THE SAMAJWADI Party, BSP and the Rashtriya Lok Dal’s top leaders — Akhilesh Yadav, Mayawati and Ajit Singh – will launch their campaign three days before the canvassing ends for the first phase of polling, slated for April 11 on eight constituencies of western Uttar Pradesh. The nominations for these seats will start on March 18. The seats included Kairana ( to be contested by SP), Muzaffarnagar (RLD), Baghpat (RLD), Ghaziabad (SP), Meerut (BSP), Saharanpur (BSP), Bijnor (BSP) and Gautam Budha Nagar (BSP). Ajit Singh is likely to contest either from Muzaffarnagar or Baghpat.
With the campaigning for the first phase set to end on April 9, the alliance will only get two days to campaign in the region with the alliance top leaders addressing their first joint rally in Saharanpur’s Deoband on April 7. The last day for filing nominations is March 25. Samajwadi Party district presidents for the eight constituencies still believe that the three party chiefs will be covering each of the seats while holding the rallies though the list of joint rallies released Friday evening is at odds with this.
Click here for more Election News
As pert the list, the rally on April 7 in Deoband, Saharanpur, will have party workers from Saharanpur, Kairana, Bijnor and Muzaffarnagar and next such rally will be held on April 13. However, when contacted, Veer Singh Yadav, SP district chief for Gautam Budh Nagar, said the three leaders would hold a joint rally in the constituency before the polls. “Rallies by the big leaders is necessary and I am sure we will have one. We have not yet been told about such a rally, but it will happen,” Yadav said over the phone on Friday.
Surendra Kumar, SP district president for Ghaziabad, who was declared party candidate from the same seat, said, “It is possible to hold rallies in the last three days. Big leaders always come at the end. They can do it in two days, with three rallies on each day,” Kumar told The Indian Express.
Manoj Choudhary, SP’s district president for Baghpat, said a rally by the three party chiefs is a must. “It should happen, and I am confident it will happen. National President Akhilesh Yadav had told me a rally will happen,” Choudhary said.
SP district chief for Bijnor, Anil Yadav, said he has not been informed about a joint rally, but he will be told soon. “We (the district leadership) would want that the party chiefs hold at least one rally here. They (the party chiefs) will hold a rally here. I am confident. They might hold it two days before polls, but it will happen,” Anil said. Gaurav Swarup, SP district chief for Muzaffarnagar, said that he hopes that the three leaders hold a rally in his area. “We haven’t been told yet about any such rally. We are waiting,” he said.
Asked over delay in starting the joint campaign, RLD national vice-president Jayant Chaudhary said, they are holding a micro-level campaign in the state and campaigning has already begun in most areas. “The three party chiefs holding rallies is not the only campaigning happening in the state. We have already hit the road. Individual candidates in places where they have been declared, they are working to reach out to the people. Workers of the three parties have already met and have discussed coordination,” Jayant said.
“These are different times. The transmission of information does not take that long. People already know what issues we stand for. The mood has already been set. The bypolls in state have set the mood. It is not necessary to hold big meetings. The three party chiefs could not have started campaigning without declaring the candidates. These things (declaration of candidates) have to be timed strategically,” Jayant said on Friday.
The list of rallies issued by Samajwadi Party Friday evening stated that the joint rallies – beginning from April 7 will go on till May 16. “These joint rallies will be addressed by RLD chief Ajit Singh, SP president Akhilesh Yadav and BSP chief Mayawati. Eleven such rallies will be held in the state,” the statement stated.
The statement added that after the rally on April 7 in Deoband, Saharanpur, the next one will be held on April 13 in Badaun. On April 16, a joint rally will be held in Agra where party workers from Agra, Fatehpur Sikri and Mathura Lok Sabha seats will take part. On April 19, a rally will be held in Mainpuri while on April 20, a joint rally will be held in Rampur,” the statement added.
Joint rallies will also be held in Firozabad on April 20, Kannuj on April 25, May 1 in Faizabad, Azamgarh on May 8 and Gorakhpur on May 13. The last rally will be held in Varanasi on May 16, where party workers from Varanasi, Chandauli, Mirzapur and Robertsganj will participate.
SP spokesperson Rajendra Choudhary told Express that party chief Akhilesh Yadav and other leaders would also hold individual rallies.