By Pradeep Kapoor
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has galvanised the rank and file of her party to take on BJP and make significant impact in the assembly polls. There is a realisation in Congress that the party may not get a good number of seats but it would gain in the number of votes in every constituency and ultimately prepare for Lok Sabha polls in 2024.
Significantly Congress has announced that it would contest the polls all alone. Congress lost ground support when it entered into alliance with BSP when Narsimha Rao was PM. Again Congress lost support when it joined hands with Samajwadi Party in 2017 assembly polls. The party suffered due to anti-incumbency against the Akhilesh Yadav government.
Having learnt lessons from previous alliances, Congress is in no mood to enter into an alliance with any party and is preparing on its own in every assembly constituency. Under the direction of Priyanka Gandhi, the party launched a 10-day Pratigya Yatra from Nehru Jayanti on November 14. The yatra was launched by Priyanka Gandhi herself in Barabanki with the participation of large number Congress leaders and local people. The pratigya yatra would cover all the 403 assembly constituencies and travel 32,240 kms, holding 24,180 gram sabha meetings and 5,000 corner meetings.
Congress has promised that it would reserve 40 per cent tickets to women to ensure their participation in politics, girl students would get smart phones and electronic scooty, all loans of farmers would be waived off, minimum support price of wheat and rice would be fixed at Rs 2400 and. Rs 400 per quintal, power bills of all consumers would be halved and all bills of corona period would be waived, apart from employment to 20 lakh youth. Congress leaders during pratigya yatra would also sensitise people about growing inflation and failure of the Yogi government to look into problems being faced by poor people on the state.
Meanwhile, Priyanka is holding dialogue with different sections of society to tell them about the shortcomings of BJP and train the party cadre to work for the party and strengthen the organisation at the grassroots level.
Former chief minister and Samajwadi Party national president Akhilesh Yadav is also busy with his Vijay Yatra covering the entire state in phased manner. Significantly, Akhilesh Yadav is getting good response during his yatra, which made him say that people had already made up their mind to bring him back as CM of UP as people were fed up of the anti- people policies of the Yogi government.
Recently permission for visit to Ghazipur by vijay rath was withdrawn by the local administration. Akhilesh alleged that since his yatra was getting huge response from people resolved to change the government, the administration decided to withdraw permission for it.
Akhilesh is busy with the preparations of the birthday celebrations of his father and founder of Samajawadi Party Mulayam Singh Yadav on November 22. All the members of the Yadav family, which is the state’s biggest political family, would come together on one platform to express solidarity with Mulayam Singh Yadav.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah is going ahead with micro level preparations of BJP to retain power in UP and face the challenge from Akhilesh Yadav, Mayawati and Priyanka Gandhi Vadhra. Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan is in charge of UP to oversee the arrangements and ensure victory of BJP, which is very crucial for the party in view of 2024 Lok Sabha polls. The entire Sangh parivar is working day and night to ensure victory of BJP candidates. There have been several meetings at various levels with office-bears of BJP for better understanding.
Significantly, PM Narendra Modi who is the MP from Varanasi, has visited UP and asked people to vote for BJP in next assembly polls. Every day new projects are being inaugurated by Union ministers and CM Yogi Adityanath. BJP is playing aggressive kamandal and mandal cards to take on the opposition parties to retain power. How effective these cards would be for BJP to retain power only time will tell. (IPA Service)