• PTI

Adityanath restored rule of law in UP; BJP will receive positive mandate in 5 assembly polls: Gadkar

New Delhi, Feb 11 (PTI) Lauding Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for "restoring" the rule of law in the state, Union minister Nitin Gadkari has asserted that the BJP will receive a "positive mandate" in the five state assembly polls for its development works and welfare measures for the poor.


Adityanath is a very successful chief minister who has done "unprecedentedly" well on the issue of law and order and ended "goonda raaj" in Uttar Pradesh, Gadkari told PTI in an interview.



With the BJP in power in four of the five states facing the polls, he expressed confidence that the party will again win in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur and emerge as a strong force in Punjab, where it is contesting the elections for the first time as the lead partner of an alliance after Akali Dal severed ties with it.


He also downplayed the issue of farmers' anger with the ruling party in Uttar Pradesh, saying no government has done as much for them as the BJP dispensations at the Centre and the state.


'Anna data' (grain providers) are now becoming 'urja data' (energy provider), he said, citing measures to turn surplus stocks of sugarcane, corn, rice and wheats to bio ethanol. This has boosted payment for farmers, he claimed.



Adityanath, he said, has put Uttar Pradesh on the path to development by cracking down on criminals, giving a fillip to health and education infrastructure, with better road networks creating more employment opportunities.


Asked about opposition parties' criticism of the chief minister, known for his hardline Hindutva stand, Gadkari said the BJP will receive a positive mandate for its works.


"We do not believe in jativaad and sampradaywad (casteism and communalism)," he said, claiming that people will reject the Samajwadi-Rashtriya Lok Dal alliance, which has emerged as the main challenger to the BJP in the state.



Asked about Goa, where he was key to the BJP forming government in 2017 by wooing over allies despite winning only 13 seats in the 40-member assembly while the Congress won 17, Gadkari said the Aam Aadmi Party and the Trinamool Congress will harm the main opposition party in the coastal state and boost his party's prospects.


The BJP had provided stable government in the state in the last 10 years, creating an environment for development, he said.


To a question about Utpal Parrikar contesting the polls as an independent from Panaji, a seat represented by his late father Manohar Parrikar, after the BJP did not give him ticket for the seat, he said this will not harm his party but conceded that it would have been better had he not contested.


The BJP had offered him nomination from other seats but he refused, Gadkari added.



Uttarakhand has also transformed under the BJP rule with the government spending over Rs 12,000 cr to build an all-weather road to connect 'char-dham'. With the Supreme Court giving its clearance, the entire stretch is likely to be completed in a year or so, and this will be a huge boost to the state's economy, he said.


The Union Road Transport & Highways Minister, often credited for boosting the pace of highway construction across the country, said the rising network of roads coupled with ongoing work on several stretch of highways will draw people's support for the BJP in the ongoing polls besides a host of other measures, including pro-poor initiatives like free grains.


"Our government has been able to do what did not happen in the previous 50 years. I have given people assurance that India's road infrastructure will be as good as that of the US in the next five years," he said.


Travelling from Meerut to Delhi used to take over four hours but it is now nearly 40 minutes, he said, adding in a lighter vein that flights between the national capital and Dehradun will stop in a year as people can travel the distance in two hours. One will soon be able to travel from Delhi to Mumbai by road in 12 hours, he said.


The increasing network of road infrastructure will cut the cost on logistics, boost India's export, creating more employment opportunities and bringing prosperity, Gadkari said.


Tourism will also get a big boost, he said, noting that nearly 49 per cent of capital expenditure in the sector goes into creating employment.