Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Tuesday kicked off the campaign for urban local body polls from the temple town of Ayodhya. Addressing a poll rally, Adityanath said that Ayodhya is the Janm Bhoomi of Lord Rama and anyone who has done partiality to it will not be spared. He added that that Road, electricity, and water should be provided to the people of Ayodhya. “Among the seven sacred cities, Ayodhya is the first. And it is for the first time that Ayodhya is readying for the mayoral elections. Voting is going to take place in Ayodhya in the first phase and I congratulate you that the first election rally is also being held here,” said the priest-turned-politician in a speech that ended with the shout of ‘Jai Shri Ram’.
The civic polls will be held in three phases from November 22 and are seen as a litmus test for the Yogi Adityanath government’s popularity. This is first electoral competition in the state after the BJP came to the power in March after a landslide victory. “UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath will address a rally each in all the 16 poll-bound municipal corporations. The chief minister will start his campaign from Ayodhya on November 14.
On the same day, he is likely to visit the districts of Gonda and Bahraich,” a senior UP BJP was quoted as saying by the PTI. The polls will see candidates contesting for as many as 652 urban local bodies across the state, the highest number so far.
Earlier on Tuesday, Adityanath expressed happiness that Ayodhya and Mathura-Vrindavan municipal corporations, constituted by his government were going to polls for the first time. On May 9, the Uttar Pradesh Cabinet had given its approval constitution of two new municipal corporations for Ayodhya and Mathura-Vrindavan, PTI reports. The idea behind the decision was to provide better amenities to pilgrims. The Ayodhya Municipal Corporation will cover the twin cities of Faizabad and Ayodhya, while Mathura-Vrindavan Municipal Corporation will look after the civic needs in the two pilgrim towns.