Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Monday asked the voters to support the BJP in the civic polls, saying this election is for connecting a third engine to the "double-engine" government so that the development work can be done at the "speed of a bullet train".
Adityanath also asserted that there is no place for a person in UP today who even sympathizes with criminals, and that the state is now being identified by its grand festivals and not for the mafia.
Adityanath made the remarks while addressing public meetings in Saharanpur, Shamli and Amroha to seek votes for his party in the urban local body elections.
Kicking off an election campaign from Saharanpur, he spoke about the achievements of his government and charged that earlier governments were busy instigating riots.
Amidst a loud applause from locals, the chief minister said Uttar Pradesh is not anyone's property and that extortion will not be allowed.
"Before 2017, the governments here did not have time for anything other than creating riots but today there is no curfew in the state. Now, the Kanwar Yatra is taken out. Earlier, fake cases were lodged against the youth but now no one can do that," the chief minister said.
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"Earlier daughters were afraid to leave their homes. Today, however, there is a fear-free atmosphere in the state," he said.
Making a fervent appeal to people to support BJP candidates in the urban body elections, Adityanath said, "This election is for connecting the third engine to the double engine government. Once that is done, the money that will come from Delhi will be put to good use."
The "double-engine" government of the BJP is a reference to the party being in power in the state and at the Centre.
Addressing a rally in Amroha, the CM said, "Just as you elevated your ancient art by playing the dholak, we also succeeded in our mission to eradicate the mafia by playing the 'dholak'. This has become possible when the development work and law and order are carried forward with the power of a double engine," he said.
"Now is the time to add the third engine of the civic body and advance this journey at the speed of a bullet train," the CM said, adding that Amroha is soon going to become a district connected by two expressways.
"I have seen the neglect of Saharanpur before 2017. Under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Saharanpur is shining in front of the country and the world. Soon, you will cover the Saharanpur-Delhi distance in two to two-and-a-half hours."
The chief minister also gave details of the development plans for Saharanpur.
Cautioning the voters against other forces, he said, "We have to decide whether we want casteist governments which were in place before 2017 or a government which is dedicated to the welfare of the poor."
"We all have to decide whether to have a corruption-ridden system or a corruption-free system. We have to decide whether the youth should have guns in their hands or tablets and smartphones," the chief minister said.
"There should be a 'Safe City'. 'Bhajan Ganga' (devotional hymns) should be our priority," he said.
Adityanath said he is starting the election campaign from Saharanpur to get the blessings of Maa Shakambhari.
"We provided the benefits of government schemes without discrimination, without seeing anyone's caste, religion or face," he said.
Later, at a public meeting in Shamli district, Adityanath said, "There is no place for a single person in UP today who even sympathizes with mafia and criminals. Those collecting 'gunda tax' are nowhere to be seen. The ones who used to impose curfews will come seeking votes. But, be careful and do not fall into their traps."
"Recall Shamli's condition six years ago. There were no jobs, no electricity, and people could not celebrate festivals... there was 'Gunda Raj'. Out of 75 districts, only four districts of UP used to get electricity," he said.
"Neither daughters were safe nor mothers were respected. There was politics of appeasement. However, in the last six years, traders have become safe and daughters empowered. That means peace, security, harmony and prosperity have become our identity all around," Adityanath said.
"I am grateful to the women and sisters of western UP, who have made maximum contribution to ensuring BJP's victory. The businessmen who migrated have returned. We will provide free electricity to farmers with private tube wells," Aditynath said.
The chief minister said that had there been a BJP-led district board (in Shamli), development would have done at the speed of a bullet train.
He said that the previous governments had created an identity crisis for the people.
"Today, UP is known as the best destination for investment. Investment proposals of Rs 35 lakh crore have come to the state. With this, more than one crore young people are going to get employment," the CM said.
Saharanpur, Shamli and Amroha will vote on May 4 in the first phase of the civic polls in the state. Counting of votes will take place on May 13.
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