Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed his first rally in the new year in Lucknow today.
“People say that BJP’s 14-year “vanwas” in the state may end after the upcoming election. I don’t think it is about the return of BJP, but of the development that has gone missing in the state. After 14 years, another chance of return of development in the state I can see today,” he said.
Speaking on the occasion, he also remembered the contribution of former Prime Minister Atal BihariVajpayee, who represented Lucknow in Parliament. He also took a dig at political “pundits”, saying the presence of such a large number of people in the rally shows “what is going to happen.”
PM Modi thanked people for attending the rally in such a large number. “Never got an opportunity to address such a big rally in my life,” Modi said.
Speaking before the PM, BJP president Amit Shah attacked the Samajwadi Party for orchestrating a “drama” to divert people’s attention from the failures of its government. “Every day new types of dramas are coming in front of people these days in UP. They are being done to divert attention. In 2.5 years, the opposition has not been able to label a corruption charge against our government,” Shah said.
Watch PM Modi’s speech in Lucknow
This was Prime Minister’s first rally in the new year and after the end of governments 50-day window of demonetisation on December 30. Several Union Ministers and BJP MPs representing Uttar Pradesh also took part in the rally. Among the senior leaders attending the Lucknow rally were Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah, senior leaders Rajnath Singh, Kalraj Mishra and Uma Bharti.
Reports said that people from every nook and corner of Uttar Pradesh including Awadh, Kanpur and Brij regions reached Lucknow despite the winter chill to attend the rally, which is seen as a culmination of the four Parivartan Yatras carried out by BJP in the state in the last few weeks.
On New Year’s eve, the PM had announced several measures for the rural and urban poor, small businesses, farmers, senior citizens and women during a televised address to the nation.
(With agency inputs).