Campaigning for UP municipal elections, Yogi Adityanath hints at major perks for Agra if BJP wins

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Campaigning for UP municipal elections, Yogi Adityanath hints at major perks for Agra if BJP wins

As if pulling out a copy of his previous speech in Agra, Yogi claimed that his government is working on connecting every major city of UP to metropolitan cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata by air.

Sensing the need for power projection to ensure a victory for the BJP following the decrease in the party's popularity post-GST, UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has taken the reigns of the UP municipal elections in his own hands.

Barely a day before the electoral campaign ended for the municipal elections to be held in Agra on November 22, Yogi Adityanath arrived in the city, carrying numerous promises for the city, although none of them were directly connected to the municipal corporation's jurisdiction, for which he was campaigning.

His nearly 20-minutes speech at the Government Inter College grounds of Agra concentrated less on local issues and more on criticizing the previous Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party governments in UP.

As if pulling out a copy of his previous speech in Agra, delivered barely a month back, Yogi claimed in his speech that his government is working on connecting every major city of UP to metropolitan cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata by air. Soon Agra will also have an international airport and metro train.

He said that the remaining 65 crores needed for the completion of land acquisition for the Agra Civil Airport project have been released and soon the airport will start coming up. He announced that the long pending Gangajal project to Agra will be completed in 2018. A rubber check dam will also be built downstream from the Taj Mahal on Yamuna river with the cost of Rs 350 crores.

Announcing his government's intent to promote GIS branding of local products, Yogi said that goods of local importance like 'Petha' of Agra and 'Peda' of Mathura will be included in the One District - One Product project, under which these local products will gain promotional benefits. Keeping his 'Hindu Leader' image intact, he asked the BJP supporters to shout 'Jai Sri Ram' slogans many times during his speech.

Enumerating his government's achievements, Yogi said that within 24 hours, his government closed all illegal abattoirs. Crime has been controlled and the Petha industry of Agra is being branded to promote tourism.

However, when India Today questioned him on the dispute over Taj Mahal, Yogi refused to comment and just reminded everyone that he had swept the Taj Mahal with a broom barely a month back.

Commenting on Yogi's Agra visit to promote the candidature of BJP candidates in the municipal elections, Congress leader Mohd Shareef Kale said that it was the first time when national leaders of the stature of Prime Minister and Chief Minister are taking out time to campaign in local body elections in the state. This was setting a dangerous precedent which would be highly detrimental for the propagation of healthy democratic principles in the country.

He said that leaders like the PM and CM had all the government power in their hands and they could misuse that power any time to turn the tide in their party's favour in the local elections. He suggested that the senior party leaders of any party should not interfere in the local body elections as this would only mean unduly influencing the voters.

Kale further added that industrialist Naveen Jain is contesting from the BJP in Agra while Digamber Singh Dhakrey is contesting from BSP, Rahul Chaturvedi from Samajwadi Party and Vinod Bansal from the Indian National Congress but in the interest of a healthy democracy at local body levels, ex-Chief Ministers Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav had not campaigned for any candidates in the state, nor had any senior Congress leader except UP Congress chief Raj Babbar had campaigned for the Congress candidates, but the BJP was taking full advantage of the government machinery to facilitate its star campaigners in the municipal elections, which was utterly disgraceful and showed that the BJP could stoop to the lowest levels in order to secure a win in any elections.