Prayagraj: Addressing an election meeting on what once was the home turf of slain gangster-politician Atiq Ahmad, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Tuesday appeared to invoke nature as a great leveller – a force that delivers justice.
“Some people had turned Prayagraj, where people suffering from injustice and atrocities come with a desire for justice, into a land of injustice and atrocities,” Adityanath said addressing a meeting in the former Samajwadi Party MLA’s Allahabad West constituency.
“But this nature doesn’t commit an atrocity on anyone, nor does it accept an atrocity. It settles scores for everyone,” he said, without naming anyone.
Ahmad and his brother Ashraf were shot dead by three men, who posed as media persons, when they were being taken to a Prayagraj hospital for medical checkup under police escort on April 15. Ahmad was among those accused of killing Umesh Pal, a key witness in the 2005 murder case of BSP MLA Raju Pal.
Umesh Pal was shot dead, along with his two security guards, outside his home in Dhoomanganj area of Prayagraj in broad daylight on February 24. The shoot out had raised serious question on law and order in Uttar Pradesh and Adityanath had vowed to in the assembly to “destroy” the mafia in the state. Later, at his public meetings, he has stressed on the “improvement” in law and order during the term of the BJP government in the state.
On Tuesday, the last day of campaigning for the first phase of urban local body polls to be held on May 4, the chief minister said, “It’s the same Uttar Pradesh where festivals were celebrated in the shadow of fear and terror. But today festivals bring prosperity. Today there is no curfew, no riots in the state.” “Today, there is no terror of eve teasers in cities. Today, our cities are becoming safe cities. Girls can go to school safely, businessmen can do business. Today, the youth do not have ‘tamancha’ (country-made pistols) in their hands, they have tablets,” he said.
He said those who used to grab properties of the poor and extorted money from traders have been forced to surrender to the law. “Today, the state traders welfare board is giving a security insurance of Rs 10 lakh to traders.” Adityanath said his government has focused on empowerment of people rather than appeasement. “Everyone has developed in our government,” he said.
“Today, Uttar Pradesh is moving beyond the dynasty-based and casteist-minded parties with a thought of nationalism. UP is scaling new heights of development now.” The chief minister was campaigning for BJP mayoral candidate Umesh Chandra Ganesh Kesarwani at the Leaders Press Ground.
Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya, Jal Shakti Minister Swatantra Dev Singh, Industrial Development Minister Nand Gopal Gupta Nandi, Allahabad Lok Sabha MP Rita Bahuguna Joshi, Phulpur MP Keshari Devi Patel, Kaushambi MP Vinod Sonkar, outgoing mayor Abhilasha Gupta Nandi and several MLAs were present during the election meeting.
Prayagraj Municipal Corporation polls will be held in the first phase. The second phase of the urban local body polls will be held on May 11 and the counting of votes will be done on May 13.