As Rahul Gandhi arrived in Uttar Pradesh on his first visit to the state after becoming the Congress president, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath today advised him to shun "negative politics" and 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 into the Congress party which saw its worst- ever performance in the 2017 Assembly elections getting just seven seats in the 403-member House.
"The Congress president should give up negative politics," Adityanath told reporters here as Gandhi arrived in Lucknow en route Raebareli and Amethi, his Lok Sabha constituency.
Asked how he viewed Gandhi's first visit to the state as Congress chief, the chief minister said, "My advise to Rahul is that he should focus more on politics of development." Adityanath said that had the Congress focused more 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 defended his move to withdraw 20,000 politically motivated cases against workers of all parties, including one against himself. "It was done in quite a transparent manner through a bill in the House unlike the SP government which withdrew cases only against the Yadav family and their own workers," he said.
Adityanath 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.
Adityanath also criticised Akhilesh Yadav for protesting against UPCOC Bill. "Akhilesh Yadav is protesting against Uttar Pradesh Control of Organized Crime Bill (UPCOC Bill) as he fears that criminals patronised by him will also be nabbed," he said.
On the Ram temple, Yogi said, "It is not a political issue and it is related to faith of crores of Hindus. The case is in Supreme Court and a decision will come soon and I believe it will be the right solution of the issue." The UP chief minister also greeted BSP supremo Mayawati on her birthday today. (PTI)