Casteism undoubtedly plays a major role in Uttar Pradesh politics but during the crucial Assembly Elections 2017 politicos have come up a few other poll planks also. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetisation or ‘notebandi’ and ‘development’ are the favourite pitches on which BJP, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party, Congress and Mayawati’s BSP seek to woo the electorates. “SP-Congress, BSP and BJP, are trying to break out of their corners, pitch a wider tent,” according to The Indian Express report.
Looking beyond the SP’s Muslim-Yadav base, CM Akhilesh Yadav has pitched for development. “Infrastructure like the Lucknow metro and expressway, and schemes, subsidies and helplines,” the report says. BJP and BSP, however, have been targetting the CM over the “SP’s commitment to law and order”, nepotism and its alleged favouritism to “the Yadavs and those belonging to SP bastions of “Etawah-Mainpuri” in western UP, in particular”, the report says.
Watch this video
According to the report, Mayawati had managed to garner applause even from non-Dalit groups for running a tight administration when she was in power, and specially, in a state of raging unemployment, for presiding over “bharti” (recruitments) for government jobs that were not, as in the SP regime, challenged and stayed by courts because of allegations of nepotism and corruption. But many remain openly sceptical of her promise, made in this campaign, to refrain from spending public money to make Dalit memorials and parks, as she did in her last government, and focus on “vikas” instead, the report says.
PM Modi, who holds the key for BJP, is also capturing the yearning for ‘badlav’ or change. BJP top brass is looking to project the pro-people side of the demonetisation move. “Here, by and large, and despite the visible economic distress it has caused, notebandi (demonetisation) is seen as a project that rises above the fray. It is being looked upon as a leveller, its implementation separated from the idea,” the report says.
The campaign has begun for the 7th and final phase of Uttar Pradesh 2017. 40 Assembly constituencies will go to polls on March 8. Meanwhile, Bitter poll campaign with sharp attacks and counter-attacks came to a close this evening for the 49 Uttar Pradesh assembly seats, the voting for which is to be held on March 4 with SP patron Mulayam Singh Yadav’s Azamgarh Lok Sabha constituency being in focus.
(With agency inputs)