UP Assembly election; Campaign for phase-IV polling draws to close

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2017,17:21 IST By anju A A A

Lucknow | Hectic campaigning, punctuated by bitter personal jibes, came to a close this evening in 53 Assembly constituencies spread over 12 districts of Uttar Pradesh that will go to polls in the fourth phase on Thursday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and BSP supremo Mayawati were among the host of leaders who made a beeline to backward and water-scarce Bundelkhand region, which also figures in phase-IV of polling.

Assembly segments in Congress President Sonia Gandhi’s Raebareli Lok Sabha constituency will also go to polls in this phase.

Other districts going to polls in the fourth phase are Pratapgarh, Kaushambi, Allahabad, Jalaun, Jhansi, Lalitpur, Mahoba, Banda, Hamirpur, Chitrakoot and Fatehpur.

During the highly surcharged campaigning, Modi repeatedly targeted the SP-Congress alliance and the BSP for corruption in their regime.

“SCAM stands for SP, Congress, Akhilesh and Mayawati,” was Modi’s refrain when he appealed to the voters of Bundelkhand to get rid of them.

As the prime minister termed BSP as “Behenji Sampatti Party”, Mayawati in her instant retort said the initials of Narendra Damodardas Modi stood for “Mr. Negative Dalit Man”, escalating political temperature with such tit-for-tat barbs.

“Narendra Damodardas Modi means Mr. Negative Dalit Man, he is anti-dalit…this negative dalit man does not like that common people give small contributions in running the BSP movement which is also run through donations,” an irked Mayawati said.

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi and SP chief Akhilesh Yadav held a roadshow in Allahabad, while racing against time BJP president Amit Shah held a parallel roadshow in ‘Sangam Nagari’, as Allahabad is also called, claiming that the BJP was poised for absolute majority.

Amid the verbal free-for-all, Akhilesh referred to an advertisement of the tourism department of Gujarat, where Modi was CM before assuming the office of prime minister.

Without taking any name, he advised megastar Amitabh Bachchan, “do not advertise for the donkeys of Gujarat”.

BJP took exception to such “cheap remarks”, with its UP General Secretary Vijay Bahadur Pathak saying, “After family drama, SP is now dabbling in filmy drama.”