The BJP had won an unprecedented mandate in Uttar Pradesh in the 2014 Lok Sabha election, winning 71 of the state's 80 seats. It hopes to repeat a similar performance in the ongoing assembly election and regain power in the state after a gap of 15 years. But it faces tough competition from the Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party and the Samajwadi Party-Congress alliance.
The last phase of the intense and crucial election will witness polling in 40 constituencies across seven districts, including Varanasi, Mirzapur, Jaunpur and Ghazipur.
Here are the highlights of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's speech in Varanasi:
- Fortunate that I was raised on the land where Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Patel were born.
- Inspired by ideals of Gandhi ji and Sardar Patel, we are working for welfare of people of this country.
- In 2022, we will fulfill two big promises.
- By 2020, every family - poorest of the poor - will have a house to live.
- In five years, we want to increase farmers' earnings. If he earns one lakh now, we want them to earn two lakh. And this is possible.
- We have taken measures that will ensure farmers earn double.
- We have never thought of our mother earth. That's why we have introduced soil health card to test our mother earth's health.
- Farmers are not aware of the kind of seeds and fertilisers that is suitable to the kind of soil they have...Hence, they lose a lot of money.
- The centre has pledged a lot of money to ensure proper fertilizer, proper manure, proper seeds are used.
- We will also protect farmers from thugs.
- We have pledged a lot for the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sichai Yojana to ensure proper irrigation facilities are made available to farmers.
- The pumps farmers use today are old and expensive to replace.
- The government has decided that if farmers want to replace their pumps, it will be done free of cost.
- We have also ensured that farmers get urea on time. Farmers used to wait for days to get urea. As a result, black marketers used to take advantage of our farmers.
- To prevent such corruption, we have introduced neem-coating of urea.
- Sometimes, due to shortage of rain.. and floods.. the crops get damaged.
- With the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, farmers are insured against any kind of crop failure.
- UP today has a government that doesn't care about farmers. They are only concerned about themselves.
- Every state welcomed Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana. In UP, only 14 per cent are covered. Agriculture is the primary industry of UP.