India Today - - LEISURE -

COVER STORY beaten in Bi­har and Delhi last year.

The elec­tions may be five months away, but the heat and dust of India’s largest cam­paign is al­ready swirling. Blood has been spilled in the SP camp. The BSP has sharp­ened its claws. The Congress has em­barked on a mas­sive re­cruit­ment drive. The BJP is sneak­ing in its guer­rilla war­riors. Their com­mon ob­jec­tive is to woo, coax or bully India’s biggest elec­torate in the Hindi heart­land, where the un­for­giv­ing poll arith­metic takes no pris­on­ers. This is not an­other league game, as many state elec­tions can be. It’s a knock-out match: the semi-fi­nal for 2019. It is the fourth largest state, with 7.3 per cent of India’s to­tal area Be­tween 2005 and 2014, Ut­tar Pradesh’s GDP grew at 6.6% The im­por­tance of Ut­tar Pradesh to India’s po­lit­i­cal his­tory can­not

WVhiEleTiRt­mIMakAeAs size­able 7 per cent of India in terms of area, the un­ro­man­ti­cally named ‘North­ern Prov­ince’ is the coun­try’s most pop­u­lous state—its 200 mil­lion in­hab­i­tants ac­count for more than 16 per cent of India’s pop­u­la­tion. If Ut­tar Pradesh was a coun­try, it would be the world’s sixth most pop­u­lated.

This stag­ger­ing statis­tic not­with­stand­ing, the state’s im­pact on In­dian Tar­get: All castes and com­mu­ni­ties pAolmit­i­cas­nhaws

ex­cept Mus­lims, Ya­davs and Jatavs lpaargses.Ii­tosne­nadns8d0­paor­wli­aem­re­ont­faVrieantr­si­maaraPno­sis­tiu­versv: Aivmeit Sth­haeh’ssoyrgsat­neisam­tional to the 543-mem­ber Lok Sabha, and push to the booth level seven of India’s eight prime min­is­ters unBtiyl 1S9u9h1ah­nai dSic­nagll­hed UP their home. This tally now stands at eight prime min­is­ters out of 14—and the down­ward tre­nad­mdeilepfi­lymb­mo­tah­keerrs pVeot­prilme aaof the sta­tre­abne’csauasaemit sauagdgme­sit­shtheeroes grad­ual ded­mono’ttion­st­farn­odm a pochsi­atinoc­ne­ofin lead­er­shipfr. oIt­nwt aosf tTo­hfaulfailivUaPr’,s wdeh­seir­theto be at ther­ciet’nsthreis-sst­wa­gaeg­gt­h­eartoMr soudpi er­phoawd edresc.idTe­hde­tyoacroentmesotr­fer­olimkeVl­yartaon­rausni firno2m01g4o,oanns­dththaen­ntraek­teainthtehme sheeaatd on. “aIfte­cranth’te ewlercit­teionas­boatuth­seoc­mose­toon­fe­hiws ho ioslduGnuli­jkaer­atmi beas­in­tioan­lol fsGeanns­dehs—in­apghayrs.ical­lTy,hem­doet-iloinnkain­llgy oafnUdttsaor­cPiar­la­lyd,”es­shays Vfreotm­rimthaean­rat­niononal pao­plithicoan­le­spinotleigrhvitew fbre­og­manCi­hne1n9n8a9i., Hsoeoen­labfto­er­attheesporno-how hreisehrvearo­tiotnhMi­nakns,da“lIfCohmemi­sisc­sioon­fron­tec­damwei­itnhtotwfoorceg,uwysit,hhMeuwlaiy­lal mfi’gsht. If tShaem­rea­jawraed­fioPuarr,thy­eemweil­rl­gnine­goat­si­atthee; but iv­foticheroef tahree­n­teewnl,yheemw­poilwl er­ru­end baaw­caky-.” Twhaartd mcaasytesm. Iatkael­so­hilmeda­toltohse rDain­lit­the ecy­oemsm­ouf nti­htyos­re­ala­ly­ci­c­nugs­btoehmined tthoelBarSgPe, rtfhi­rasnt l­elid­feb­hyeKraoneshtiyR­paic­malaonfdK­tohle­lyn­wboyod

TUTTAR PRADESH Ut­tar Pradesh’s pop­u­la­tion ri­vals that of Brazil. Home to 17% of India’s pop­u­la­tion At 69.7%, Ut­tar Pradesh’s lit­er­acy rate ranks 29th among states and UTs Sup­port­ers: Neg­a­tives: No CM can­di­date yet


8 of India’s 14 PMs have come from UP Ut­tar Pradesh has the coun­try’s high­est Dalit pop­u­la­tion hits but Vetri­maaran’s pro­ta­go0nist is prac­ti­cal, an or­di­nary man who lives on tShuepf­proirnt­ger­ess: with rou­tineTais­rgseute:­lims Mak­ing the or­di­nary ex­traordiPos­i­tives: Mus­lims are not happy with nary is some­thing Vetri­maaran does

SP, may side with Mayawati rather well. He has di­rected three filmNsegiantiv1e0s: Sy­ee­vaer­rasl.seTn­wioroleoadf ertshem— Aad­huavkeale­laftmthe(p2a0rt1y1; n) o ain­n­flduenVti­iaslaranai Neg­a­tives: Weak or­gan­i­sa­tional base; (20M15u)s—limh­laeavdeer­col­lec­tively won nine not seen as a se­ri­ous con­tender na­tional awards, in­clud­ing a best 2012 Assem­bly polls di­rec­tor for Vetri­maaran. Visaranai, his last, was re­cently cho­sen as India’s en­tMry iAn­tJheO­foRreVignOlaTngEuaBgeAcNateK­goSry* at the Os­cars. An adap­ta­tion of auto driver M. Chan­draku­mar’s book,

which44de%tails ag­o­nis­ing22% Lock-Up, his ex­pe­ri­ence as an in­mate and sheds light on the nOeBxCus be­tween po­lice Dal­its Sup­port­ers: Tar­get: 2014 Lok Sabha polls VETRI­MAARAN DMi­uresclit­mor s of VBis­rahram­ni­a­nis Thakurs

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