Confluence of Crowds in Allahabad, But No Sangam
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.