Varanasi | Jagran News Desk: In probably his first election rally ahead of next year's assembly election in Uttar Pradesh, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday lauded Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath over his handling of the second wave of the COVID-19 infection and said that 'mafia raj' and terrorism have been brought under control in the state.

Speaking at program in his Lok Sabha constituency Varanasi, PM Modi said that the rule of law has returned to Uttar Pradesh under Adityanath, adding that criminals in the state can't hide from the law now.

"It is not as if schemes were not brought for UP before 2017, it is not as if money was not released. We were given the opportunity to serve you in 2014, even at that time, swift efforts were made from Delhi. But at that time, hurdles used to come up in Lucknow," PM Modi was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

"Today, Yogi ji himself is working hard. People of Kashi can see how he comes here regularly and inspects every development project and quickens the work. He works like this for the entire state, goes to every district," he added.

Inaugurating multiple projects worth Rs 744 crore, the Prime Minister said that the Centre has decided to set up Rs 1 lakh crore special fund to strengthen the agriculture infrastrcuture in Uttar Pradesh, adding that it is "major step towards making the nation's mandi system modern".

He also said that Varanasi has emerged as a "large medical hub of Purvanchal", adding that several healthcare facilities have been set up in the city to strengthen the medical infrastructure. PM Modi also said that maximum testing against COVID-19 was conducted across India in Uttar Pradesh.

"Kashi has shown that it doesn't stop or get tired even in difficult times. The past few months have been very difficult for the entire mankind. But entire UP, including Kashi, faced the mutating and dangerous form of Coronavirus with all its might," ANI quoted PM Modi as saying.

PM Modi inaugurated projects worth around Rs 744 crore and laid the foundation stones of several projects and public works worth about Rs 839 crore. These include the Centre for Skill and Technical Support of Central Institute of Petrochemical Engineering and Technology (CIPET), 143 rural projects under the Jal Jeevan Mission and mango and vegetable integrated pack house in Karkhiyanv.

Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel, the chief minister and state ministers were also present on the occasion.

WATCH: PM Modi defends Adityanath over handling of 2nd COVID wave, says 'mafia raj' brought under control in UP

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma