Kanpur, Oct 19 (IANS) BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi Saturday hit out at the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), accusing them of being "equal partners in the crimes of the Congress-led government at the centre".
Narendra Modi, the Gujarat chief minister, was addressing a mammoth "Vijay Shankhnad Rally" at the Buddha Park in Kanpur. He said the time had come to not only expose the "backdoor understanding between the SP, BSP, and Congress" but also to punish them.
Since ages, the land of Uttar Pradesh has been known as a land of salvation owing to the 'triveni' (the meeting of sacred rivers) -- Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati -- in Allahabad, Modi said, adding that the SP, BSP, Congress trinity, however, had soiled the state.
"Atonement for that sin can only be gained by throwing these parties out of the electoral map of Uttar Pradesh," Modi said, amid sloganeering by the gathering.
Modi said, citing statistics, that more than 5,000 people had been murdered in Uttar Pradesh in the last one year of Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav's rule in Uttar Pradesh. "People here are not safe, mothers are worried about whether sons will return alive from work or not," Modi said.
Modi claimed that the SP and BSP were supporting the Congress government at the centre, to safeguard personal interests and cover up their criminal and corrupt activities from investigating agencies.
"The time has come for the people of the state to shun the parties involved in double-talk and vote-bank politics," he said, referring to the move by the SP government to release terrorism-accused people languishing in jail, saying that they were mostly innocent Muslims framed by police and security forces.
"Is this not dangerous? Should it be allowed to happen?" Modi asked the crowd, which answered with pro-Modi slogans.
This is the first time Modi has directly attacked any regional party since he took over as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)'s prime minister candidate.
Modi also took a jibe at the BSP by saying that Gujarat had more Dalits, and members of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes than Uttar Pradesh, even though it was much smaller. "If these people can be happy there, and part of mainstream development, why can't it be the same here?" Modi asked.
Modi reminded the crowd that eight of India's prime ministers had come from Uttar Pradesh, and lamented that the state had now been pushed to the political sidelines.
Earlier, former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Kalyan Singh praised Modi and said that the people of the state, cutting across caste and religious affiliation, were yearning for change.
"Time has come for change and I would like to spend the next few months to ensure that the people, tired of the corrupt Congress, the goonda- and mafia-ridden SP, vote for Modi and a new dawn is ushered in in Uttar Pradesh," he said.
Kalyan Singh said he would work hard to ensure the return of the time, when like the 1990s, the BJP held 60 of the 85 Lok Sabha seats in the state. At present, the BJP has 10 MPs from Uttar Pradesh.