Rajat Sharma

The political scene in UP

The very fact that Samajwadi Party’s maverick leader Azam Khan has indirectly compared Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Ravana clearly indicates that development issues have been put on the backburner by most of the politicians in Uttar Pradesh. Politicians of all hues are presently engaged in running down their rivals as the electoral cauldron gets hotter in UP. BJP leaders have been raising the Ram temple issue, but their party president Amit Shah told me at the Aap Ki Adalat show last weekend that the courts will decide the Ram temple issue, and the promise of building a Ram temple has been there in the party manifesto every time. At the other end is BSP supremo Mayawati, who has her own solid vote bank, but her speeches at the rallies indicate that her self-confidence has been somewhat dented. Mayawati is now promising that she would not build parks, memorials and statues any more and would concentrate on development. As far as the Samajwadi Party-Congress combine is concerned, their rallies have been gathering good numbers, and their workers are now infused with fresh vigour, but the ouctome remains to be seen, when votes will be counted on March 11. Meanwhile, party patriarch Mulayam Singh, for the first time in 50 years of his public life, is completely out of the nitty-gritty of electoral battle, though he has decided to address a few rallies in support of his son. It appears, Mulayam Singh has now decided to accept the harsh political realities as they exist now, mainly because of his old age.

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