As Rahul Gandhi arrived in UP on his first visit to the state after becoming the Congress president, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Monday advised him to shun "negative politics" and instead focus on development.
The Congress leader arrived in the state on a two-day visit to galvanise party workers for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls and breathe life in the party which saw its worst-ever performance in the 2017 Assembly elections getting only seven seats in the 403-member House.
"The Congress president should give up doing negative politics," Adityanath told reporters here even as Rahul Gandhi arrived in Lucknow en route Raebareli and Amethi - the party bastions.
Asked as to how he viewed his first visit to the state after donning the mantle of party head, the chief minister said, "My advise to Rahul is that he should focus more on politics of development."
Adityanath said that had the Congress laid more emphasis on development, Amethi would not have languished.
"See the plight of his Lok Sabha constituency - Amethi - nursed by four generations of Nehru-Gandhi family," the chief minister told reporters on the sidelines of an event at Gorakhnath temple, of which he is the head priest, on the occasion of Makarsankranti.
Adityanath also attacked former chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, saying he should ask his supporters to behave.
"They (SP workers) killed innocent villagers in Azamgarh with spurious liquor and were also caught in Hardoi for making spurious liquor.
They tried to disturb the environment in Lucknow which is not good," he charged.
In Lucknow, two persons, including a Samajwadi Party worker, were arrested last week for allegedly hurling potatoes near the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly and some other places in the VVIP zone to highlight the plight of farmers.
Meanwhile, Adityanath greeted BSP supremo Mayawati on her birthday today.