ALLAHABAD: Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the contours of BJP’s high pitch election campaign in Uttar Pradesh. Woven around theme of development and providing a viable alternative to subsequent state governments of Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati, Modi sought a five-year mandate.
Modi stuck to aspirational message as he made an impassioned appeal “give us one chance or kick us out if we are not able to perform in five years.” It was left to BJP chief Amit Shah to take warn people against Kairana type incidents, from over 300 hindu families have been forced to migrate. “People should elect the saffron party if they don’t want Kairana type exodus in rest of the state,” Shah in a clear message that party would go aggressively to safeguard the interests of hindu community.
The twin messaging was visible at a well attended rally held at Kumbh grounds in Allahabad at the end of BJP’s two-day national executive. The meeting ended without an announcement on BJP’s face for the state, but the election campaign officially began as both Modi and Shah launched a scathing attack on Samajwadi Party and Mayawati-led BSP.
The rally, interestingly, signalled a slight change in BJP’s election campaign in the first rally addressed by PM specifically targeted at polls. Shah inh his recent attacks had termed Samajwadi Party as its main and only rival, carefully avoiding mentioning Mayawati. As both Modi and Shah attacked Mayawati it was clear BJP would not take her lightly.
“When Mayawati government was here, SP used to talk of eradicating corruption. They did not do any thing for five years. Now Mayawati is doing the same thing. Its five years of SP and then five years BSP. This this loot should end,” Modi said told the rally attended by mostly youth.
“We want to carry world Vikas yatra of UP. I need your blessing. I need blessing of Mother Ganga. Vikas Yagya needs the sacrifice of arrogance, nepotism, communal violence, corruption and hooliganism.. “I have a mantra, if you don’t your parents to go through the same problems. There is one solution. That is development,” Modi said.
“I will try to do in five years what has not happened in 50 years,” he added. Shah made it clear that Uttar Pradesh's results in 2017 would decide the result of 2019 Lok Sabha, as he appealed for a mandate for Modi.
Given that politics in the state revolves around the castes, Modi referred to Allahadbad as place once owned by Nishadraj, figure belonging a community of fisherman, an OBC caste. In Ramayana, Nishadraj had helped Lord Ram cross the Ganga. OBCs constitute over 50 percent of state’s electorate. As BJP also looks at its core voters, PM recalled the contribution of its two forward caste leaders – Murli Manohar Joshi and Kalraj Mishra.
Allahabad rally was a show of strength for the party. On dais were seated state chief ministers and all the cabinet ministers belonging to Uttar Pradesh, apart from veterans like LK Advani and MM Joshi. Modi also recalled the contribution of its previous CMs, Kalyan Singh and Rajnath Singh, who have separate constituency among the OBCs and the farmers respectively.
Modi, Shah and even Rajnath Singh devoted significant part of their speeches to the various schemes and welfare measures started by the Centre for farmers, youth, and the downtrodden.