In his first public address after the government defeated the no-confidence motion in the Lok Sabha, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said the Opposition "gave an unwanted hug" as it was not able to provide a reason for the "lack of trust". He made the statement while addressing sugarcane farmers at a rally in Shahjahanpur in Uttar Pradesh.
Modi was referring to Congress president Rahul Gandhi unexpectedly hugging him in the Lok Sabha after his speech on Friday.
The 'Kisan Kalyan Rally' in Shahjahanpur's Roza region is Modi's fifth public address in Uttar Pradesh in three weeks, indicating the importance of the state — which has 80 Lok Sabha seats — in BJP's calculations ahead of the 2019 General Elections.
In his speech, Modi said the central and state governments had made it their priority is to ensure that the "hard work of the farmers is respected". He said several decisions have been made to benefit sugarcane farmers.
After listing the key decisions his government had made, the prime minister said the Centre has decided to allow mills to produce ethanol from molasses and sugarcane juice from 1 December.
He also criticised the Opposition alliance, saying that more and more parties coming together against the BJP would only help the government grow. "The lotus will have more mud to bloom as the number of parties in the alliance rises," he said, accusing the Opposition of running after the prime minister's chair and ignoring the poor, youth and farmers.
The prime minister's visit to Shahjahanpur comes after reaching out to people in Uttar Pradesh's Azamgarh, Sant Kabir Nagar, Mirzapur and Varanasi over the past two weeks.
Besides farmers, BJP workers and leaders of eight districts in Shahjahanpur attended the rally. Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath had convened a meeting of officials of the eight districts while preparing for the event.
With inputs from PTI
Updated Date: Jul 21, 2018 16:30 PM