Saharanpur (UP), May 26: Virtually kickstarting BJP's poll campaign in Uttar Pradesh on the occasion of the government's second year of completion of power on Thursday, Home Minister Rajnath Singh made a fervent appeal to the people of the state to "end BJP's exile".
Addressing a massive gathering of its supporters here this evening, Singh invoked the 14-year exile of Lord Rama to say to the people of Uttar Pradesh, "Fourteen years of our exile from UP are coming to an end.
I appeal to the people of the state to end our exile and help us form our government. Even Lord Rama's exile had ended after 14 years."
He made the "end-BJP-exile" point noting that the saffron party was voted out of power in Uttar Pradesh in 2002 after which BSP and Samajwadi Party ruled the state between them. Assembly polls are due in Uttar Pradesh next year.
Singh, who represents the Lucknow segment in Lok Sabha, said the hallmark of BJP government at the Centre was delivery and honesty.
"We have been successful in bringing about transparency in our government in these two years of rule at the Centre. India's image across the world has been enhanced under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
No one can level any allegation against our PM. Our government has remained free of corruption and blemishes," he told a gathering in the politically crucial Western UP belt.
About Congress, the fourth player in the state apart from BSP, SP and BJP, he said the party was consistently losing its appeal and shrinking electorally.
"Congress is shrinking across the country. In the plains it had been wiped out and in hills it has shrunk. I am sure it will be wiped out from the hills as well in the next elections," Singh said in reference to the two Congress led governments in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
The former BJP President also spoke for the sugarcane farmers who dominate the Western UP area and promised to give them their dues if voted to power.
"Our government has taken care of farmers and will take care of them in future too. India cannot prosper unless farmers prosper. If the BJP is voted to power, we promise to realise the dues of sugarcane farmers pending with mill owners," he said as Modi listened from the stage.
A day after BJP chief Amit Shah described the incumbent Samajwadi Party in UP as a principal challenger in 2017, Singh attacked the SP over deteriorating law-and-order situation in the state.
"Wherever BJP governments are ruling, law and order has been well maintained," he claimed. The home minister was speaking to a gathering of frenzied and charged-up BJP workers who were chanting "Bharat mata ki jai" slogans at the rally besides flashing placards that read, "No goonda raj, no corruption" in UP now.