Giving a landslide victory to the BJP in the 2017 assembly polls, the Uttar Pradesh has not only rejected the company of “UP ke ladkey (UP boys)” but has gone on to welcome the “adopted son” Narendra Modi with open arms.
Following Prashant Kishore-propagated strategy of youth power, the two “UP ke ladkey” had gone ahead seeking mandate in the most populous state claiming “UP ko yeh saath pasand hai (UP likes this company)” as “kaam bolta hai (the work speaks)” but it was the “adopted son’ Modi who found favour with the electorates.
Although the two parties, the Samajwadis and the Congress, forged the alliance a trifle late but once together, the two UP boys held numerous joint rallies and road shows with gusto.
But Prime Minister Modi adroitly made a place for himself in electorates’ hearts, by modestly presenting himself to be the “adopted son” of the state in one of the over two dozens poll meetings that he had addressed.
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“Lord Krishna was born in UP and made Gujarat his karam bhoomi. I was born in Gujarat and UP has adopted me…Uttar Pradesh is my ‘mai-baap’. I am not the son who would betray his ‘mai-baap.’ You have adopted me and it is my duty to work for you,” Modi had said in an emotional speech at a poll rally in Hardoi.
Modi’s “adopted son” remark had invited a lot of flak with BSP president Mayawati and Congress star campaigner Priyanka Gandhi leading the way.
“The people of UP have decided to hand over the power to its own ‘beti’ rather than its adopted son,” Mayawati had claimed, taking a dig at Modi.
Addressing her maiden election meeting in Rae Bareli, Priyanka had remarked: “PM Narendra Modi had earlier too said Varanasi has adopted him and he was like a son for it and will develop it… I wonder if UP needs at all to adopt anyone from outside?”
“Modiji, Does the state need to adopt anyone from outside, is there no youth here? … We have two such youths in Rahulji and Akhileshji before you, who have UP in their hearts and minds… No outside leader is required. Every single youth of the state can become a leader,” she had argued.
Rahul and Akhilesh held 10 poll campaign rallies together – six public meetings and four road shows, in different parts of the state, covering 40 assembly segments in five Lok Sabha constituencies of Lucknow, Agra, Meerut, Jhansi, Kanpur Gorakhpur, Allahabad and Varanasi.
But of these, BJP won in 34 seats (85 per cent) while the Samajwadi Party bagged four (10 per cent ) and the Congress managed just one (2.5 per cent). The Apna Dal (Soneylal) also won one seat.
Both of the “UP boys” had sought to seek votes for all the developments that the Akhilesh government had ushered in the state during five years of his rule.
But the voters eventually manifested their preference for Modi, making his party win BJP 312 seats and its allies 13, leaving 47 for the SP and merely seven for teh other UP boy Rahul. out of a total 403 seats in the Vidhan Sabha.
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