Electioneering in UP is unusually quiet this time

There is no colour visible on the ground and even posters and hoardings are nowhere to be seen…reports Asian Lite News

The familiar sound of ‘Jitega bhai jitega bhai’ over the loudspeakers is missing in the state of Uttar Pradesh, which sends the highest number of MPs to the parliament, this time.

There is no colour visible on the ground and even posters and hoardings are nowhere to be seen.

Even the messages on the mobile phones are hard to come by. It is only the television that keeps up the momentum with speeches and debates.

Electioneering in Uttar Pradesh this time around is unusually quiet and subdued. In fact, it does not seem like election time at all.

Campaign in the largest state of the country, in the true sense of the term, is yet to begin.

While the BJP is focussing on the national campaign and is going ahead full steam, opposition parties are keeping a low profile – with most of their candidates not yet declared.

Slogans, once the mainstay of campaigning, are also conspicuous by their absence.

“The BJP has one slogan ‘Abki baar 400 paar’ and every candidate is banking on it. No candidate has coined a slogan for himself because he wants to ride high on the Modi wave. The slogan is catchy and has already caught on,” said a BJP candidate from central UP.

The Congress slogan ‘Ab Hoga Nyay’ has failed to catch the fancy of the people.

“It does not convey exactly what the Congress wants to say. The slogan should be short and catchy – one that can say everything in a few words,” said Ravish Mathur, a young psephologist.

The SP and BSP have not yet found slogans of their choice for this season.

The change in the style of campaigning has also done away with flags and posters.

“People no longer get impressed or are swayed by posters and flags. The majority of them have already made up their mind. It is useless to waste one’s money on such things. Earlier, people used to choose candidates but now people choose parties and candidates are just incidental,” said a candidate.

Most candidates are also using social media for campaigning in a very cautious way. For instance, much before the elections were announced, the SP candidate from Lucknow, Ravidas Mehrotra, put out his audio message via phone to the voters. However, he soon gave it up and no other candidate has followed this.

A BSP candidate explained: “Social media is a double-edged sword and can be used against you. It is safer and better to establish a direct connection with the voters and convey your message,” he said.

Interestingly, almost all candidates are also shying away from giving interviews and taking media persons along on their campaigns.

They claim that they have been asked by their party leaders to keep the media at a safe distance.

S N Dixit, a retired political scientist from Allahabad explained the phenomenon saying that silence prevails when the candidates and the people know the outcome of the elections.

“Almost everyone knows who the winner is. So no one is making a noise. The prospective winners are keeping quiet because they are confident of the outcome. The opposition too does not want an unnecessary effort because they also know the result,” he said.

Congress vows to end manual scavenging

Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh lashed out at the centre and raised questions over the death of a sanitation worker due to a gas leak in Varanasi and promised to end manual scavenging.

“On April 5, 2024, a sanitation worker in the Prime Minister’s own Lok Sabha constituency died due to a gas leak when he entered a sewer without equipment. This is not a new case in Varanasi; during the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra, we were told that in the last ten years, more than 25 deaths have occurred in Banaras due to entering sewers,” he lashed out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Further accusing the Modi government of doing injustice to sanitation workers, he said that, on the other hand, Congress has made this promise in its manifesto that they will end the evil practice of manual scavenging.

“All manual scavengers will be skilled for some other work and will be provided jobs. A dignified and safe life will be ensured for them,” he added.

He further ensured that the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and Their Rehabilitation Act, 2013 will be strictly enforced and anyone employing manual scavengers will be punished.

He announced that a compensation of Rs 30 lakh will be given to the families of sanitation workers who lose their lives while performing manual scavenging work.

Earlier in the day, Jairam Ramesh also posed questions for PM Modi, as the latter is all set to address a public rally in Bihar as part of his election campaign at 11 am on Sunday.

Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said in a post on X, “Today, the Prime Minister heads to Nawada in Bihar–the state where the BJP orchestrated its latest government collapse. While they have excelled at forcing their way into power, the BJP’s governance has left much to be desired.”

He alleged that the ruling BJP party does not hesitate to topple governments or use ‘ill-gotten electoral bonds chanda’ to buy and sell MLAs in desperate bids to cling to power. (ANI)

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