pm on Thursday and reviewed work at 11pm. On Friday, he spoke at a function to commemorate the 647th birth anniversary of Sant Ravidas, interacted with winners of the “Sansad Sanskrit Pratiyogita” at the Banaras Hindu University (BHU), inaugurated several projects and addressed a rally at Karkhiyaon. He also used a virtual reality headset to inspect the Kashi Ropeway project.

Attacking Rahul Gandhi for his comment during the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra on February 20, Modi said, “The prince of the royal family of the Congress recently called the youth of Kashi addicts. Those who are not in their senses are calling the children of my Kashi addicts,” Modi said. “No one will forget this insult to youths and people of the INDI alliance will struggle to save their deposits.”

“Those who are not in their senses are calling the youth addicts,” he said.

ALSO READ- Rahul Gandhi replies to PM Modi's 'who lost senses' swipe: ‘Naani ko nanihaal…’

Rahul Gandhi had said that he had seen in Varanasi that some young men were inebriated, lying on the streets, and dancing at night. The future of the youth of Uttar Pradesh was getting affected, the Congress leader had added.

Congress Varanasi City unit chief Raghavendra Choubey Modi had “misinterpreted Gandhi’s” statement.

“We criticise this incorrect interpretation of Rahul ji’s statement,” he said.

Days after the Congress and the Samajwadi Party sealed a seat pact, Modi also attacked the INDIA bloc, saying dynastic parties fought in the name of caste and did not want to allow any Dalit and tribal to move forward.

“The people of the INDI alliance, who believe in provoking and fighting in the name of caste, oppose every scheme for Dalits and the deprived. They do politics in the name of caste in the interest of their family,” Modi said.

“Other than members of their [own] families, the dynastic parties do not want to allow any Dalit or tribal to move ahead, outside their family. Everyone knows who opposed the country’s first tribal woman becoming the President. These are the same dynastic parties, which start remembering Dalits during elections,” he said, referring to the presidential polls last year that saw Droupadi Murmu elected as the country’s first tribal president.

“We have to be cautious of them. The intentions of our government are clear for the poor, the deprived, the backward and the Dalits,” he said after offering prayers at Sant Ravidas temple in Seer Goverdhanpur here on the 647th birth anniversary of Sant Ravidas.

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Modi highlighted his government’s contribution to help the poor.

“Earlier, the poor were considered the last and the least. Today all the schemes are being made for them. Despite Covid, we arranged free ration for 80 crore (800 million) poor people. We launched Swachh Bharat Yojana campaign, gave the benefit of toilet to every family. Especially Dalit mothers and sisters have benefited from this, because they were the ones who had to go for open defecation. Jal Jeevan Mission is going on for clean water. Piped water was supplied to more than 11 crore (110 million) houses. Ayushman cards have been made. Jan Dhan accounts have been opened,” he said.

“You must be remembering that when construction of toilets was started, they ridiculed it. They also mocked the Jan Dhan accounts and also opposed Digital India.”

At the Sant Guru Ravidas Janmasthali temple near BHU, Modi unveiled a new statue of Sant Ravidas in the adjoining park. He also inaugurated various development works around Sant Ravidas Janmasthali worth about 32 crore and laid the foundation stone for the Sant Ravidas Museum and beautification of park, worth about 62 crore.

“Banaras looks like mini-Punjab today. Like you, Ravidas ji calls me again and again to his birthplace. By coming here, one gets an opportunity to carry forward his resolutions and serve his millions of followers.”

Born in Varanasi, Ravidas was a mystic poet-saint of the Bhakti movement in the 15th and 16th centuries. Venerated as a spiritual teacher in several regions of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana, he was a poet, social reformer and spiritual figure.

At BHU, Modi emphasised that in the next five years, he will give a new pace to development and create new patterns of success. “This is Modi’s guarantee, and Modi’s guarantee means guarantee of fulfillment of guarantee,” he said.

Observing that Varanasi had emerged as an inspiration for the new India, Modi lauded the progress of the city in the last 10 years.

“With the blessings of Mahadev, vikas ka damroo (the drum of development) has been resonating in Kashi for the last 10 years,” he said. Noting that Varanasi has made him a ‘Banarasi’ during his 10-year stint as its MP, Modi pledged his commitment towards improving the lives of the people of Kashi.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Sudhir Kumar is Varanasi based senior staff correspondent.He covers all developments, politics, education--primary, secondary and higher -- crime, offbeat, tribes and human angle stories

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