New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hit the BJP’s high-voltage campaign trail in Uttar Pradesh on Monday with a virtual address, his first after the announcement of the election schedule, which will cover at least five western UP districts Gautambudh Nagar, Shamli, Muzaffarnagar, Baghpat and Saharanpur. These districts are crucial for the BJP to retain power in the state, and in its election campaign the party keeps its focus on the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots and the law and order situation. Voting in these districts is scheduled to take place in the first and second phase of polling.
For the PM’s virtual rally that will cover at least 21 assembly seats, LED screens and campaign vans will be dispatched to locations for people to listen to the address.
On Saturday, Union minister Amit Shah campaigned in Muzaffarnagar and recalled how riot victims were victimized by the police under the Samajwadi Party government for vote-bank politics, while a few kilometers away in Baghpat, UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath claimed that the more than 60 Hindus were killed and over 1,500 were put behind bars during the Muzaffarnagar riots and alleged that the SP’s red cap is “painted with the blood of innocent ram bhakts”.
“SP’s Akhilesh Yadav and Jayant Chaudhury (RLD chief) said hum saath saath hain (we are together)… but the question is for how long… We say only till counting (of the votes)… If their (SP) government is formed, then Azam Khan will sit (in their government) and Jayant Bhai will be out… They (SP-RLD) think that people of Muzaffarnagar do not know this but it became evident with their ticket distribution that this is what will happen if their alliance comes to power,” Mr Shah said in Muzaffarnagar while hailing the valour of the Jat community and their nationalism. Jats are an important vote-bank in the region and the BJP has been aggressively wooing them.
While Mr Shah addressed a small gathering of “prabhavi matdata samvaad” in Muzaffarnagar and participated in door-to-door campaigning in Saharanpur’s Deoband, the UP CM was in Baghpat to inspect a Covid hospital and addressed a “prabhavi matdata samvaad”. BJP president J.P. Nadda participated in a similar exercise in Etawah and Auraiya.