By Kulsum Mustafa
Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath on Saturday flagged off the Prachar Raths from the BJP party office in Lucknow. These election vehicles are equipped with LED screens displaying the BJP five-year political journeys. They will be covering all the 403 Constituencies of the state.
In view of the Election Commission’s ban on holding any election rallies or public meetings due to the ongoing COVID-19 protocol, these publicity vans is an ideal way of reaching the grassroots voters.
Besides the deployment of this hi-tech political campaign on wheels, the BJP is also coupling it with the ‘people to people contact’ strategy.
Union Home minister Amit Shah kicked off this foot soldiers contact mode for UP assembly elections from Kairana today. This district has 33 per cent Muslim voters and by initiating his campaign from here Shah wanted to consolidate the Hindu voters and send across the message that the BJP is always there for them, irrespective of their caste.
It may be remembered here that BJP leader (late) Hukum Singh had prior to the 2017 assembly elections released a list of Hindu families, alleging that these families were part of the mass exodus from 2014 to 2016. This was, he had alleged, due to threats from the Muslim residents of Kairana. Their insecurity and fear forced the Hindus he said to leave this Muslim dominated district. However, later his claims were proved wrong and it was found that a few Hindu families who had left did so due to extortion threats by some gang and not due to threats by the local residents.
Addressing a press conference at the party office today afternoon, party president and ex-chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, termed these vehicles useless and said they will just help propagate a pack of lies ‘virtually’.
He said that the government has done nothing for the welfare of the people of the state and deserved to be kicked out for non-performance in the coming elections.
He said all that the BJP government has done in these five years is to create a divide within the communities, fan corruption and just promote the schemes of the Samajwadi Party government as their own.
He was critical of the Prachal Raths and said today as he has been saying in his previous press conferences that the BJP had prior knowledge that there would be an EC ban on public rallies and that is why it had used a lot of its resources to create a massive installation of machinery for this virtual blitzkrieg.