Sci-tech

UP Election 2017: BJP adding communal colour to polls, says Mayawati

UP Election 2017: BJP adding communal colour to polls, says Mayawati

As many as 40 seats across seven districts - Ghazipur, Varanasi, Jaunpur, Chandauli, Mirzapur, Bhadoi and Sonebhadra go to polls today in the last leg of the seven-phase election.

14 a.m.: In all, 535 candidates, including BSP (40), BJP (32), SP (31), Cong (9), RLD 21, and NCP (5) are in the fray.

While the maximum number of candidates (24) are from the Varanasi Cant seat, the minimum number of candidates (six) are contesting from Kerakat (SC).

But for PM Modi, the elections are not just to endorse his popularity, but also to keep the roads to 2019 cleaner because it will be a harbinger for the next Lok Sabha polls.


Besides Varanasi, the prominent areas going to the polls on Wednesday are Naxal-affected districts that include Chandauli and Sonbhadra. In the key contest between the BJP, the Samajwadi-Party-Congress alliance and Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party, every party has stretched its last muscle to try and win at least 202 seats in UP's 403-member legislature to be able to form government. BSP's Mayawati, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi and Samajwadi party leader Akhilesh Yadav were among the others who led their parties in Varanasi.

The counting of votes polled in all the seven phases of the Assembly polls will be taken up on.

Joined by Akhilesh's wife Dimple, the two leaders held a roadshow, hours after Modi arrived in the city and paid obeisance at the Kashi Vishwanath and Kal Bhairav temples with much fanfare. BJP insiders revealed that the party is also wary of losing the Muslim votes from the constituency to Congress. Varanasi South has a Muslim population of almost 1.5 lakh, considered traditional Congress-SP voters. That, together with the fact that BJP won 42% of the vote in UP's last election in 2014, should stand BJP in good stead in this election - not to mention the booming firepower that BJP has brought to bear on the campaign and the prevailing state of lawlessness under SP. The last time the BJP had a such a high-octane campaign was during Bihar elections. That all is not well for the BJP in Varanasi became clear with the PM not only camping there three days but also holding two roadshows in his home constituency. He left Varanasi after a rally in Rohaniya.

The BJP is fighting a three-cornered battle with SP-Congress combine and BSP.


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