The situation in Uttar Pradesh is heading towards its climax slowly slowly as Prime Minister Narendra Modi played his last card by instigating Hindu sentiments. It started from Ram Mandir (temple) and reached to shamshan (Crematorium). On the other hand, Akhilesh Yadav’s “Kaam Bolta Hai (work speaks)” slogan was put to test as 69 of the state’s 403 constituencies voted in the third of its seven-phase assembly elections on Sunday, provisional data showed 62 per cent voting – a 2 per cent rise over 2012. In 2012, the ruling party had won 54 of the 69 seats – the test is to see how many it can retain this time. Among the seats – spread across 12 districts — that went to polls included the ones where various members of the state’s ruling first family have been fielded. Lucknow Cantonment where the family’s ‘chhoti bahu’ Aparna Yadav is taking on Rita Bahuguna Joshi, the Congress veteran who switched sides and is now fighting on a BJP ticket; Akhilesh Yadav’s uncle Shivpal Yadav’s Jaswantnagar and cousin Anurag Yadav from Lucknow’s Sarojini Nagar voted on Sunday and locked their fate in EVM. BJP — which is hoping for a big win in Uttar Pradesh — is banging on what they have said is the people’s support for the central government’s move to ban high denomination notes in November. More than 2.4 crore people were expected to decide the fate of 826 candidates.
Akhilesh Yadav has claimed big development projects in the areas – including the Lucknow-Agra Expressway which joins seven of the 12 districts. The upcoming Metro Rail in Lucknow is also among the projects the Chief Minister has showcased. Mulayam Singh’s brother and close aide Shivpal Yadav — whose key role in the party pitted the young Chief Minster against his father — is contesting from Etawah’s Jaswantnagar. He is taking on BJP’s Manish Yadav.
The BJP has not projected a chief ministerial candidate for Uttar Pradesh, building its campaign instead around Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s appeal. In his campaign, PM Modi has said in the notes ban, aimed at eliminating black or undeclared money, he had the interests of the poor at heart. A huge section of the voters in Uttar Pradesh, the nation’s most populous state, are rural poor.
Samajwadi-Congress, BSP is trying hard to create their existence, PM Modi changed all the equations in an hour. He started by saying, he would win this election and needed no partner. Then, when it became clear that both his party and his to-be allies were sinking, he decided to tie up, and said the partnership would win. The PM did not refer to Rahul Gandhi, the Chief Minister’s wingman for this election. But with considerable take-down finesse, he exhibited two political lineaments: a punishing appraisal of Gandhi and feeding off popular social media topics. So, he referred to the much-forwarded image of Akhilesh Yadav and Rahul Gandhi at their roadshow in Agra, with the Congress vice-president bending to avoid a tangle of electricity wires as he rode on a Mercedes SUV with the Chief Minister.
Despite the unremitting heat, the crowd stayed attentive. The PM stopped regularly to take off his glasses and wipe his face.The loudest bursts of approval came when the PM declared “Aap ka pyar mere sar aankhon par”, seeking their blessings, and later, when he highlighted his achievement in getting the rich to surrender their entitlement of subsidising cooking gas and ensuring free cylinders for the poor, recalling his mother toiling in a kitchen.
He spoke of delivering jobs for the youth of Uttar Pradesh, employment for which they would need no connections, have to pay no bribes. Modi said we will not privilege one caste above another, in an election being closely watched to gauge if the caste calculus is shelved, as it was in 2014, for the promise of employment, development and economic empowerment. Implicating Akhilesh Yadav for minority appeasement, the PM said all religions must be treated equally. If villages create graveyards, there must be crematoriums too. If there is bijli (electricity) for Ramzan, it must be there for Diwali. There must be bijli on both Holi and Eid. When he talked of providing cheaper medicines and urea, he launched a theme, one that he kept returning to, with rewarding dividends.
Anyway, if we have to believe PM’s opinion about UP politics he mentioned that Samajwadi Party entered into an alliance with the Congress as it was afraid of losing power in Lucknow. The Samajwadi Party has insulted their ideologue Ram Manohar Lohia by joining hands with the Congress, which looted the country. Those born with silver spoon in mouth realised that the situation is not in their favour, so they tied up with Samajwadi Party. There was a time when farmers had to face hurdles to get urea. Finally, Modi promised free gas connections to rural households and access to clean fuel. He promised that farmer’s loan will be waived off if BJP is voted to power in the state. He commented about the inefficient policing system in UP? Samajwadi Party is least concerned about improving law and order situation of the state. He urged people to elect a government that would ensure safety of people. Meanwhile, Mayawati is also known for maintaining better law and order situation in UP during her reign. Anyway, Modi attacked only Akhilesh and Rahul Gandhi but he did not say anything about BSP as there are rumours that post elections BJP and BSP may have alliance to form government. Whosoever wins right now, it’s difficult to talk about one party getting huge mandate. BJP would remain a deciding factor for sure.
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