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Modi promises a Gujarat for Uttar Pradesh

Poornima Joshi Gorakhpur (UP) | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on January 23, 2014

Modi mounted his election plank in UP on the tested formula of bijli/sadak/pani (power/road/water) and good governance. - PTI

BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi during a rally at Gorakhpur on Thursday slammed Congress and also the ruling Samajwadi Party government. File photo   -  The Hindu

Mounts election plank on good governance while hyping chaiwallah origins

In the decrepit by-lanes of eastern Uttar Pradesh, where voters are beginning to look beyond caste politics, Narendra Modi pitched himself as an agent of change in a spectacular public rally on Thursday.

Buoyed by what police officials at the venue estimated to be about 5 lakh supporters, Modi mounted his election plank on the tested formula of bijli/sadak/pani (power/road/water) and good governance while simultaneously showcasing his underdog-turned-achiever credentials.

Cheered by the mahant of Gorakhnath Math and local MP Yogi Adityanath, who too had toned down his inflammatory rhetoric, Modi steered clear of Hindutva in the Hindi heartland and focused more on his vision for development and progress.

The subtlety and nuance usually on display in the heartland rallies were replaced by the euphoria largely witnessed among Modi voters in Gujarat.

Har har Modi, ghar ghar Modi (hail Modi, he is everywhere),” they cried as soon as the BJP’s PM candidate strode out of his helicopter.

The crowds swelled outside the venue, Manbela grounds, and clogged the city the entire day. Modi did not disappoint, directly addressing the supporters as he mocked Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh and his son and UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav.

Power for all

“In Varanasi today, Netaji (Mulayam Singh Yadav) and his son said they will not let UP be turned into Gujarat.

“Let them know that they don’t have what it takes to do that. Do you know what it means to be Gujarat?” he asked the crowd.

“Yes!” they cheered.

“24-hour power, 365 days of power, every village with power, every farmer with enough money in his pocket and right price for his crop.

“I tell your Netaji, you do not have the capacity... You need a 56-inch chest to achieve all this,” he mocked, to loud cheers from the crowd.

For those who attended, Modi signifies hope in an area marked by poverty and lack of development. Eastern UP has 13 Lok Sabha seats and local BJP leaders predict a “clean sweep” in the region.

“You have no idea about what is going on. It is not an under-current, it is a wave in favour of Modi,” said Yogi Adityanath.

“People are sick of both Mayawati and Mulayam, casteism and communalism. They aspire for a better life and they have seen what Modi has done in Gujarat. We are winning all the seats here.”

A dream for the State

Modi is clearly responding to the aspiration. The entire focus of his speech on Thursday was development and a dream for UP — a white revolution of the kind triggered by Amul in Gujarat, better crop prices for farmers, better roads, electricity, employment and governance.

Simultaneously, he hyped up his underdog beginnings and cited Mani Shankar Aiyar’s remarks on his beginnings as a tea vendor as an instance of the Congress’ elitism and unwillingness to eradicate poverty.

“They talk about chaiwallahs because they can’t bear the sight of a poor mother’s son competing with them.

Poverty eradication

“Have you understood the strategy and the mindset that this remark reflects? It means that the poor should remain poor and they can rule forever. The Congress’ strategy is to not eradicate poverty.

“They start chanting the poverty mantra when the elections approach but let me ask you — who was in power at the Centre for 60 years?

“Why did they not lift a finger to eradicate poverty, to create prosperity, to impart dignity to our hard-working people?

“Because they do not want to.

“You give me 60 months to their 60 years and I will realise this dream. You have elected rulers for 60 years, try electing a servant for 60 months and watch what I do,” he promised.

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Published on January 23, 2014
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