Con­flu­ence of Crowds in Al­la­habad, But No Sangam

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics -

BJP and SP-Congress al­liance flex their mus­cles through si­mul­ta­ne­ous road­shows, but Mayawati’s BSP still oc­cu­pies peo­ple’s mind

Al­la­habad: Ahead of Phase-IV elec­tions in Ut­tar Pradesh, both the BJP and the SP-Congress al­liance flexed their mus­cles in Al­la­habad on Tues­day. BJP chief Amit Shah, and SP pres­i­dent Akhilesh Ya­dav and Congress vice-pres­i­dent Rahul Gandhi con­ducted si­mul­ta­ne­ous road­shows in the sa­cred city. The road­shows of the BJP and SP-Congress — less than a kilo­me­trea­part — set the mood for t he d ay. While t he SPCongress show started from the Nehru res­i­dence at AnandBhawanonan8-km route down to the Gol Park, Shah in­voked na­tion­al­ism with a flo­ral trib­ute to the free­dom fighter at the epony­mous Chandra Shekhar Azad Park. He held his­road­showfromAl­lah­purto Ghan­ta­garh, across some 5 km. Al­la­habad, which has 12 seats, is cru­cial for all the parties. BJP’s na­tional gen­eral sec­re­tary Sid­dharth Nath Singh is in the fray against SP’s Richa Singh — the first woman pres­i­dent of the Al­la­habad Univer­sity Stu­dent al­liance is mak­ing enough noise, but noise is all they make. Ul­ti­mately, work has to be done, and I think BJP will do it be­cause the PM is a doer,” said a su­gar­cane juice ven­dor.

This view was echoed by a girl who has just taken up her first job. “I think BJP will be able to help this state and city. The state party pres­i­dent also hails from here,” she said.

But not every­one was equally en­thu­si­as­tic. A 22-year-old, watch­ing the road­shows from the side­lines, said he was dis­il­lu­sioned enough to ab­stain from vot­ing. “Why should I vote for any­one? Which gov­ern­ment did any­thing for me? I come from a Brah­min fam­ily which had to take to driv­ing taxis in the Congress era. My older brother and I had to give up higher ed­u­ca­tion and help out dur­ing BJP and SP’s ten­ure. For the per­son on the road, noth­ing changes. But let me tell you, the Brah­min has no choice now but to vote for the BJP,” he said.

A rick­shaw puller from Al­la­habad, who­had­been­vot­ing­fortheBSP,said he was get­ting lit­tle swayed by the SP-Con­gres­sal­liance.Bu­ta­clerk­ina state gov­ern­ment of­fice, how­ever, re­minded that BSP can’t be ig­nored. “Mark­my­words—she­andBSP­can­not be taken for granted,” he said.

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