Prime Minister Narendra Modi and union minister Amit Shah on Thursday appeared to have reverted to their tried-and-tested Hindutva agenda to garner people's supporters in Uttar Pradesh's Avadh region, which goes to polls in the fifth phase of polling on Sunday.
While Modi, addressing election rallies at Prayagraj and Amethi, referred to the renovation works undertaken by the Centre and the BJP governments at Kashi, Mathura, Kedarnath, Badrinath and Prayagraj, Shah invoked 'Bajarangbali' (Lord Hanumana) at his election rallies in the region to seek support.
''Some parties accuse us of being communal when we undertake renovation of Kedarnath, Badrinath, Kashi and Mathura,'' Modi said, adding that such activities also boosted tourism as the tourists got better facilities.
The prime minister said that millions of people visited Mecca and Vatican City as they had better arrangements. ''Tourism contributes to economic development,'' Modi added.
He also raked up the recent court verdict in the 2008 Ahmedabad serial blast case and said that his rivals could not muster the courage to welcome the decision. ''It was because of the appeasement policy pursued by them,'' he said.
Speaking at an election rally in Amethi, Modi attacked the Gandhi family, alleging that the latter had "grabbed" lands in the area.
The prime minister also termed the Congress and the Samajwadi Party (SP) as parties of one family. ''Such parties can not serve the nation.... BJP can never be like them,'' Modi said.
Shah, who addressed a rally at Baharaich, said that UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had ensured that there were no 'bahubalis' (muscle men) in the state. ''We don't now find bahubalis...we only find Bajarangbali,'' he remarked.