LUCKNOW: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath slammed his West Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee over poll violence in her state and targeted Akhilesh Yadav, who heads the main opposition party back home, over his "false campaign" on farmers' issues.
Speaking on the motion of thanks on the Governor's address to the state legislature, Adityanath listed the achievements of his previous government, comparing them with the one led earlier by Akhilesh Yadav's Samajwadi Party.
He hit out at Yadav for his reluctance to accept the "success" of the "double engine" government --- a reference to the BJP being in power both at the Centre and in the state.
The "double engine", he said, "is working at triple speed".
He ridiculed the opposition leader for "blaming" the electronic voting machines for the SP's defeat in the recent assembly polls, which brought the BJP back to power in UP for a second term in a row.
"If they win, everything is alright. But if the BJP wins, there is some fault with the EVMs," Adityanath said.
"This is an insult to the people."
Without naming Trinamool Party leader Mamata Banerjee, Adityanath recalled her visit to the state during the UP campaign.
"A 'didi' from West Bengal came in support of the Samajwadi Party in the elections," he said, while attacking her government for the violence during the assembly elections in her state in 2021.
He claimed that "12,000 incidents of violence" were reported from 142 of the 294 assembly seats in that state, and a large number of BJP workers targeted.
"The population of West Bengal is half of Uttar Pradesh. There was no pre-poll or any post-poll violence in Uttar Pradesh. This is an example of law and order," Adityanath said.
On law and order in UP, he said, "Our government conducted the urban local bodies' poll in 2017 without any violence. In the Lok Sabha polls too there was no violence. The 2021 panchayat elections were peaceful. The 2022 UP Assembly elections were also conducted in a peaceful manner."
He also compared Covid management in his state with that in Maharashtra.
The CM said the entire state of UP has become an advocate ('pakshdar') of "Ram Rajya".
"Ram Rajya is not a religious system," he added, calling it "eternal" and "universal".
"We are labelled nationalists, and we feel proud of it, he said.
"The condition of anyone devoid of nationalism is like that of a rat. The rat works to dismantle the foundation of the house in which it lives and gets its food from."
He claimed the opposition had tried its best to "hoodwink" the people of UP on the farmer's issue, referring to their year-long protest over Centre's now scrapped agri-laws.
But the farmers rejected the false campaign which is clear from the fact that the BJP won from 46 of the 58 assembly seats in the first phase of elections, mainly in the areas dominated by farmers, he said.
The maximum number of farmers committed suicide in the state between 2004 and 2016, he claimed, referring to UP under previous governments.
"Despite inheriting the bad financial condition of the state, we waived the loan of 86 lakh farmers," he said.
He said during the SP term, the state government spent Rs 17,190 crore on paddy purchase but for the same period from 2017 his own government paid Rs 42,244 crore to farmers for their crop.
"The Leader of Opposition gave a good speech. But it would have been good had he spoken something about his government," he said, referring to Yadav's remarks on the Governor's address.
Adityanath also referred to alleged scams during the SP term and said it would have been good if there was a discussion on them as well.
Unlike in the SP term, recruitment in government departments took place without favouritism or bribes, he said.
Later, Yadav countered the CM's claims on development and highlighted the migration of labourers during the Covid pandemic.
The SP leader said he had earlier opposed the Covid vaccine because of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's photograph on the certificates given to people who took the jab.