Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath today launched the campaign for the civic polls in the state from the temple town of Ayodhya where he sought to convince the electorate that a win for the BJP would ensure holistic development.
He alleged that public money meant for development was misused in previous regimes led by other parties.
"Among the seven sacred cities, Ayodhya is the first. And it is for the first time that Ayodhya is readying for the mayoral elections. Voting is going to take place in Ayodhya in the first phase and I congratulate you that the first election rally is also being held here," said the priest-turned- politician in a speech that ended with the shout of 'Jai Shri Ram'.
Adityanath sought people's support for BJP's mayoral candidate Rishi Upadhyay, who is contesting from the newly constituted Ayodhya municipal corporation.
"I appeal all residents of Ayodhya and Faizabad to elect the BJP mayor for bringing the temple town on the world map," he said.
Stressing on the importance of urban local bodies elections, he said that almost 30 per cent of the population of Uttar Pradesh lived in the 653 urban local bodies of the state. Even the remaining 70 per cent banks on the urban local bodies for many of their requirements.
Hence, it has to be ensured that holistic development of the urban local bodies takes place, he said.
"The funds coming from the Centre and those released by the state government must be utilised for the welfare of the public...I have come here to appeal to you that if the BJP constitutes the board (in urban local bodies), we can fulfil the road map of holistic development that we have drawn for the state," he said.
Lashing out at the previous state governments, he said that in the last 15 years, "(public) money was misused, development of urban local bodies had come to grinding halt".
It is for this reason that we have come to you and make you aware about the facts, he said.
"There was no cleanliness during the previous government, as the contract for cleaning activities and undertaking cleanliness work, was issued by the concerned minister from his residence. If the contracts are distributed from Lucknow, it also attacks the independent nature of the urban local bodies," he alleged.
Adityanath said that Ayodhya now gets 24 hours power supply. Earlier there was no electricity supply, and when there was, people did not know for how long it will be there, he said taking a dig at rivals.
"Ayodhya has given Diwali to the world, but Diwali disappeared from Ayodhya...Hence, our entire government came to Ayodhya to celebrate Diwali..We have already laid foundation stones of projects in Ayodhya worth Rs 137 crores, and more will be brought, once the elections are over. Ayodhya will get an international recognition," he said.
He said that people across the world consider Ayodhya as a city of temples but there should be cleanliness, drinking water facility, toilets, cleaning of ghats, aarti of river Saryu and no throwing of garbage in the river etc.
"We have come up with a roadmap," Adityanath said.
He also mentioned that Prime Minister Narendra Modi wanted to develop 13 cities of UP as smart cities, but the previous SP government did not want to cooperate. It also did not show interest in the PM Awas Yojana, he claimed.
The previous state government had sent only 29,000 proposals for the construction of houses, but in six months the BJP government has worked to make available housing units to 1.61 lakh poor in urban areas of the state, he said.
"We are already working on making one urban body in every district as Deendayal Upadhyay Nagar Nikaay (Deendayal Upadhyay urban body) -- an ideal urban body, where all the facilities can be made available. And for this we need a positivity oriented board...We need a BJP board, which can bring benefits to the people," Adityanath said.
He even urged
sadhus in the gathering to ensure a win for the BJP.
"Ayodhya's identity is associated with you, and your identity is associated with Ayodhya. Please appeal to the pulic to vote in large numbers, so that full majority boards under BJP's leadership can be formed in Ayodhya Municipal Corporation," he said.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)