“Azamgarh may have given two former chief ministers and also sent them to the Parliament. But, because of them, the identity of Azamgarh has been tarnished,” he said attacking the Samajwadi Party leadership at a rally here.
This is the same Azamgarh whose youth could not get a hotel room or guest anywhere in India before 2014 and 2017, he said after the foundation of a new university was laid by Union Minister Amit Shah.
“This university will in the true sense make Azamgarh into Aryamgarh, and there should be no doubt about this,” Adityanath said.
The firebrand BJP leader has reportedly in the past referred to the district as “Aryamgarh” in his speeches. After his government was formed in 2017, Allahabad and Faizabad, both holy cities for Hindus, were renamed Prayagraj and Ayodhya respectively and there was speculation that Azamgarh could be renamed too.
Hitting back, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav said that the BJP government has “only changed names and colours in the past four-and-half years”.
The public will now change the government, he told reporters in Gorakhpur.
At the rally in Azamgarh, the Lok Sabha constituency of Akhilesh Yadav, the chief minister accused the SP leadership of pursuing dynastic politics.
“They never came out of the family and dynasty. The 7.5 lakh youths of the state who have got jobs do not belong to the family of the prime minister or the home minister but are the youth of the state. Earlier, when jobs were announced, all the relatives used to come out for ‘vasooli’ (extortion),” Adityanath alleged.
The UP chief minister asked the people if they saw their MP during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Only when the election is round the corner, there are some activities,” he said.
On the law and order situation, Adityanath said no goon can harass any girl now as they know that they will “meet the same fate as Duryodhan and Dushasan (Mahabharata characters)”.
The BJP leader recalled that he was attacked in Azamgarh in 2007.
“Ajit Rai was murdered in Shibli National College, because he was from the ABVP, and he had said that Vande Mataram should be sung on Republic Day. FIR was not lodged for one month. Can anyone dare to do the same today?” the chief minister said.
He also claimed that the foodgrains “which used to go to Bangladesh under the previous governments” is being given free to the needy people under Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“I remember that when the BJP government was formed in UP, Amit Shah had said that Purvanchal Expressway should be built in such a way that it becomes the backbone of development for Azamgarh and Purvanchal,” the UP chief minister said.
Azamgarh comes under Purvanchal region of Uttar Pradesh and has 133 Assembly seats in the Legislative Assembly. Of this, BJP had won 89, while its ally Apna Dal (Sonela) had eight MLAs in the 2017 assembly polls.
Adityanath also urged the people to get vaccinated against COVID-19, and “put the virus inside a bottle like a genie”.
He said the Purvanchal Expressway will become the axis of development. Azamgarh airport is near completion. More than one lakh migrant labourers had come back to Azamgarh after the outbreak of COVID-19. They were taken safely to their homes and given free ration, medicines and vaccines.
“The government will be providing smart phones and tablets to the youths, and the UP’s youth will become smart,” he said.