'Kashi and Mathura, not Amethi and Saifai': UP Minister's dig at Opposition

Saifai is the home turf of Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav. Amethi is the erstwhile stronghold of the Congress from where Rahul Gandhi was MP between 2014 and 2019, before he lost the seat to the BJP's Smriti Irani

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Friday, June 03, 2022, 02:59 PM IST
article-image
Uttar Pradesh Cabinet Minister for Industrial Development Nand Gopal Nandi (left) | PTI

As Prime Minister Narendra Modi adressed investors at the UP Investors Summit in Lucknow on Friday, Nand Gopal Nandi, the Cabinet Minister for Industrial Development in the Uttar Pradesh government, took the opportunity to take a potshot at the opposition.

In his opening speech welcoming the Prime Minister and other dignitaries to the function, Nandi referred to the state as the land of 'Kashi and Mathura' and said UP was not known by 'Saifai' or 'Amethi' any more.

Saifai is the home turf of Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav. Amethi is the erstwhile stronghold of the Congress from where Rahul Gandhi was MP between 2014 and 2019, before he lost the seat to the BJP's Smriti Irani.

Disputes over the mosques in Kashi, Varanasi and Mathura have been dominating the headlines over the last month with court battles being fought over the status of these mosques located right next to prominent temples. Litigants have even gone so far as to ask for permission to pray inside Varanasi's Gyanvapi Mosque.

"Uttar Pradesh is not known by Amethi or Saifai, but by Ayodhya, Kashi, Mathura and Kushinagar. People across the whole world who believe in Lord Krishna, Lord Ram, Baba Viswanath and Lord Buddha are happy with UP's ancient identity being restored, and they express their happiness.

"Only one emotion rises in their mind - 'Raghukul reet jahan ke hain Ram Ramaiya, jis dharti pe janme Kishan Kanhaiya, desh hi nahin, poore vishwa mein sabse vishesh hai, ye apna Uttar Pradesh hai'," Nandi said in his speech, with the prime minister present.

A day earlier, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat called for a "path through mutual agreement" on the controversy over the filming of the Gyanvapi mosque in Uttar Pradesh's Varanasi.

Bhagwat's statement was perceived as an attempt to defuse growing communal tensions in India's most populous state, which led to some commentators drawing parallels to the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition.

(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. To receive it on Telegram, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

RECENT STORIES

Maharashtra political crisis: Aaditya Thackeray attends party workers program in Mumbai

Maharashtra political crisis: Aaditya Thackeray attends party workers program in Mumbai

17 people found dead in a nightclub in South Africa

17 people found dead in a nightclub in South Africa

Punjab bypolls: SAD(A) candidate Simranjit Mann leads over AAP rival Gurmail Singh in Sangrur

Punjab bypolls: SAD(A) candidate Simranjit Mann leads over AAP rival Gurmail Singh in Sangrur

Uttar Pradesh bypolls: BJP leads in SP's home turf; ahead in both Azamgarh and Rampur

Uttar Pradesh bypolls: BJP leads in SP's home turf; ahead in both Azamgarh and Rampur

Navi Mumbai: No water supply in the CIDCO area after pipeline damage in Gavan Phata

Navi Mumbai: No water supply in the CIDCO area after pipeline damage in Gavan Phata