11/12/2016 3:58 PM IST | Updated 11/12/2016 4:38 PM IST

For UP To Progress, Poverty And 'Goonda Raj' Need To Be Removed: PM Modi

He addressed the rally in Bahraich via phone.

Adnan Abidi / Reuters

BAHRAICH -- Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the parivartan rally in Bahraich, Uttar Pradesh, via phone as his helicopter was unable to land due to foggy weather conditions.

"The Prime Minister will try to come again when schedule and weather allows," Uttar Pradesh Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Keshav Prasad Maurya said. PM Modi was the national general secretary of BJP when he visited Bahraich in 2001 for the first time and next in November 2013, The Indian Expresssaid.

Addressing the rally ahead of the state elections scheduled to be held early next year, the PM said, "for Uttar Pradesh to progress, poverty and 'goonda raj' needs to be removed."

Supporting his move to demonetise 500 and 1000 rupee notes, he further said, "You must have seen that the government is behind people who have stashed black money; the government is committed to empower the poor." The Parliament is not being allowed to function by those party that have been discredited by the people, he added. He pointed out that the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party in Uttar Pradesh are among those hurt by the currency ban.

This is the fifth parivartan rally by Prime Minister Modi in Uttar Pradesh as part of the BJP's campaign for next year's assembly elections.

The BJP is running a campaign led by its president Amit Shah. It had won an unprecedented 71 out of 80 Lok Sabha seats in the state in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. However, the party failed to perform as well in the Bihar elections and won only 53 out of 243 seats.

Winning Uttar Pradesh is a major boost for any party, as being the most populous state in India, it gives a fair indication of the trend in the national elections.

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