BJP’s road to Delhi will run through UP - Hindustan Times

BJP’s road to Delhi will run through UP

ByRPN Singh
May 23, 2024 03:49 PM IST

The emphatic victory of the BJP in Uttar Pradesh will be the state's contribution to the continuation of the Modi era of governance in India

The 2024 Lok Sabha elections will determine the future of India not just for the next five years but for the next few decades — the results are crucial for the future of our next generations and India’s role as a rising global power. This is a journey that began 10 years ago when, in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi was elected on a wave of hope and an established track record of people-centric governance as Gujarat chief minister. He entered Parliament for the first time in 2014 as both a first-time member and PM. In the 2019 general elections, India’s voters re-elected the BJP with a higher tally, a vindication and endorsement of his policies and performance.

Supporters cheer at an election rally addressed by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi ahead of national elections in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh, India, Tuesday, May 21, 2024. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)(AP)
Supporters cheer at an election rally addressed by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi ahead of national elections in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh, India, Tuesday, May 21, 2024. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)(AP)

This time, he is leading the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the 2024 general elections on the basis of his demonstrated and quantifiable record as PM over the last 10 years. It will be a historic third consecutive victory mainly due to the Centre’s welfare schemes, which have lifted 280 million Indians out of poverty, his economic vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat, and his vision of creating a Viksit Bharat that is a global leader by 2047 struck a chord with the people of the country.

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There is evidence on the ground. The popular political adage “the road to Delhi goes via Uttar Pradesh (UP)” is a nod to the fact that UP elects 80 members of the Lok Sabha. PM Narendra Modi took this challenge head-on by choosing Varanasi in UP to contest his first Lok Sabha election. Today, UP is important not only because of seats but also the sheer scale of development there — a blueprint of how effective governance, both at the Centre and the state, can transform peoples’ expectations, aspirations and the quality of their lives. Currently, the quantum of welfare schemes from the Centre for UP is the highest ever in the state’s history.

A State Bank of India report underscored the point, saying that Maharashtra and UP “spearheaded India’s post-pandemic growth”. According to the report, out of the 235 basis points (bps) of growth, Maharashtra and UP accounted for 56 and 40 bps, respectively. The rest was contributed by other states. UP is now the second largest economy amongst states in India. It will also become the first state to have 21 airports by the end of this year along with world-class expressways and roads. Welfare schemes, like free ration to millions of people, PM Awas Yojana and the Ujjwala scheme, are implemented with no discrimination of caste, region or community. Law and order and uninterrupted electricity supply have finally led to investment pouring into the state. UP also plays a pivotal role in the cultural and spiritual renaissance of the country. The construction of the grand Ram temple in Ayodhya has fulfilled the dreams of crores of devotees, as well as the restoration and revamping of the Kashi Vishwanath temple and building of the Baba Vishwanath corridor.

This development is not just limited to one state. India’s GST collections have crossed a record 2 lakh crore for the first time. For the first time, the banking sector’s profits have crossed 3 lakh crore (in FY24). A recent International Monetary Fund report and many such reports from prominent international financial institutions emphasise and endorse India’s growth story. Even in remote villages of east UP, people talk with pride about India hosting the successful G20 summit under the leadership of PM Modi.

More than 2.43 lakh first-time voters were registered in the electoral rolls for this election, which itself is a record. Out of 96.88 crore total voters in India, 1.86 crores are of 18-19 years of age. More than 45% of the total voters are less than 40 years of age, the majority being from UP. These are the new voters of an emerging, self-confident new India. Allurements of unfeasible promises, false assurances of illusory doles and bizarre ideas of targeting ordinary Indians by redistributing their hard-earned wealth are rejected by this rising modern India. There is faith in Modi ki guarantee because evidence of his guarantees is for everyone to see — the long-promised abrogation of Article 370, the construction of the Ram temple, making India the world’s fifth largest economy, among others.

Even Opposition parties know that they are fighting a losing battle. The fact is that there are no “safe seats” anymore for any Opposition leader. In UP, PM Modi may be contesting from one seat but everywhere I go, people tell me, “Modi ke hi jitaye ke ba” (We will work to make Modi win). Voters here are among the most politically astute in the country and for them, it is the PM and his policies that are on the ticket in all 80 seats. The emphatic victory of the BJP here will be UP’s contribution to the continuation of the Modi era of governance in India — a decisive, definitive win for the PM for his third term that will redefine Bharat that is India not just for our citizens but in the world order as well.

RPN Singh is a BJP Rajya Sabha member from Uttar Pradesh. The views expressed are personal

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