BJP will lift UP out of poverty: Advani

Bhopal: Blaming Congress for pushing the country into "backwardness", senior BJP leader Lal Krishna Advani today said his party would lift Uttar Pradesh out of penury if voted to power. "We have been telling the people of Uttar Pradesh that if they give us a chance then we will strive to bring the northern state out of the BIMARU tag as happening with Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and other states in Hindi belt where we are in power," Advani said.

He was addressing the felicitation function of Bhopal MP and former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kailash Joshi for completing 50 years in active politics. Advani arrived here from Udupi in Karnataka after offering condolences to the Higher Education Minister V S Acharya who passed away on Tuesday. BJP chief Nitin Gadkari could not attend the function as he was unwell, organisers said.

"Congress failed to translate swaraj the country had gained post Independence into development despite remaining in power for so many years," the veteran leader said. Praising Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Advani said his "humbleness and kind-heartedness" is a major asset for the ruling party. "The chief minister is doing a very good job," he said, adding since BJP came to power, the Hindi-belt states have started shedding their BIMARU tag.

We are trying to bring Uttar Pradesh out of BIMARU tag and Madhya Pradesh is an example to emulate, Advani said. Describing Joshi as an "excellent man", the former deputy prime minister said the former was an example for others to follow. "In west a person`s intelligence is gauged by measuring his IQ (Intelligence Quotient) and later the concept of EQ (Emotional Quotient) too arrived. But Indians were known world over for one more thing and that is for their SQ (Spiritual Quotient)," Advani said praising Joshi.

He asserted that the ideological movement of RSS has catapulted leaders like Atal Bihari Vajpayee, late Bhairon Singh Shekhawat and himself to hold highest constitutional posts. Besides Advani, the chief minister, former chief ministers Joshi and Sunderlal Patwa, BJP general secretary in-charge of Uttar Pradesh, Narendra Singh Tomar and the state unit president Prabhat Jha addressed the function.