Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday denounced casteism and nepotism while campaigning for a Bharatiya Janata Party government in Uttar Pradesh that would take the state on the path of development, reported PTI. "My dear youths, nepotism and poison of casteism will not help in development. Support politics of 'visasvad' [development]. I am here to urge you to bless me with your support as you have done earlier [in Lok Sabha polls]," he said.

The prime minister, however, did not speak about the controversial remark made by a former member of the ruling party against Bahujan Samajwadi Party chief Mayawati. His speech did not mention the ongoing unrest in Gujarat over the assault of Dalit men near Una town. Modi accused the Samajwadi Party government of not utilising the funds the Centre has provided for the health sector in the state.

"I have given Rs 7,000 crore to the state. This is not less for the health sector, but the state government has only utilised Rs 2,850 crores as there is a provision to show utilisation for taking rest amount (sic). This happened as the state government did not have the strength," Modi said after laying foundation stone for an AIIMS and the revival of a sick fertiliser plant. He said the plant will create jobs and "defeat poverty. The state will hold Assembly elections in 2017.