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Purvanchal key to BJP poll strategy after farm unrest, Lakhimpur row

The popular saying is that the path to Lucknow goes through Purvanchal. For the BJP, it is an issue of prestige as the constituencies of both Modi and Yogi fall in eastern UP.  

Published: 26th October 2021 03:32 AM  |   Last Updated: 26th October 2021 08:29 AM   |  A+A-

Villagers watch a burnt car which ran over and killed farmers on Sunday, at Tikonia village in Lakhimpur Kheri, Uttar Pradesh.

Villagers watch a burnt car which ran over and killed farmers on Sunday, at Tikonia village in Lakhimpur Kheri, Uttar Pradesh. (Photo | AP)

Express News Service

LUCKNOW:  The Centre’s robust push to the development of Purvanchal is underscored by the fact that five of the nine medical colleges inaugurated by PM Narendra Modi are in eastern region of poll-bound Uttar Pradesh. 

Political pundits asserted that by choosing Siddharthnagar and Varanasi to inaugurate the major welfare projects, PM Narendra Modi and CM Yogi Adityanath gave a subtle political message to the people of 
this region.

The popular saying is that the path to Lucknow goes through Purvanchal. For the BJP, it is an issue of prestige as the constituencies of both Modi and Yogi fall in eastern UP.  

With 164 Assembly segments spread across 28 districts, Purvanchal contributes around 33 per cent seats to the 403-member UP Assembly.

In the 2017 elections, the BJP won a landslide victory by bagging 115 of 164 seats, whereas the Samajwadi Party got 17, BSP 14, Congress two and others 16.

This was followed by the BJP cornering the maximum seats from Purvanchal in the 2019 general elections. 

“In the wake of Lakhimpur Kheri violence and the farmers’ unrest in western UP, BJP is now concentrating on Purvanchal to make  up for the possible losses of western UP by winning there,” said JP Shukla, a political commentator. 

The BJP is already trying to balance the caste equations in eastern UP by aligning with smaller caste-based groups as Apna Dal of Anupriya Patel, and NISHAD Party of  Sanjay Nishad.

The importance of Purvanchal can be gauged from the fact that Modi visited the region for the second time within a span of five days. On October 20, the PM reached Kushinagar to inaugurate UP’s third and country’s 87th international airport.

Moreover, he also dedicated welfare projects worth  Rs 5,229 crore to the people of Varanasi. These whirlwind tours could be a reflection of the PM holding the reins of the electoral battle with focus on eastern UP.

At Siddharthnagar, the PM claimed that upcoming medical infrastructure would fulfil the dreams of a healthy India.

“They (medical colleges) are a gift to the people of the state,” he said, claiming that those nine colleges would create over 5,000 employment opportunities and around 2,500 hospital beds.

“Earlier, governments left the people of Purvanchal to suffer from diseases like Japanese encephalitis but now it will become a medical hub of northern India.”

In Varanasi, Modi reiterated his charge that previous governments were responsible for not developing adequate and quality medical infrastructure in the country. 
 



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