Prime Minister Narendra Modi targeted former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav in a series of sarcasm-laced comments today at the launch of a mega ₹ 9,800 crore water canal project in Balrampur, about 150 km from Lucknow, ahead of next year’s state polls.
With Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath by his side, the Prime Minister made the political comments at the government event, and said, “When I started from Delhi, I was waiting since morning ki kab koi aayega aur kahega (when will somebody come and say) … we laid the foundation stone for this project. Some people do this out of habit, maybe they cut the ribbon for this project in their youth. Some people’s priority is ‘imagination’, our priority is execution.”
“It is the nature of some people only to cut ribbons and then forget about the work. It may be true that they have cut the ribbon of a project years or decades ago, but that is all they do – cut ribbons. Our nature in the ‘double-engine ki sarkaar‘ is to complete the work and deliver the projects on time,” he said as he urged people “to punish previous governments”.
The project, he said, will benefit 29 lakh farmers. The BJP has been trying hard to gain back the farmers’ confidence after massive protests over the last year against the farm laws, which have now been repealed.
The Prime Minister’s remarks were in response to Mr Yadav’s tweet this morning on the Saryu project, which read: “To complete the Saryu project that was 75 per cent complete at the time of Samajwadi government, the BJP took five years… In 2022, the Samajwadi Party will herald a new era… And the state will reap the benefits of development.”
PM Modi shot back at today’s event and said it took “50 years for the Saryu canal project to finish” because of the mindset of previous governments.
“I have been most hurt by the misuse and insult to the government money and resources – ‘Sarkaari paise hain mera kya‘ (it’s government money.. I have nothing to lose). This mindset is the biggest impediment to the country’s progress.”
Yet again using the “Mafia raj” jibe over the law and order in the state before the BJP took charge, PM Modi used the campaign slogan to step up attack: “They used to protect mafias. Yogi Ji’s government is wiping them out. That is why the people of UP say ‘fark saaf hai‘ (the difference is clear) …. Those in power earlier used to get land encroached, today bulldozers are being used on mafias…”
Shortly after PM’s event, Akhilesh Yadav clinched on the poll slogan – “Fark Saaf Hai” (the difference is clear) at a presser. “The BJP is about to complete five years in power but they have not even had the time to look at their own ‘sankalp patra‘ (manifesto). They are spending more money in ads, in banners, hoardings…”
“Samajwadi party gave students laptops, the BJP has rained lathis on youth. Ye ‘fark saaf hai. (This is the difference that’s clear). If anyone wants to change any name, give a request to the Chief Minister and the name will be- fark saaf hai‘,” he said, taking a dig at Yogi Adityanath’s name-changing spree over the last few years.