Uttar Pradesh has become a shining example of "the double-engine government's double benefits", Prime Minister Narendra Modi said today as he praised Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath months ahead of the state polls.
"It gives me tremendous satisfaction that UP - once seen as a hindrance to the country's development - is today leading the biggest development campaigns of the country," the Prime Minister said at an event to mark the launch of Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh State University in Aligarh, about 150 km from Delhi.
The launch event of the university - named after a Jat icon and a freedom fighter - has been viewed as an outreach to the community leading the farmers' protest in UP as elections approach. In western UP, 17 per cent of Jat vote bank remains crucial for the 2022 UP polls.
Elaborating on the achievements of the BJP governments at the centre and the state, the Prime Minister further said, "Uttar Pradesh is increasingly emerging as a favourable destination for national and international investors. This happens when a conducive environment is nurtured... and necessary resources are provided. Today, Uttar Pradesh has become a shining example of (the) double benefits of the double-engine government."
In the same breath, PM Modi took a swipe at rivals who have used the "double-engine" remark in the past to attack the BJP.
Slamming former Chief Ministers - Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati - without taking names, he accused the political opponents of corruption, "There was a time when only goons ruled the state. But now all extortionists, mafia leaders are behind the bars. People of UP can't forget the scams that the state has seen... how corrupt people were chosen for key roles."
"Today Yogi ji's government is invested in the state's development," he added. Today's praise comes months after senior leaders in UP had conveyed their dissatisfaction with Yogi Adityanath to the BJP's decision makers.
India is changing its image from being a "defence importer to one of the largest defence exporters in the world", PM Modi said. "And Aligarh is becoming a hub of defence manufacturing. Already 12 defence firms are setting up their manufacturing units here in Aligarh," he added.
The establishment the UP's Defense Industrial Corridor was announced in 2018. A total of 6 nodes - Aligarh, Agra, Kanpur, Chitrakoot, Jhansi and Lucknow - have been planned in the corridor. "The Defense Industrial Corridor of Uttar Pradesh will help in making the country self-reliant in the field of defense production and promoting 'Make in India'," reads a government statement.