Amit Shah, Yogi In West UP Today As BJP Plans Mega Outreach Before Polls

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UP vote in seven-phase polls starting February 10, results March 10 (file)

New Delhi:

With less than 20 days to go before the first round of voting, the BJP on Saturday embarked on a campaign trail with Home Minister Amit Shah, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and party chief JP Nadda in the politically important western state of Uttar Pradesh, where the polls will be held on February 10. .

Amit Shah will run a door-to-door campaign in Kairana district – where the BJP hopes to use the “Hindu immigration” debate – and address a rally in Shamli.

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This will be his first in the state after announcing the election date.

The chief minister, meanwhile, will be in Aligarh and Bulandshahr, Mr Nadda will be on Bijnor Road and Dev Singh, the head of the BJP’s state unit, will be in Saharanpur.

Mr Shah has been tasked with campaigning for the BJP in western UP, where the party has done remarkably well in 2017, winning 83 of the 108 seats and the 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Western UP is a significant battleground due to the concentration of farmers, who are widely seen as annoyed with the ruling party on agricultural law issues. Their vote will be key; Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav hopes it will be part of a “Pinsar” movement that will defeat the BJP.

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With that in mind, the choice to stop Mr Shah’s campaign is interesting – Kairana, the one-time BJP base that voted for the 2014 by-elections and the Samajwadi Party in 2017 – was embroiled in controversy before the last election for the alleged relocation of Hindu families. Because of the Muslim ‘gang’.

The BJP used this narrative in 2017 (though failed) and will probably do it again; Yogi Adityanath’s visit to Kairana in November and this week’s Samajwadi Party candidates pointing to the candidates “responsible for expelling businessmen from Kairana” suggest a lot.

The party has fielded Mriganka Singh, the eldest daughter of three-time MLA Hukum Singh, whose Samajwadi Party won the by-election in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

Mr. Shah’s second stop – the farmers will focus again on Shamli.

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Sugarcane farmers in the region told NDTV about the state’s long-term payment for their crops. UP Chief Minister Suresh Rana, who is the current MLA, said 90 per cent arrears had been paid.

Mr Shah will hold a closed-door meeting with district and Baghpat party leaders in Shamli.

Amit Shah’s busy schedule today underscores the importance that the BJP attaches to appeasing farmers and other voters in Western UP; The poor results here could not only affect the party’s re-election bid but also hamper preparations for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

The BJP’s electoral hopes have been dashed, however, by several high-profile exits, including three ministers who are also OBC leaders. Some revenge was taken after Akhilesh Yadav’s brother-in-law Aparna Yadav joined, but being challenged by the Socialist “Rainbow” alliance is real.

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UP vote in seven-phase polls starting February 10, results from March 10.

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