UP polls: Curtains for campaigning come down for Phase 4 : The Tribune India

UP polls: Curtains for campaigning come down for Phase 4

Priyanka slams Prime Minister Narendra Modi, says people have made up the mind for a change; Akhilesh Yadav claims victory; Amit Shah and Adityanath accuse SP, Congress of ‘supporting’ terrorist; Arvind Kejriwal begins Uttar Pradesh tour

UP polls: Curtains for campaigning come down for Phase 4

Photo for representational purpose only. PTI file



PTI

Vibha Sharma 
Tribune News Service 
Lucknow, February 21

With polling in states like Punjab, Uttarakhand, and Goa over, the focus is now mostly on Uttar Pradesh where elections for Phase-4 will take place on February 23 on Wednesday.

The campaigning for the 59 Assembly seats in nine districts Pilibhit, Lakhimpur Kheri, Sitapur, Lucknow, Hardoi, Unnao, Raebareli, Fatehpur, and Banda ended today with top leaders of all major parties, including Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, Home Minister Amit Shah, Chief Minister Adityanath and Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra making last ditch efforts to woo voters in the Phase that covers parts of UP's Terai, Awadh and Purvanchal regions

Once a bastion of Congress with constituencies like Raebareli, the phase is now considered a BJP stronghold. The phase also includes the site of the infamous Lakhimpur Kheri violence

Shah was in Pilibhit and Maholi, Akhilesh in Hardoi and Congress leader Priyanka in Lucknow to drum up support for their respective party candidates. Priyanka held a roadshow in the Bakshi ka Talab and also went door-to-door in the Chinhat area.

She hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his remarks accusing the Samajwadi Party and the Congress of sympathising with terrorists.

"Even he knows that it’s not true. He is saying all this only because of polls. Why is there unemployment in Uttar Pradesh when many government posts are lying vacant? He should talk about relevant issues," she said.

“People have made up the mind for a change,” she added. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had accused the Opposition of being soft on terror and singled out SP, linking its election symbol, the bicycle, to those used to plant some of the bombs then. 

Hitting back at Priyanka in Pilibhit, Shah stressed BJP's zero-tolerance policy towards terrorism and accused the Congress and SP of “supporting terrorists”.

Meanwhile, AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal, who had been concentrating in Punjab so far, also began his four-day tour of Uttar Pradesh from Lucknow. 

Once a Congress star performer, Aditi Singh is contesting from Raebareli on a BJP ticket while Asha Singh, the mother of the Unnao rape survivor, is contesting on a Congress ticket from the Unnao seat. 

Brijesh Pathak, a Minister in Yogi cabinet and a prominent Brahmin face of the BJP, is fighting for Lucknow Cantt assembly seat. 

According to the Uttar Pradesh Election Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), which has analysed the self-sworn affidavits of 621 candidates out of 624, "as many as 167 (27 per cent) candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves. 129 (21 per cent) have declared serious criminal cases against themselves.

Around 29 of the seats are red alert constituencies, where three or more contesting candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves. Ends 

 

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