Uttarakhand elections: Shah holds campaign, says BJP govts known for development
Union home minister Amit Shah on Friday told voters in poll-bound Uttarakhand that the grand old party is known for giving a “failed government” while the BJP is credited with providing a “double engine” government.
In a scathing attack on the Congress party, Union home minister Amit Shah on Friday told voters in poll-bound Uttarakhand that the grand old party is known for giving a “failed government” while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is credited with providing a “double engine” government.
The term “double engine” has often been used by the saffron party to suggest that its governments at both the Centre and the state work together for the development of the concerned state.
Shah was addressing a gathering of ex-servicemen in Rudraprayag district during a door-to-door campaign when he also appealed to people to bring the BJP back to power in Uttarakhand to ensure good governance for another five years.
“Whenever Congress has come to power in Uttarakhand, it has failed to work for the development of the state. It only indulged in corruption. But the BJP has always worked for the development of the state and welfare of its people. It is because of this that the Congress governments have been described by the people as failed ones while that of the BJP is termed as a double-engine government for its determination to work for development,” he said.
Shah also interacted with members of the Dalit community and recalled out how the BJP had conferred the Bharat Ratna award to Dr B R Ambedkar in 2020.
“The BJP has always offered respect to the Dalit stalwarts but the Congress had once stopped him from entering Parliament. It was the BJP government which conferred Bharat Ratna to him, which the Congress always refused to do,” Shah said.
Accusing the previous Congress governments of ignoring the modernisation of the armed forces and welfare of servicemen and ex-servicemen, Shah said: “After coming to power in 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi implemented the One Rank One Pension scheme, which the Congress government had failed to do even after passing its three generations. It was PM Modi who gave modern rifles and new bulletproof jackets to the soldiers after decades. During the UPA tenure, the defence budget was reduced every year with only ₹2 lakh cr alloted in 2013-14 which was increased to ₹4.78 lakh cr in 2021-22.”
The home minister cited Chardham all-weather road, Rishikesh-Karnaprayag rail line, reconstruction of Kedarnath and Badrinath as major infrastructure projects on which substantial progress has been made in the last five years. He also distributed pamphlets listing the work done by the BJP government during its tenure and what the party plans to do if it returns to power.
“You gave us your blessings in 2014 and 2019 by giving us all the five Lok Sabha seats. Then you gave us a massive mandate in 2017, giving us 57 out of the 70 assembly seats. You have seen the work done by us. You have to vote for good governance for another five years so that the big projects already underway are completed,” Shah said.
The minister, who was accompanied by party state president Madan Kaushik, offered prayers at the Rudranath temple earlier in the day.
Countering Shah’s remarks, Congress state general secretary Mathura Dutt Joshi said: “The BJP government in the last five years of its tenure in Uttarakhand did nothing for the development of the state. It, however, turned it into its chief ministers’ experimentation laboratory which was evident with the fact that it changed three chief ministers within a year. People are going to teach them a lesson in the upcoming polls.”
The change of chief ministers started on March 9 when Trivendra Singh Rawat resigned as chief minister, nine days short of his government completing four years in power. Tirath Singh Rawat was then chosen as chief minister but resigned within four months after a controversy-filled tenure replete with gaffes. It was in July last year that Pushkar Singh Dhami took over the role. T
The Congress has made the frequent change of chief ministers a major issue.
Voting to elect the 70-member Uttarakhand Legislative Assembly is scheduled to be held on February 14. The results will be declared on March 10.