LUCKNOW: Prime Minister Narendra Modi affected a tactical shift in Eastern UP by saying that under the NDA regime the ‘terror-tag’ on Azamgarh had been wiped away forever.
Campaigning in Azamgarh, the redoubtable bastion of the Samajwadi Party, which elected Mulayam Singh Yadav withstanding the Modi wave in 2014 and a fresh candidate in former CM Akhilesh Yadav, the PM attempted to soothe minority feelings in favour of BJP candidate, Bhojpuri superstar Dinesh Lal Yadav Nirahua. “Azamgarh today is free of the taint of terrorism,” he said.
Blaming the SP and BSP governments for incubating Azamgarh’s terror networks and giving it an image of a terror hub, Modi said, “Azamgarh was cheated and bullied by previous governments. Each terror act was linked to it. Post-2014, why have all that changed?" he asked, claiming, “It is because of NDA which worked against terrorism on a priority keeping national interest supreme while rising above petty considerations of caste and community.”
He reiterated the anti-terror resolve and said, “This is new India which will not only pursue terrorists deep into their own territory but will also finish them there.”
Attacking SP-BSP for their alleged caste politics, Modi claimed that earlier welfare schemes and even basic amenities like electricity were limited to specific castes in UP. That changed under the BJP dispensation. “This government did not provide welfare schemes on caste basis. We have worked for sabka saath, sabka vikas rising above everything else,” he said, urging voters not to get swayed by caste politics.
Reiterating his ‘mahamilawati’ jibe at the Gathbandhan, he said, “Coalition governments have led the country to instability, anarchy and corruption, besides recurrent elections,” while cautioning them against the political motives of groups which were cobbled to grab power by any means.