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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday used a new coinage UPYOGI or ‘UP plus Yogi bahut hai upyogi’ to praise Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for “eliminating” mafias and undertaking a lot of developmental work in the state. Opposition SP and BSP, however, questioned this effusiveness with Akhilesh Yadav saying the present Uttar Pradesh is not ‘upyogi’ (of great utility) but un-upyogi. Addressing a rally after laying the foundation stone of the 594-km-long Ganga Expressway in this Uttar Pradesh district, Modi also said poor law and order led to exodus of people from Uttar Pradesh earlier, but during the past four and half years bulldozers have razed unauthorised properties of mafias, causing pain to those patronising them.

“UP plus Yogi bahut hai upyogi” (Uttar Pradesh plus Yogi have great utility), he said, expanding U.P.Y.O.G.I. Taking a swipe at Modi’s new punchline, Yadav mentioned the Hathras rape-cum-murder of a Dalit girl and killing of farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri to dub the present regime being “unupyogi” (useless) for the state.

In a tweet in Hindi, Akhilesh said “The daughter of Hathras, the farmers of Lakhimpur, the trader of Gorakhpur, women who are feeling insecured, unemployed youth, the Dalits and the backward class (people) are saying…for UP, the current government is not useful, it is useless”. “People of UP are saying that if someone is “up-yogi” (deputy-yogi), then who is the “mukhya yogi (main yogi),” he wryly said, adding “UP is today saying that it does not want the BJP.” Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati too contested the BJP taking credit for foundation laying of Ganga Expressway. In a tweet in Hindi, she said the BSP government had planned an 8-lane Ganga Expressway from Noida to Ballia, which would link the Delhi directly to Purvanchal (region of Uttar Pradesh). Mayawati was the chief minister from 2007 to 2012.

In his speech. Modi said, “You are well versed with the situation here and the law-and-order situation in western Uttar Pradesh before the Yogi Adityanath government came. In the earlier days, as the sun set, people flashing ‘katta’ (country-made pistols) used to come on the streets to make the lives of people hell,” adding the “culture of katta” has ended now under the Adityanath government. The BJP has already declared that Adityanath will be its face in the upcoming polls in the political heartland of the country. Hailing the state government’s action against mafias, he said “Aaj jab mafia par bulldozer chalta hai…bulldozer to gair kanooni imaraat par chalta hai…par dard usko ‘palne-posne’ wale ko hota hai” (today when bulldozers raze unauthorised properties of mafias, the pain is felt by those patronising them). Intensifying his attack on the opposition ahead of the crucial assembly elections, Modi said, “There are some political parties, which have problems with the country’s heritage and development. They have problems with the heritage, as they are more bothered about their vote bank.

They have problems with development, as the dependence of the poor and common man on them is reducing day by day.” “These people have problems with cleaning of river Ganga. These are the people who raise questions on the action of the Army on terrorists. “They are the people who bring the made-in-India coronavirus vaccine under the scanner. They have a problem with the grand dhaam of Baba Vishvanath in Kashi, and these people have a problem with the grand temple of Lord Ram in Ayodhya,” Modi said, hitting out at his rivals.

Counting virtues of the double engine government, Modi said unlike five years ago when electricity could be found only in a few selected areas, they have not only given 80 lakh free power connections, but every district is getting more electricity than before. He said more than 30 lakh poor people got pucca houses in Uttar Pradesh and this campaign will continue to cover all the remaining entitled beneficiaries.

Hitting out at the rivals, Modi said earlier projects were started on paper to fill one’s coffer, while today work is being done on such projects (by us), so that the people of Uttar Pradesh can save their money. Built at a cost of Rs 36,230 crore, the six-lane Ganga Expressway will pass through 12 districts.

Modi said the focus is to strengthen those who are lagging behind in the society or are backward, and make the benefits of development reach them. “This feeling is also visible in our agriculture policy and the policy related to the farmers,” he said. Modi said in terms of giving MSP (laabhkaari mulya) of sugarcane, Uttar Pradesh is one of the leading (‘agrani’) states, and it is also ahead when it comes to making payments (to the farmers). He paid respects to mother Ganga whom he said, gives all the happiness, and takes away all the pain.

Similarly, the Ganga Expressway will open the new doors of development of Uttar Pradesh, he said adding it will give speed (‘gati’) to the development and also give power (‘shakti’) to Uttar Pradesh. Modi invoked Ram Prasad Bismil, Ashfaqullah Khan and Thakur Roshan Singh, hailing from Shahjahanpur in his speech.

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