Gorakhpur: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday equated the red caps worn by Samajwadi Party workers with red beacons that suggest a hunger for power, sounding a red alert against them in the state which chooses its next government early next year.
Modi’s attack on the opposition party came at Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s home turf Gorakhpur, where he inaugurated a mega fertiliser plant and an All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), projects worth nearly Rs 10,000 crore.
At the rally after the inauguration event, the PM also recalled fertiliser shortages in the past and slammed the previous state governments over delays in payment to farmers by sugar mills.
“Today, the entire UP knows very well that those wearing the red caps are concerned about the red beacon (‘laal batti’) and not bothered about your pain and sorrows,” he said, apparently referring to the beacon atop cars carrying VIPs.
“The red-cap people want power to commit scams, fill their coffers, indulge in illegal grabbing (of resources) and give complete freedom to the mafia,” he said.
“The red-cap people want to form the government to show favour to terrorists and to free them from jail. Hence, you should remember that those wearing red caps are a red alert for UP, in other words alarm bells.”
Reacting to Modi’s jibe, SP president Akhilesh Yadav said the red cap is a red alert for the BJP as it will oust the party from power.
In a tweet, he also listed price rise, unemployment and the Lakhimpur Kheri violence involving farmers among the other red alerts for the ruling party.
The PM’s rally in eastern Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday took place on a day when the SP and the Rashtriya Lok Dal addressed their first joint meeting in western UP’s Meerut.
Modi said the country which was till 2014 known for importing urea and the shortage of fertilisers used to make headlines is witnessing an improved situation now.
Wooing farmers, he praised the Adityanath government for doing unprecedented work for the sugarcane growers. He said sugarcane farmers have been paid more as their dues in the past four and a half years than the amount given during the terms of governments in 10 years before this. Modi said the minimum support price for sugarcane has increased to Rs 350 per quintal in the state in recent years.
The state’s sugarcane farmers had a tough time in getting their dues from sugar mills earlier and the process took months, he claimed.
“There were different types of games played and scams committed related to sugar mills. People of Purvanchal and UP know this very well,” he said. The prime minister said his government also took steps to hike urea production by reviving closed fertiliser plants.
“We stopped the wrong use of urea, and 100 per cent neem coating of urea was done. We made soil health cards for crores of farmers so that they could know which type of fertiliser is required for their farm,” he said.
Ahead of the UP polls, the BJP government is showcasing development projects in Purvanchal, which accounts for around 160 of the 403 assembly seats.
The three big-ticket projects inaugurated on Tuesday are worth Rs 9,600 crore.
Apart from the fertiliser plant and the AIIMS, the PM inaugurated a Regional Medical Research Centre of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in Gorakhpur.
The newly built fertiliser plant will be operated by the Hindustan Urvarak Rasayan Limited (HURL).
The Gorakhpur AIIMS, built at a cost of Rs 1,011 crore, will benefit not only the people from eastern Uttar Pradesh but also a huge population of Bihar, Jharkhand and Nepal, officials said.