Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Wednesday invoked socialist leader Ram Manohar Lohia to suggest that Narendra Modi is set to run the country for many more years because of his focus on providing toilets and fuel for the poor.
In an interview to PTI, the chief minister expressed confidence that the Bharatiya Janata Party will win 74 of the 80 Lok Sabha seats in his state, three more than it bagged on its own in 2014.
Adityanath said the socialist leader's dream has been fulfilled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP will form the government with a clear majority after the 2019 elections.
"Dr Lohia told Shrimati Indira Gandhi ji in Parliament that this country lives in the villages.
"The day every poor person in this country has a toilet in his home and his fuel requirements are met, whoever is the PM then shall rule for at least 25 years," he said.
He said Lohia addressed the then prime minister around 1966 or 1967 but it is only now that his desire has come true.
"I think there are lot of people who do politics in the name of Dr Lohia but his dream has been fulfilled by PM Modi," Adityanath said.
He said this election will be the first one to shatter all forecasts around caste, religion, region and vote banks.
The chief minister said during Modi's term houses have been provided to 1.5 crore poor people, power connections to four crore people and free cooking gas connections to seven crore women.
In these five years, 10 crore toilets were built, 12.5 crore farmers helped under the Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana, 15 crore young people benefited from the Mudra Yojana and 37 crore Jan Dhan accounts opened.
"These are statistics which are not based on caste, region, religion, vote bank or language. Considering the respect that the common man has today for the PM, the public is inclined towards him," the BJP leader said.
He stressed that general elections are different from bypolls as they decide who shall be the prime minister.
"The BJP will win this election in Gorakhpur, Phulpur, Amethi, Azamgarh and Badaun -- and it will be more than 74 seats in Uttar Pradesh," Adityanath said, listing the constituencies where the BJP has not done well in the recent past.
"It is the first time after independence that a poor person has got a home, a power connection and a cooking gas connection," he said. -- PTI