Shift in UP poll pitch: Maya’s promise on Kashi, Ayodhya; Priyanka’s Durga chant | India News – Times of India

LUCKNOW: As Uttar Pradesh moves towards high-voltage elections, symbols of Hindutva may be clearly visible on the campaign trails of famous BJP parties. Has the Hindutva card brought success to the BJP in UP, first during the Ram Mandir movement and then after the ascension of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, forcing the opposition parties to follow the same path in the 2022 race? Assembly elections? Political analysts answered in the affirmative.
So, when BSP chief Mayawati made a ‘promise’ at her first election rally in Lucknow on Saturday that she would not stop the development work launched in Ayodhya, Varanasi and Mathura, Congress secretary general Priyanka Gandhi gave her speech at the beginning of her campaign with Durga Saptashati in Varanasi.
Even SP chief Akhilesh Yadav is scheduled to start his victory journey from the banks of the Ganges in Kanpur on Tuesday. Earlier, while addressing a public meeting in Saharanpur, the former UP chief minister mentioned the holy book Gita. He has been in charge of the temple for the last few months, visiting the Kamadgiri temple in Chitrakoot, the Bimalnath temple in Farrukhabad and the Buddha temple in Sravasti. The Aam Aadmi Party, which is contesting the UP Assembly elections for the first time, has also started campaigning from Ayodhya.
Political observers say that when the Gandhi family-led Congress started brushing with soft Hindutva after the Gujarat Assembly polls in 2017 and continued to do so in subsequent elections, it was surprising that Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati’s clear statement was led by the BJP government. If formed, the government will continue uninterrupted in Ayodhya, Mathura and Varanasi.
When former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi was at the temple during the Gujarat elections and later during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Priyanka also visited the Varanasi temple before her speech on Sunday and started the Congress election campaign.
With a tilak and sandalwood paste on his forehead and a rudraksha garland around his neck and spots on his right hand, he began his speech by reciting a verse from Durga Saptashati at a Kisan Naya rally in Varanasi on Sunday as he said he was fasting. Even before the start of the speech he said ‘Joy Mata Di’.
Regarding Priyanka’s new incarnation, AICC secretary Rajesh Tiwari, who conducted the Kisan Nyay rally in Varanasi, said that what the BJP was doing was propaganda, while Congress leaders, including former prime minister Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi, visited temples and other places.
Samajwadi Party leader Juhi Singh said on behalf of the BJP, praying was always for the camera when it was a regular affair with his party. “Our party has never brought offerings to the temple like the BJP leaders. SP leaders have always visited the temple,” he said.
Although the BJP has always been in full swing in its Hindutva grassroots, promising a Mahaprabhu Ram temple in Ayodhya in every election manifesto, BSP chief Mayawati substituted Mathura, Varanasi and Ayodhya in her remarks which raised the minds of political pundits.
“In the state of Ayodhya, Varanasi, Mathura va and other religious places per logan ki subida b leef bsp ki sarkar ke padchinhan per chalkar bharatman bhajpa sarkar ne avi tak jo v karma shuru kiya hai aur ovi pur nahin hai hai hai hai hai hai hai hai hai hai hai hai hai hai hai hai hai hai hai hai hai hai hai hai hai hai hai hai hai hai hai hai hai hai hai hai hai hai hai hai hai hai hai hai hai hai hai hai hai hai hai hai hai hai hai hai hai hai hai hai hai hai hai hai hai hai hai hai hai hai hai hai hai hai hai hai hai hai hai hai hai hai hai hai Jaiga (ongoing development works in Mathura, Ayodhya and Varanasi under the BJP government will run smoothly if the BSP government forms).
The change in the BSP’s strategy was actually visible with a series of speeches by its general secretary Satish Mishra. Before his speech at all the religious places, Mishra prayed in the temple there and went to praise the Hindu deities during his speech. Mishra even promised a Mahaprabhu Ram temple after his party came to power, a promise that BSP chief Mayawati also hinted at.
Asked about the change, Mishra said the BJP may have forgotten what the Mayawati-led government did between 2007 and 2012. Whether it is the beautification of the ghat at Sariu, or the sewer line at Vrindavan, everything has been done by the BSP government. Hindutva is not the copyright of the BJP.
Deputy CM Keshab Maurya, when asked about the opposition’s change of strategy, said they should join the BJP and the party would think about their future later. Asked if ‘Hindutva is the BJP’s copyright’, Maurya said it was not like that but one could see how the opposition leaders were changing colors like chameleons after seeing the mandate of the people.
With just a few months to go before the elections, it will be interesting to see how political parties other than the BJP are going to please the Hindu votebank as most of them are still wary of losing Muslim voters if they do so very clearly.

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