Attacks, counter-attacks end high decibel campaign for UP polls (Roundup)

Varanasi/Jaunpur, March 6 (IANS) The high-voltage campaign for the last round of the seven-phased Uttar Pradesh assembly polls ended on Monday evening with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and his predecessor Mayawati targeting each other and claiming they would form the next government in the state.

Prime Minister Modi, who has been camping in Varanasi along with most of his ministerial colleagues for the past three days, said Uttar Pradesh was in the “throes of anarchy” because the law and order had crumbled under the Samajwadi Party (SP) government led by Akhilesh Yadav.

Modi said it was the time to change the “taqdeer” (fate) of Uttar Pradesh by voting the Bharatiya Janata Party and its allies, Apna Dal and the Bharatiya Samaj Party, to power in the state.

“Vote out the corrupt like the Bahujan Samaj Party, SP and Congress and install a majority BJP government in Uttar Pradesh,” he said at an election rally in the Rohaniya constituency of Varanasi – Modi’s Lok Sabha constituency.

“Mafia, mining mafia, liquor mafia….they are ruling the roost in the state and police stations have been turned into offices of the ruling Samajwadi Party,” he said.

In an attempt to connect with the milling crowds, the Prime Minister said he felt fortunate to have been born in Gujarat, the land of Mahatma Gandhi and then coming to Varanasi, making the Poorvanchal as his “karmabhoomi”.

Modi said the central government was harbouring dreams of making the country progress and ensure that the poor and homeless get houses and double the income of farmers by 2022 when India completes 75 years of its freedom.

“All this is possible, we have made a roadmap for this and are taking strong and robust steps in this direction,” he said.

Akhilesh Yadav addressed a rally with Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi in Jaunpur and accused Modi of trying to polarize voters on communal lines who “divided electricity into Hindu and Muslim”.

He said Modi’s allegation that electricity was supplied during Muslim festivals more than during Hindu events was baseless.

“We have responded to such false propaganda by providing statistics.”

The Chief Minister pointed out how the huge crowds at last week’s Varanasi roadshow had sent a message that people of Kashi and neighbouring areas were for the Samajwadi Party-Congress alliance.

Akhilesh Yadav asked the people not to trust Modi as he had “not fulfilled any of the promises he made in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections”.

He also came down heavily on Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati, calling her previous government in the state as “pathar waali sarkar”, referring to the former Chief Minister’s penchant of erecting statues and memorials across the state.

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi called Modi an “ageing leader” and asked people to vote for young leaders.

Gandhi also took potshots at the ‘Acche Din’ slogan of the BJP, saying the film has flopped.

Akhilesh Yadav’s wife and Kannauj MP Dimple Yadav also addressed three rallies in Bhadohi and Chandauli.

Gandhi said the central government in the last two and half years had doled out cash for 50 rich families in the country close to Modi.

“The achhe din movie of Modi has failed,” he said.

The BSP chief addressing the media in Lucknow exuded confidence of winning and said the battle in the elections was for the second and third spots between the BJP and the SP-Congress alliance.

“They (BJP and SP-Congress alliance) have realised that the BSP will form the government and they have to fight each other for the second and third spot,” she said.

Mayawati also took a swipe at Modi and BJP President Amit Shah, saying the ‘guru’ and ‘chela’ had realised that their political career was coming to an end.

“The ‘guru’ and ‘chela’ have even played the communal card as a last resort to win the UP election,” she said, adding that Modi was doing roadshows as if he was the undeclared chief ministerial candidate of the BJP.

Forty seats in eastern Uttar Pradesh vote on March 8, bringing to an end the over month-long election process across five states – Punjab, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Goa and Manipur.

Votes will be counted on March 11.

–IANS

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