Shivpal Yadav's New 'Netaji', BJP's Six-Front Campaign, And Everything Else From 'UP 2022' Campaign
With assembly elections around the corner, here's what the leading political parties in Uttar Pradesh are up to.
In the run up to Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, all eyes are now fixed on the daily turn of events in the political arena — be it the huge public rallies, unique poll campaign tours, inaugurations and foundation stone laying ceremonies, or the often controversial political exchanges among all the contenders.
With barely months to go for the polls, all political parties are leaving no stone unturned in consolidating their respective vote banks and breaching through that of their opponents. While the two lead contenders —Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Samajwadi Party (SP) — are busy hurling caustic barbs at each other, the rest are more hostile towards the ruling party, with occasional hit-backs at other rivals.
The BJP now seems entirely focused on the polls as the party’s top leadership — Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, BJP national president J P Nadda, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, other BJP chief ministers and many Union and state ministers — is doing non-stop campaigning to ensure the party’s return to power in state.
BJP’s ‘Jan Vishwas Yatra’
The top brass of the BJP, on Sunday (19 December), flagged off its ‘Jan Vishwas Yatra’ from six different places in the state to reach out to the people in all 403 assembly constituencies. Nadda and senior BJP leaders including Adityanath flagged off the yatras.
The six-fold campaign tour was flagged off by Adityanath in Mathura, Nadda in Ambedkar Nagar, Union Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari and Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya in Bijnor, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and state BJP president Swatantra Dev Singh in Ballia and Union Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani in Ghazipur. BJP leaders addressed public meetings and attacked the party’s key opponent in the state, former chief minister Akhilesh Yadav-led SP.
Nadda dubbed the SP as a party synonymous with “corruption, injustice, atrocities, and misconduct”. Adityanath, while accusing the SP chief of being ‘mafia-friendly’ said, "I see that the Samajwadi Party is grieving due to the raids of the Income Tax Department. Why are they in pain? Actually this happens when ‘guilty conscience pricks the mind’.”
Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh resorted to cricket analogy as he dubbed Adityanath as a “developmental all-rounder” whose “inswingers and outswingers” will be unplayable for the opposition. Gadkari dubbed the state’s unprecedented growth in the last five years as “only a trailer” of Adityanath’s developmental work and asked the people of the state to be ready to see the whole film of the state’s growth.
Chouhan warned the people of UP against Yadav, who first “betrayed” his father, then “duped” his uncle, and was now out to “cheat” the people of UP. Irani cautioned the people to check the “cycle (SP) and elephant (Bahujan Samaj Party) parties” if they don’t want to return to the “goonda raj” they once suffered.
Mahila Sashaktikaran Sammelan: BJP’s Bid To Make Women 'Atma Nirbhar’
Prime Minister Modi, on Tuesday (21 December), gifted benefits worth Rs 1,230 crore — including Rs 1,000 crore revolving fund for 16 lakh women members of the self-help groups, Rs 4,000 honorarium to 20,000 Bank Vyapar Sakhis, and over Rs 20 crore for the beneficiaries of the Kanya Sumangala Yojna, aimed at making the women folk ‘atma nirbhar’ (self-reliant).
The Prime Minister, while addressing the Mahila Sashaktikaran Sammelan in Prayagraj, lashed out at those who are opposed to the central government’s recent decision to increase the age of marriage for females from 18 to 21 years. He praised the Adityanath-led government’s efforts to ensure the welfare and empowerment of women — be it the ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Abhiyan’, ‘Kanya Sumangala Yojana’, ‘Bank Vyapar Sakhis’, registration of property and land assets in name of women, or the focus on female nutrition and safety of women.
‘Yogi-Upyogi-Anupyogi’: The War Of Words Continues
In response to Modi’s anecdotal praise for Adityanath, in which he said “UP+Yogi=bahut Upyogi” (CM Yogi is extremely useful for the state of UP), the SP chief has now dubbed the Chief Minister as “unupyogi” (useless). Yadav, while addressing the public during his Vijay Rath Yatra in Mainpuri, lashed out at the BJP as he said that “baba mukhyamantri” (Chief Minister Adityanath) is useful only when it comes to changing the colour and names of places.
“Those from Delhi (PM Modi) claim it to be a useful government. The farmers, TET candidates, and unemployed BEd degree holders will decide their usefulness in the upcoming election,” said Yadav. He further alleged that the BJP’s central government is misusing institutions such as the IT Department, ED, CBI, as well as the police machinery to further its political interests.
Yadav compared the Lakhimpur violence case with the ‘Jallianwala Bagh Massacre’ and exclaimed that the Adityanath government is more brutal than even the British. “Why doesn’t the CM bulldoze Teni’s house?” he questioned. Yadav challenged the Chief Minister to release the list of mafias as he claimed that “the top-10 will surely be from the BJP”.
The BJP leadership, without any delay, did hit back at Yadav’s “unupyogi” remark on Adityanath. “Akhilesh calls CM Yogi ‘useless’, it is true that Yogi is useless for Akhilesh because he has put Mukhtar Ansari and Atiq Ahmed in jail for their hooliganism and terror. He is useless because he has put Azam Khan, who used to snatch the jobs and land of the poor, behind the bars. All the criminals, middlemen and goons are in jail now, and all these were the ‘navratnas’ (nine gems) of Akhilesh,” said Union Education Minister and BJP Uttar Pradesh election incharge Dharmendra Pradhan from Ghosi in Mau district.
Union Minister of State Kaushal Kishor, while addressing the gathering in Mau, accused Yadav of appeasing a specific community and asked him to go and ask for votes in the kabristan (graveyard) only.
Uncle Shivpal Yadav’s Unconditional Support For ‘New Netaji’
As the uncle-nephew duo of Akhilesh Yadav-Shivpal Yadav has already announced the formal alliance of the SP and the Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (Lohia), both are not shying away from public display of their newfound confidence in each other to the voters.
While nephew Akhilesh Yadav claimed that the coming together of the SP and the PSP (L) have sent shivers up the spine of the top ranks of the BJP, uncle Shivpal Yadav said that he has accepted Akhilesh Yadav as the “new netaji” of the Samajwadi family, adding that he wish to see him become the chief minister once again. He further said that he has himself trained Akhilesh Yadav, and he has now become “perfect”. Shivpal Yadav also clarified that there are no differences between them on the issue of seat distribution.
Priyanka Alleges “Hacking” Of Her Children’s Instagram Accounts
When asked for her reaction on the recent raids of the IT Department and ED on opposition leaders and their close aides, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi said “let aside phone tapping, the government is even hacking the Instagram accounts of my kids. Don’t they have any work left to do?”
The Congress has also announced that it will host a ‘Dalit Mahasammelan’ in Kanpur in the second week of January. The gathering will be attended by Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi along with other senior leaders of the party.
“BJP, SP, And Congress Are All Different Sides Of The Same Coin”
BSP national general secretary Satish Chandra Mishra, while addressing a party workers’ meeting, said that the BJP, SP and Congress are all different sides of the same coin. Congress incites riots, SP furthers casteism and is dependent on it. BSP is the only party which not only gave the slogan of ‘Sarvanjan Hitay, Sarvajan Sukhay’, but has actually done the work of taking all sections of the society together.
While attacking the BJP, Mishra claimed that there were “no riots in the state during the BSP’s rule, but during the BJP’s tenure, uncountable riots happened in the state. The Chief Minister is threatening people with the bulldozer. Brahmins, SCs, minorities and businessmen, all are suffering under this government.”
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