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Uttar Pradesh polls: Upbeat BJP gears up for Purvanchal battle

New Delhi: Upbeat over feedback from the last four phases of polling in Uttar Pradesh, the BJP is now preparing for the battle in the Purvanchal region, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s parliamentary constituency, Varanasi.

Speculation has been rife that other than addressing a rally in his constituency, the Prime Minister could also seek divine blessings at Kashi Vishwanath temple, which can also serve as an occasion to rally around supporters. The BJP leadership, including the Prime Minister, has come under Opposition attack for using communal languages in their speeches. All eyes will be on BJP’s Hindutva hawks as polling will also take place in Ayodhya, Deoria and Varanasi in the coming phases. Of the total 403 Assembly seats, polling now remains on 141 constituencies and will go to polls phase-wise on February 27, March 4 and March 8. BJP president Amit Shah is camping in Varanasi with key poll strategists.

Just like other regions, BJP had to face angry cadre and disgruntled leaders over ticket distribution in Varanasi also.  Mr Shah and other senior leaders of the party held several rounds of meeting to pacify them. Numerically dominant other backward classes have a strong presence in Purvanchal.

Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party is also trying hard to win non-Jatavs. UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav and Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi will address a joint roadshow on February 27 in Mr Modi’s constituency. The BJP cadre has been reaching out to voters with the Modi government’s achievements and why the state needs to give the saffron party a chance this time. BJP strategists feel that they are better placed in these phases in terms of demographics. Of the remaining seats, 52, 49 and 40 seats will go to polls in the last three phases, respectively.

In the fifth phase, districts including Amethi, Sultanpur, Balrampur, Gonda, Faizabad, Ambedkar Nagar, Bahraich, Shrawasti, Siddharthnagar and Basti will go to polls. Maharajganj, Gorakhpur, Deoria, Azamgarh, Mau and Ballia will go to polls in the sixth phase. In the last phase, Varanasi, Ghazipur, Chand-auli, Mirzapur, Sonabhadra, Bhadoi and Jaunpur districts will go to polls.


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