Shamli: Launching the BJP's campaign for the upcoming municipal elections in Uttar Pradesh, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Monday came down hard on the erstwhile "mafia raj" in the state.
Addressing public meetings in three districts on the day, CM Adityanath talked up the benefits of the "double-engine government" in the state before the people.
Amid the continuing backlash from the Opposition over the prevailing law and order situation in the wake of the killing of jailed politician-turned-gangster Atiq Ahmed and his brother Ashraf in Prayagraj, the CM said there was not a single instance of riot or curfew in the state on his watch and all was well with UP.
Tearing into the erstwhile "mafia raj" in the state, the CM said there is no one left now to shed tears for hardened criminals.
"The mafia raj in Uttar Pradesh is now consigned to history," CM Adityanath said, urging the public to vote for a "triple-engine government" to give more thrust to the state's development. He added that the same would happen only if the people resolve to help the BJP take control of the state's municipal bodies.
The CM kicked off the wave of rallies from Maharaj Singh Degree College ground on Janta Road in Saharanpur.
"Today, there is no curfew and no riots in UP. Everything is fine," the CM said, adding that extortions and abductions for ransom no longer take place in the state and UP had ceased to be a "family's personal fief".
"Mafias and criminals have become a thing of the past in UP," the CM added.
"The UP of today stands as a symbol of security, prosperity and employment," Adityanath said, adding, "Our state is no longer known for curfews but for the Kanwar Yatra. Our identity is not violence but to set aside our differences and celebrate all festivals together. This is not a land of the mafia but of festivals. Now it is up to us to decide whether there should be terror in our cities or should we make them safe. Do we want to see pistols in the hands of our youth or tablets?"
He added that there was a time when mafias and gangsters would threaten people but now all such elements have vanished and there is no one to shed tears for them. "I don't know where the extortionists have gone. Those who imposed curfews during their rule would come asking for votes from you. Do not pay attention to them," the CM said.
He said the youths of Shamli were finding avenues of employment through the state's recruitment schemes, adding that the situation wasn't the same before 2017, as the youths of Shamli and Muzaffarnagar were denied employment opportunities.
"We need to remember the situation of Shamli six years ago, the migration from Kairana and Kandhla, the goonda raj (rule of goons), riots, lack of basic facilities, no jobs for the youth, no safety for traders and rampant extortion. Also, people in 71 of the 75 districts lived in darkness. Today, our daughters say that with 'Baba' as the chief minister, there was no need for them to feel afraid at all. This belief is our strength," CM Adityanath said.
In Amroha, the CM, headlining another public meeting, said the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the mission of UP. He added that as part of this mission, development projects are being implemented across the state.
Claiming that Amroha will soon be connected by two expressways, he added, "We have given the status of a state fair to the Tigri fair, which is a popular calendar event here. Now Amroha has become a land of festivals and not of criminals. Now the time has come for us to take this development journey forward, at the speed of a bullet train, through a triple engine and that can only happen if you bring us to power across municipal bodies."
Claiming that there was no dearth of money for development today, the CM added, "I urge to ensure that the money that comes from Delhi and Lucknow are used for the welfare of the poor and the youth."