Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections | Samajwadi Party will be soft on terrorists, warns PM Modi

PM inaugurates projects in Gorakhpur ahead of U.P. polls

December 07, 2021 06:43 pm | Updated 10:49 pm IST - LUCKNOW

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses a public meeting during dedication of a fertilisers factory to the nation and launch of various development projects, in Gorakhpur, Tuesday, Dec 7, 2021.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses a public meeting during dedication of a fertilisers factory to the nation and launch of various development projects, in Gorakhpur, Tuesday, Dec 7, 2021.

Targetting the Samajwadi Party (SP), Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said the party wanted to form a government in Uttar Pradesh so that it could show leniency towards “terrorists” and free them from jail.

The people with lal topis (red caps — worn by members of the SP) want to form government so that they can show meharbani (clemency) to terrorists and free them from jail, Mr. Modi said while launching several projects in Gorakhpur in the eastern region of the State and the home turf of Chief Minister Adityanath, ahead of the 2022 Assembly election.

“The one with lal topis are a red alert for U.P…they are a khatre ki ghanta (danger bell),” Mr. Modi said.

Mr. Modi’s reference to “terrorists” being freed from jail was a reference to decisions taken by the previous SP government under Mr. Yadav to withdraw cases against persons jailed under terror charges.

In its 2012 election manifesto, the SP had promised to release innocent Muslim youth lodged in jail on terror charges and after coming to power with a majority, the party had initiated steps to withdraw cases. However, the move faced legal obstacles as well as political censure from the BJP. The Allahabad High Court then ruled that the State government could not withdraw the cases without the permission of the Centre. The issue also became a political liability for the SP with the BJP using it to intensify the “Muslim appeasement” charge against the party ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha election. Following the 2014 result, the SP backed off from the issue. The party later lost power in 2017 and since then Mr. Yadav has strategically tried to distance himself from Muslim symbolism.

Attacking the SP, which stands as the chief challenger to the BJP in 2022, Mr. Modi said the party had long abandoned the “principles and discipline” of its socialist ideologues J.P. Narayan and Ram Manohar Lohia.

“Today, whole U.P. knows well that the people with lal topi are only interested in lal batti (red sirens on vehicles). They have nothing to do with your pain and suffering,” Mr. Modi said, adding that the SP wanted power so it could carry out scams, fill its coffers, illegally grab land and give a free hand to mafias.

Mr. Modi lavished praised on Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and said he said had provided electricity to all villages. In comparison, Mr. Modi alleged, under the previous SP government when it came to electricity distribution, some districts were treated as VIP.

“Yogiji has made every district a VIP,” Mr Modi said. “Today mafia are in jail. And investors are investing in U.P. with their full heart. This is the double development of double engine,” Mr. Modi claimed.

In Gorakhpur, Mr. Modi launched projects worth ₹9,600 crore. This included dedicating to the nation the Gorakhpur Fertilizer Plant, which was revived and built at a cost of ₹8,600 crore after lying shut for more than three decades. Mr. Modi also inaugurated the fully functional complex of AIIMS Gorakhpur built at a cost of ₹1,000 crore.

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