Prime Minister Narendra Modi today hit out at the Congress and the Samajwadi Party ahead of next year's assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, saying their rule has stunted the growth of the state. The next decade, he said, will belong to Uttar Pradesh, in which it will make up for the shortfall of the last seven decades.
During an interaction with the state's beneficiaries of the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana, PM Modi -- without naming the Congress or the Samajwadi Party -- said the BJP's "double engine" government has "changed the way we look at UP's potential from a narrower perspective".
The confidence that Uttar Pradesh can become the powerhouse of India's growth engine has been born in the past years, he said in a compliment to the Yogi Adityanath government in the state.
"This decade is in a way the decade of Uttar Pradesh to make up for the shortfall in the last seven decades," the Prime Minister said.
The work, he added, cannot be done without "adequate participation of common youth of UP, our daughters, poor, downtrodden, backward, backward and giving them better opportunities".
The BJP is hoping to retain power in the state where won a landslide victory in 2017, sweeping aside the government led by the Samajwadi Party.
The SP, led by Akhilesh Yadav, which teamed up with the Congress, had been routed.
But over the last months, there had been murmurs against the leadership of Yogi Adityanath -- both within the party and the NDA alliance.
The BJP -- which has backed the Chief Minister, seen as one of its tallest leaders -- has been hard pressed to get the allies on board.
Last week, PM Modi complimented the state government, saying its handling of the second wave of Covid was "unparalleled".
During a visit to his constituency Varanasi, the Prime Minister said the state "stood up and battled the virus efficiently", and that its management of the pandemic was "worthy of praise".
Uttar Pradesh recorded over 30,000 new cases daily at the peak of the second wave, up from a record single-day high of 7,016 cases during the first. It made headlines after thousands of bodies were found floating down the Ganga and were found buried in the sandbanks of the river.