The high-decibel campaigning for the fourth phase of the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections became even more vigorous on Monday with BSP chief Mayawati, UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and Prime Minister Narendra Modi indulging in personal attacks which is clearly unbecoming of their positions. A total of 680 candidates will be vying for the seats in this phase, which will go to polls on Thursday. It will cover 53 constituencies in 12 districts, including Bundelkhand and the campaigning for it will come to a close tomorrow.
WATCH VIDEO | Akhilesh’s ‘Gadha’ Remark Is An Insult To Gujarat, Gujaratis: CM Vijay Rupani
The rivalry between PM Modi and Mayawati got even more intense today with characteristic name calling. While Modi called Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party as the ‘Behenji Sampatti Party,’ or the Lady’s Wealth Party, the former UP chief minister retaliated by dubbing Narendra Damodar Modi as ‘Mr Negative Dalit Man’. Modi’s reference was to the allegations that Mayawati had accumulated enormous wealth through corruption while the BSP chief’s response implied that Modi is against Dalits.
Targeting the Samajwadi Party and Congress for criticising the demonetisation decision, the prime minister said those who deposit wealth for themselves can never solve the problems of people. “Where has Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) reached today…when I announced note ban on November 8 last year, arch-rivals SP and BSP, who never see eye-to-eye, came together…I was amazed when I launched war against corruption and asked for the details of blackmoney. They came together and all including the Congress started speaking the same language,” he said while addressing an election rally in Orai region of Jalaun in Bundelkhand.
He also alleged that the opposition’s main concern was not the note ban but that they did not get adequate time to stash away the ill-gotten money. “Behenji (Mayawati) alleges that government was ill-prepared… was it the government or it was you who was not prepared…she said one week should have been given (before implementing note ban)…Mulayam also said the same,” he said. “Arrey Behenji discussion not because elections are being held but because you have deposited Rs 100 crore after note ban…BSP is no longer Bahujan Samaj Party…bahujan toh Mayawati me simat gaya hai…it is Behenji Sampatti Party now. Those who deposit wealth for themselves, can they solve your problem?” he added.
WATCH VIDEO | PM Modi Promises Development For Bundelkhand, Says ‘SCAM stands for SP, Congress, Akhilesh and Mayawati’
Giving an interesting twist to the no-holds-barred election campaign, Mayawati said she has dedicated her entire life for “making members of dalit, deprived and weaker sections and Muslims stand on their feet” and that “they consider me as a big sampatti (asset) for them.”
On the other hand, Akhilesh took a cheeky dig at PM Modi by requesting Bollywood icon Amitabh Bachchan not to advertise for the “donkeys of Gujarat”. His remarks were in response to an advertisement in which Bachchan is seen inviting tourists to visit the Wild Ass Sanctuary located in Little Rann of Kutch in the state. “Ek gadhe ka vigyapan aata hai. Main iss sadi ke sabse bade mahanayak se kahunga ke ab aap Gujarat ke gadhon ka prachar mat kariye (There’s an ad on TV which shows donkeys. I appeal to century’s biggest star, please stop endorsing the donkeys of Gujarat),” Akhilesh said.
Meanwhile, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi claimed that the coming together of SP and Congress for the assembly polls has taken the smile off Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s face. Taking a dig at Modi’s “adopted son of UP” remark, Rahul said,”In 2014 Modi said ‘Ganga maiya has called her son to Varanasi’. He said Varanasi was his mother and he was the son of Varanasi…Modiji, relations are nurtured and not claimed,” he said at an election meeting here. “Modiji if you have made relations with the people of UP you will also have to maintain them,” he added.
The elections are being held in seven phases and the race for majority in the 403 seat house has turned the battle into a bitter exchange of below the belt blows, personal attacks and non-issues highlighted to gain brownie points and applause to sway large crowds.
With inputs from PTI
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines