Lucknow: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Friday asked the Nishad community in Uttar Pradesh to ensure defeat for the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party and also make sure that the Congress does not open its account in the upcoming Assembly elections scheduled early next year.
“What have these parties done for you? Did they give you gas connection, water facilities and health cards? They ruled the state for years but did nothing for the backward and weaker sections of the society. They only worked for the welfare of their own families,” Shah said while addressing the joint BJP-Nishad Party ‘Sarkar Banao, Adhikar Pao’ rally in Lucknow.
The rally was the first event after the BJP announced its alliance with the Nishad Party.
Shah said that people gave majority to the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation of the Ram temple in Ayodhya.
He said that while other parties worked in self-interest, Modi worked for all with his concept of Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas’.
He said that for the Nishad community, Modi had set up a separate fisheries ministry that has a budget of Rs 3,000 crore.
“In 2019, the Nishad party was with us in the alliance. During that time world’s biggest alliance of ‘Babua and Bua’ (read Akhilesh and Mayawati) was formed but we defeated them and got a huge majority. We are together again and you must give us more than 300 seats in Uttar Pradesh,” he said.
Lauding Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, he said the CM is promoting fish farming in a big way.
“Yogi government has reined in mafia and goondas. The Chief Minister’s Covid management has been the best and he has driven away the virus from here,” said Shah.
In a surprise move, Shah praised Deputy CM Keshav Maurya and said that “we must not forget that when Maurya was state unit president, the BJP had won more than 300 seats”.
However, contrary to the popular expectations, Shah did not utter a word about reservation for Nishad community under the Scheduled Caste category.
Sanjay Nishad and other Nishad leaders have been demanding reservation since long, but Shah did not say anything on the issue.
The votes of the Nishad community are expected to be decisive in around 160 Assembly constituencies in eastern and central Uttar Pradesh.
A total of 18 districts in Uttar Pradesh have a sizeable population of Nishad community. They are Prayagraj, Firozabad, Ballia, Sant Kabir Nagar, Banda, Ayodhya, Sultanpur, Gorakhpur, Maharajganj, Aurraiya, Lucknow, Unnao, Meerut, Mirzapur, Sant Ravidas Nagar, Muzaffarnagar, Varanasi, and Jaunpur.