VARANASI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today mocked at UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi as "delicate" people incapable of taking hard decisions while pitching himself as a grassroots leader who can develop the state.
Addressing a public meeting in his parliamentary constituency, Modi said the SP and the BSP are two sides of the same coin with the former being A (Akhilesh) SP and B (Bahujan) SP.
Taking potshots at the Congress over its run of losses in the recent polls, he said one day, research would be done to find out if it once existed, as it is "disappearing from everywhere."
While Akhilesh has inherited his political powers from his father Mulayam Singh Yadav, Gandhi has got it from "so many of his forefathers", Modi said while using a local term, 'ghelua' (what comes free of cost) for the two leaders.
"They are such delicate people who cannot take hard decisions. They think what if they lose what they got. I have not got anything in inheritance.
"Whatever I have got is due to the blessing of the people of Kashi. I can take hard decisions to rid the country of its problems. I have the courage to do so," the Prime Minister said.
Demonetisation, he said, has brought the SP, BSP and the Congress on the same side in its opposition while the country was supported it.
Modi presented himself as the one who will take up the job of developing the state, especially the eastern parts which are going to polls on March 8, if the BJP is voted to power.
Reaching out to small traders who are in significant numbers here, he said they would not be touched by his government's drive against corruption as the politicians and 'babus' have looted the country all these years.
Accusing the SP government of "bias" in its welfare programmes, Modi said it believed in 'kuchh ka saath, kuchh ka vikas' (support of a few, development of a few) while he believed in everybody's development as in 'sabka saath, sabka vikas'.
Targetting his rivals, he said like people suffering from 'motiabind' (Cataract), the SP and Congress suffered from 'votebind' as "they can't see anything unless they see them in
the context of votes."
"As people suffering from cataract can see only after undergoing a surgery, these leaders can see things only when they see votes," Modi said.
He charged the SP Government with putting obstacles in the way of implementing central schemes aimed at UP's development and accused it of deliberately slowing the projects he had brought to Varanasi, the constituency which he represents in the Lok Sabha.
Harping on the development plank, Modi said he had prepared the blueprint of the eastern UP's development as he sought votes for the BJP and cited his government's thrust on developing roads, rail lines and industry in this part of the state to make his point.
Forty seats will go to the polls on March 8, bringing an end to an almost a month long seven-phase elections. Counting of votes is scheduled on March 11.
"All of my government's schemes are aimed at developing the eastern region of the country. The central government is giving a lot of money to the state but it cannot spend. Its problem is that I seek account of their expenditure," he said.
Accusing the state government of corruption, he said it must stop and suggested it was the tainted money that had made the SP, BSP and the Congress oppose demonetisation.
"The country is on the one side and they are on the other. They used to attack each other but joined hands when I made the (demonetisation) announcement at 8 P M on November 8," he said.
It is a matter of pride for the people that "there is no taint on me and my government," he said, citing corruption cases during the UPA government.
Earlier in the day, wearing a beige full-sleeve kurta and sporting a red and white chequered 'gamcha' around his neck in typical Benarasi style, Modi kicked off the second day of his poll campaign in his Lok Sabha constituency.
The Prime Minister's roadshow, which the BJP termed as the "official", unlike the one yesterday when he travelled in an open-top vehicle to two of the city's most revered temples, began around 4.45 PM, almost two hours behind schedule.
A huge crowd greeted him with "Modi, Modi" chants as his vehicle moved out of the Police Lines helipad, where he had reached in a chopper from the Babatpur airport.
Moving at a snail's pace, it took around 45 minutes for his cavalcade to reach the Pandeypur Chauraha, which is less than a kilometre from the helipad.
Modi did not deliver any speech as he passed through the lanes along the nearly five-km-long route of his cavalcade, which were chock-a-block with men, women and children. The crowd included supporters wearing the BJP cap and carrying the party's flag. People were seen on rooftops and verandahs of buildings.
At Hukulganj, about a kilometre from Pandeypur Chauraha, a number of women stood with baskets full of flower petals which they showered at the Prime Minister's cavalcade. Modi responded by throwing the flower petals back at the crowd.
Five Assembly segments fall under Modi's Lok Sabha seat which he had won in 2014 by a huge margin of 3.71 lakh votes. The BJP holds three of the five Assembly segments.