UP polls: Modi mocks Akhilesh Yadav and Rahul Gandhi as ‘delicate’
Despite the controversy over his Varanasi roadshow on Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held yet another roadshow there on Sunday, this time an official one. The BJP had apparently not taken permission for Saturday’s roadshow, and the Election Commission had sought a clarification on this from the district returning officer.
Union minister Piyush Goyal said that there was no roadshow on Saturday and the Prime Minister had simply visited the Kashi Vishwanath temple and Kaal Bhairav temple to offer prayers. The people had come out onto the roads to welcome him, he added.
Later, addressing a public meeting, Mr Modi mocked UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav and Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi as “delicate” people who were not capable of taking hard decisions, pitching himself as a grassroots leader who can develop the state. Mr Modi also said the SP and 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 losses in recent polls, he said one day research would be done to find out if it once existed, as it is “disappearing from everywhere”. He said both Akhilesh and Rahul were “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”.
BSP president Mayawati said Sunday that Saturday’s roadshow by the PM was a serious violation of the model code of conduct, and the Election Commission should take note of it. She said such a violation was clearly designed to influence voters.
Sunday’s roadshow began at the Pandeypur crossing and ended at the Kashi Vidyapeeth. Thousands of supporters thronged the PM’s convoy as it wound its way through the streets of Varanasi. The supporters wore saffron caps and carried saffron and green balloons, chanting Har Har Modi, Ghar Ghar Modi.
The roadshow culminated in a public meeting where Mr Modi targeted the Akhilesh Yadav government for “kuchh ka saath, kuchh ka vikas”, and said the state government’s concept of development was not an all-inclusive one. “When my MPs from UP meet me, they tell me ‘UP mein yahan bhi khuda, wahan bhi khuda, jahan nahin khuda wahan kal khuda’ — a reference to potholed roads here”, he said.
He said the western part of the country was developed but the eastern part remained steeped in neglect and backwardness. He said the country could not progress unless all parts developed together. “It is like one hand being paralysed… such a person cannot be called fully healthy”, he explained.
Mr Modi said the SP, BSP and Congress had been attacking each other, but all three had come together after demonetisation which had hit them the most.