Newly-appointed Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Tuesday took a jibe at his predecessor Akhilesh Yadav and Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi saying he 'came between' the duo as he made a reference to their age.
"I am one year younger than Rahul Gandhi and one year older than Akhilesh Yadav. I have come in between the pair and this could probably be the reason of your failure," Yogi said, addressing his comments to Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge in his first appearance in the Lok Sabha after taking charge as UP CM.
Adityanath, an MP from Gorakhpur, will have to resign from his seat and must get elected from either the Legislative Assembly of Legislative Council of UP within 6 months.
Clad in his typical saffron robes, Adityanath was received warmly by the members who thumped the desks as he entered the House sometime after 4.30 pm when a debate was underway on the Finance Bill.
As he entered the House amid chants of 'Jai Sri Ram', there was a brief interruption in the speech by TDP member Rammohan Naidu, who stopped to extend greetings to the new UP Chief Minister.
Speaker Sumitra Mahajan also extended her greetings as did a number of other members to the member from Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh.
"You are welcome. You are the Chief Minister of UP and along with that you are a member of this House," the Speaker said while inviting Adityanath to speak.
The name of 44-year-old UP CM, who arrived in Delhi this morning to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and top BJP leaders, was added to the list of speakers after he came to the House.
Adityanath, who spoke on the Bill after Naidu, laid thrust on allaying apprehensions over his taking over in UP. "In Uttar Pradesh, the new model of development will be based on 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas'," emphasised Adityanath, who is known for his firebrand Hindutva image.
"My government will be for everyone, not specifically for any caste or community... We will work for development of all sections and castes and create a new structure of progress," said the Chief Minister of the country's largest state.
He said his government in the state will create a "new model" of development under the guidance of Modi.
"UP will be the state which our honourable Prime Minister has dreamt of, a corruption-free state, a state free of anarchy. It would be an incident free-state," Adityanath said.
"Uttar Pradesh would work to make the dream of Prime Minister a reality," he said.
The state, he said, would be a model for development and the youth would not migrate.
He invited all the members of the House to visit Uttar Pradesh. "You are welcome to UP," he said.
Adityanath, the head of Gorakhpur mutt who was a surprise pick for the post of UP Chief Minister, said his government will try to create a situation where no riots take place.
The five-time MP asserted this while citing the example of his constituency Gorakhpur.
"Of the 304 riots that took place in Uttar Pradesh, not a single riot took place in Gorakhpur," he said.
He expressed gratitude to the Speaker, the PM and other party leaders for permitting him to speak on the Finance Bill.
"I am grateful to my party, our leader Prime Minister Modi Jee, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar jee who gave me an opportunity to speak on this issue," he said.
Referring to the UP Assembly polls in which his party got 312 seats in the 403-member House, the BJP leader said the election results were a "slap on the face of those who did not perform".
Targeting the previous government in UP, the Chief Minister said out of the 2.5 lakh crore allotted to the state in the last two-and-a-half years by the Centre, only Rs 78,000 crore were spent as the SP dispensation did not have any development model.
He said when the BJP government under the leadership of Modi came to power at the Centre, the economic condition of the country was not good and the growth rate was continuously falling.
"But in the last three years, there is growth in the country. India has become a role model for development for other nations across the globe... The Finance Minister has very successfully led the economy of the country," he said.
Adityanath said there are 25 crore Jhan Dhan accounts and people of different castes and religions have theirs accounts. "There has been no discrimination," he underlined.
He appreciated the various schemes of the government including 'Start-Up India' and said "these schemes have
proved to be very useful."
The Prime Minister, he said, had laid the foundation stone for a fertiliser plant in Gorakhpur which was closed for 26 years.
Work in the plant would be started, the CM said, adding production will also start in fertiliser plants in Sindri and Barauni.
Inviting the members of the House to UP, the state which he now leads, Yogi said his government will work for everyone, not specifically for any caste or community.
"Uttar Pradesh will become the dream state of Prime Minister. UP will be an ideal state. We will work to make the state free of corruption, rowdyism and hooliganism. We will present a development model which will prevent distress migration of youths for jobs," he said.
He added that a lot of things will now close down in the state, invoking a laughter from the members.
Talking about the achivement of BJP-led Central government, Yogi said credited Finance Minister Arun Jaitley fro bringing down the fiscal deficit.
"The country was in a sorry state when we came to power in 2014. The economy is currently growing at 7 per cent. I thank the Finance Minister for breathing new life into our country's economy. This government has worked for all sections of society without any discrimination," the five-time Lok Sabha MP from Gorakhpur said.
He claimed credit for bringing about changes in Gorakhpur, which he admitted did not enjoy a positive image among people earlier.
Now, he said, no trader in Gorakhpur paid "goonda tax", the town did not witness incidents of abduction and there were no communal riots in eastern Uttar Pradesh.
"We will be successful in generating the same situation in Uttar Pradesh."
Adityanath was sworn in as Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh on Sunday. He has stressed that the law and order situation will be the top priority for the new regime.
As promised by the BJP during the Assembly elections, Yogi government has also initiated a crack down on illegal slaughterhouses in the state.
(With PTI inputs)