LUCKNOW: As the country zeroes in on the last phase of Lok Sabha polls, it is a war of perceptions that are being fought on Ground Zero in far east Uttar Pradesh.
The BJP is trying to flag the contradictions within the UP Mahagathbandhan alleging there is a tacit understanding between the Samajwadi Party and the Congress, keeping BSP chief Mayawati in the dark. The alliance has rebuffed the contention.
However, the BJP is looking at the larger picture, as was seen in PM Narendra Modi’s effort to reach out to crucial Dalits and OBC voters, while raising questions on the Opposition alliance’s future.
The seventh and final phase will see voting on 13 seats where SP has fielded eight candidates leaving six for ally BSP.
In 2014, the BJP had bagged all 13 seats. In the 2018 bypoll, the saffron party had lost Gorakhpur to SP candidate supported by the BSP.
However, despite the SP-BSP alliance, the 2014 poll data gives BJP an edge in eight out of 13 seats while the alliance caste arithmetic dominates the remaining five seats.
While Prime Minister Narendra Modi and two of his cabinet colleagues, Manoj Sinha and Anupriya Patel, chief of Apna Dal (S), are in fray, the significance of the battle can be gauged from the fact that to repeat its 2014 performance, BJP had to dump five of its 13 sitting MPs to counteract anti-incumbency