STATE ELECTIONS 2022: Fight Gets Ugly as Parties Battle for Election Gains

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Indian Youth Congress (IYC) supporters stage a demonstration against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal outside the IYC office, in New Delhi on Thursday. (ANI Photo)

Mafia links? Terror connections? Anti-national remarks? As the election race enters a decisive phase, top leaders make astonishing allegations against each other. Why are various political parties showing this level of anxiety?

Our Bureau
New Delhi /Lucknow/Chandigarh

Keeping the poll heat on Samajwadi Party, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has charged that ‘parivaarvadi’ (dynasty rule) wants to give power to mafias once again if voted to power. Modi’s target was the Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav in his Kanpur rally, slamming the former Chief Minister for the “poor track record on law and order”.

“If they had their ways, they would have made Kanpur and other such areas in UP a ‘mafiaganj’ mohalla. Now their ‘mafiagiri’ is counting its last breath. These ‘parivaarvadi’ want to give power to mafias again. The people of UP will have to stay on alert,” said PM Modi while addressing a public rally in Kanpur Dehat. Expressing confidence that the BJP government will again be formed in UP, PM Modi said, “These ‘Parivaarwadi’ will again be rejected by the people of Uttar Pradesh.”

“The festival of colours-Holi will be celebrated in Uttar Pradesh on March 10 (the day of the counting of votes) itself,” he added. Two phases of the seven-phased polls in Uttar Pradesh have concluded, while the state will have another five phases of polling. The counting of votes will take place on March 10.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) National President JP Nadda along with party leaders raise hands during a public meeting at Mahatma Gandhi Inter College, Amaniganj, in Ayodhya on Friday. (ANI Photo)

Earlier in the same rally, UP CM Yogi Adityanath took a dig at the rivals, saying “a medical college is being constructed in each district of the state”. “Those who call themselves ‘Samajwadi’ are actually ‘Tamanchawadi’ (gunmen) and ‘Parivaarwadi” (dynastic), added Adityanath.

As the election battle moves ahead, the fight is getting ugly too, especially in UP and Punjab.

BJP youth wing on Thursday lodged an FIR against Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi over his statement against the citizens of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh in Bihar’s Patna.

Channi has courted controversy during a poll rally by asking people not to let the “bhaiyas” of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar enter the state, a remark apparently aimed at AAP leaders. Manish Kumar Singh, National Vice-President of the BJP Yuva Morcha, filed a complaint at the Kadam Kuan Police Station.

“The Punjab CM made a controversial comment where he made an inflammatory comment about not allowing people from UP and Bihar to come into the state. Every citizen has the right to leave anywhere and this right has been given to us by the Constitution of India. Punjab Chief Minister has insulted the people of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh by his statement. We will protest until Channi apologizes to us,” Singh said to reporters.

Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister on Thursday clarified his ‘UP-Bihar Ke bhaiya’ remark and said that his statement was being misconstrued. “My statement is being misconstrued. All migrant workers who came to Punjab till date, have toiled and taken it on the path to development. We have only love for them, nobody can change it,” he said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday hit out at the Congress over Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi’s ‘UP, Bihar ke bhaiya’ remark and said that the party always pits people of one region against another.

On a more serious note, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Friday assured Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi that the Centre has taken the matter of the alleged links between the banned organisation ‘Sikhs for Justice’ and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) seriously and he would personally ensure that the matter is looked into in detail.

Earlier, the Punjab Chief Minister had written to Shah alleging that the banned organization Sikhs for Justice is in touch with AAP. The Union Home Minister said Punjab Chief Minister had requested an investigation against the Aam Aadmi Party taking the help of banned separatist organization Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) for Punjab Assembly polls.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets with Sikh Delegation, at Lok Kalyan Marg, in New Delhi on Friday. (ANI Photo)

“A political party maintaining a connection with a banned, anti-national and separatist organization and seeking help in elections is a serious concern for national security. This kind of agenda is in accordance with agenda of the country’s enemies. It is condemnable that these people are joining hands with separatists and working towards threatening Punjab as well as nations’ security in the greed of power,” Shah said in his letter to the Punjab Chief Minister.

