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Sunday, January 23, 2022

UP polls: Parties plan door-to-door campaigns; Kamal Nath says results will be ‘surprising’

Announcing the poll schedule on Sunday, Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra said strict action will be taken against those violating Covid-19 guidelines, including restrictions on physical events.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: January 10, 2022 10:47:34 pm
Samajwadi Party workers outside party office ahead of UP elections 2022, in Lucknow, Monday, Jan. 10, 2022. (PTI Photo/Nand Kumar)

With election commission (EC) putting an absolute moratorium on physical rallies and roadshows in view of the ongoing third wave of Covid-19, parties in fray are looking at door-to-door campaign, virtual rallies and social media for the upcoming polls in Uttar Pradesh.

Announcing the poll schedule on Sunday, Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra said strict action will be taken against those violating Covid-19 guidelines, including restrictions on physical events. Political parties and candidates were advised to conduct campaigns as much as possible through digital/virtual/media platforms/mobile-based mode. Victory processions will also not be allowed post-results. According to the Covid guidelines issued by the EC, the maximum number of star campaigners for recognised national/state political parties is fixed at 30, and for unrecognised political parties at 15.

Parties plan virtual rallies, door-to-door and social media campaigns

Aam Aadmi Party has already announced the formation of 20 teams — maximum number of members in each team has been pegged at five by EC — to kick off the door-to-door campaign. On Monday, the BJP said it will undertake door-to-door campaign across the state from Tuesday to highlight the Uttar Pradesh government’s achievements. “After apprising the every assembly constituency of the government’s achievement through Jan Vishwas Yatras, the BJP will start door to door campaign from Tuesday,” news agency PTI quoted party state president Swatantra Dev Singh as saying.

“Under this campaign, party leaders and workers will reach out to people following Covid protocol and will inform them about the work done by the central and state governments for farmers, workers, women and youths,” he added.

With this initiative, the party intends to reach out to every household under all 92,821 polling centres comprising 1,74,351 booths in the state.

After Makar Sankranti on January 14, the party will deploy “LED Raths” equipped with large TV screens covering various areas of all 403 assembly segments to highlight all social welfare schemes of the government and the “improvement” in the law and order situation in the state, Singh added. It will also point out to people the end of ‘goonda raj and mafia raj’ in UP besides the government’s effort towards ensuring the safety and security of women and urge people to vote for the BJP, he said.

BJP workers outside party office, ahead of UP elections 2022 in Lucknow, Monday, Jan. 10, 2022. (PTI Photo/Nand Kumar)

“All MPs, MLAs, ministers, public representatives and party officials will be a part of this campaign,” he added.

Before EC’s ban came into place, Congress and Samajwadi Party had already called off all their rallies in Uttar Pradesh.

UP polls: 55 companies of paramilitary personnel to be deployed in Muzaffarnagar

As many as 55 companies of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) personnel -will be deployed in UP’s Muzaffarnagar district for peaceful conduct of assembly elections to be held on February 10, an official said. One company of CAPF usually has approximately a hundred personnel.

District Magistrate Chandra Bhushan Singh said the district has six assembly constituencies and 20,20,826 voters, including 9,37,688 women. Senior Superintendent of Police Abhishek Yadav said as a preventive measure, 238 antisocial elements have been “expelled” from the district for the next six months and 200 more will be expelled.

Kamal Nath hails Priyanka’s efforts, says UP poll results will be surprising

Former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath Monday said the UP election results will be very surprising due to the anger of the people in the state against the ruling BJP government as well as the stellar campaign efforts of his party’s general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.

Addressing a press conference at his residence in Bhopal, Nath said, “The ‘Ladki Hoon Lad Sakti Hoon’ campaign launched by Priyanka Gandhi has filled the people of every religion and caste with new vigour. The poll results of Uttar Pradesh will be a surprising one.”

“I have visited UP recently and was associated with the state right from my Youth Congress days. The people are angry with the ruling party. The efforts of Priyanka Gandhi will intensify now and will bring a lot of change. The polls results in UP will be surprising not just for the Congress but the entire state,” PTI quoted Nath as saying.

Uttar Pradesh will go to polls in seven phases on February 10, February 14, February 20, February 23, February 27, March 3 and March 7 and the results will be declared on March 10.

Big blow for Cong in west UP, Gandhi camp leader quits, to back SP

In a major setback to the Congress before the Assembly polls, its prominent minority face from Western Uttar Pradesh, Imran Masood, announced on Monday that he was parting ways to support the Samajwadi Party.

Other leaders close to Masood are expected to leave the Congress in his wake.

Masood had a fast rise within the Congress from being an outsider to being part of ‘Team Rahul’, to a national secretary of the AICC. In 2014, a speech by the firebrand leader attacking Prime Minister Narendra Modi had run into controversy. However, Masood’s popularity in the area, that has a large Muslim population, has failed to translate into electoral success. This is also believed to have prompted the 50-year-old to switch sides at a time when the 2022 polls are heading for a BJP vs SP contest, with the Congress a sideshow.

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