The Union Home Minister assured the Punjab Chief Minister that the central government took cognizance of the matter and will not allow anyone to threaten the country’s unity and integrity. “I personally will ensure that the matter is looked into in detail,” said Shah.

In his letter to the Union Home Minister, the Punjab Chief Minister said, “Sikhs For Justice (SFJ), which is a banned organization, is in constant touch with Aam Admi Party. The SFJ has given support to AAP in the elections to the State Assembly in 2017 and similarly in these elections too. The SFJ has exhorted the electorate to vote for the Aam Aadmi Party. This is a serious issue of compromising the security and integrity of the country and thus needs to be investigated. I would urge upon you to immediately get this matter investigated for taking appropriate action in this regard.”

Also, Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur on Friday slammed Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal over allegations levelled by his former associate and termed Aam Aadmi Party as “Arvind Anti Punjab”.

Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi and PPCC Chief Navjot Singh Sidhu during a roadshow ahead of Punjab Assembly elections, in Amritsar on Thursday. (ANI Photo)

Addressing a press conference here on the last day of the campaign in the state for assembly polls, Thakur accused Kejriwal of “silence” over allegations made by a “founding member” of the Aam Aadmi Party who has now moved away from the party. “There are some people whose political appetite is never satiated. Several members of AAP who were also the founding members of the party have levelled serious charges against Arvind Kejriwal. And he has not responded yet,” he said.

The BJP leader said AAP stands for “A- Arvind A- Anti P- Punjab”. “People of Punjab will never accept them,” he said. He said the Narendra Modi government provided justice to the Sikh community for the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.

Back in UP, attacking the Samajwadi Party (SP) in the midst of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls, BJP President JP Nadda on Friday said campaigning of SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav in the seat being contested by Akhilesh Yadav indicates the party has lost ground in the state.

Addressing a public rally in Milkipur, Nadda said, “Yesterday Akhilesh Ji was in Karhal with his revered father. This indicates all his hopes are now finished. If Mulayam ji had to campaign, it means the SP’s ground is now lost. It means the rest of his seats are gone, Akhilesh Yadav is now saving his own Assembly constituency.” He said Samajwadi Party and Congress do not work for the development of the state. “BJP is synonymous with development. BJP works for the development of the people but SP works for the development of their family,” said Nadda.

Earlier on Thursday, Mulayam Singh Yadav held an election rally in the Karhal constituency in Mainpuri district where Akhilesh Yadav is contesting his maiden Assembly election. BJP has fielded Satya Pal Singh Baghel against Akhilesh Yadav in Karhal seat.

Mainpuri is considered a stronghold of the Samajwadi Party. Samajwadi Party patron Mulayam Singh Yadav had started his political career from Mainpuri which is now setting the grounds for son Akhilesh Yadav.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s national President JP Nadda on Friday slammed Samajwadi Party president and Uttar Pradesh’s former Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav for allegedly giving shelter to terrorists and withdrawing cases against them.

Addressing a public meeting at Fatehganj in Ayodhya, the BJP president said, “On 23 November 2007, there were bomb blasts in three courts of Uttar Pradesh. 15 people had been killed in the blast and 50 people were injured. Indian Mujahideen took responsibility for this. In these cases, the investigating agencies had caught one accused from Azamgarh and one from Jaunpur. A case was registered against them but Akhilesh withdrew the case from both the accused in 2012 when he was the Chief Minister. Later, the High Court said whether it is the government’s job to save terrorists. This is the real face of SP.” “Akhilesh had protected the terrorists. I allege that as a Chief Minister, Akhilesh gave shelter to terrorists. He has misled the innocent people of Uttar Pradesh,” he added.

The BJP President said the abolition of Article 370 was our dream and this dream was also fulfilled when the government was formed at the Centre. “Triple talaq is not applicable in countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan and other countries, but due to appeasement, Congress could not abolish triple talaq,” he said.

With such high-pitch attacks on each other, various political parties are showing their anxiety. Of course, it shows a lot is riding on the results that will come out on March 10.

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