UP elections 2017: Rahul Gandhi says Modi’s voice softer than that of a mouse
5 min read.Updated: 24 Feb 2017, 09:10 PM ISTLivemint
The assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh has entered into its fifth phase with campaigning in full swing ahead of polling on 27 February. Here are the latest updates
New Delhi: The campaigning ahead of the fifth phase of voting in Uttar Pradesh assembly elections will be in full swing on Friday, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi set to address an election rally in Gonda, ahead of the fifth phase of voting on 27 February.
Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav is going to address seven rallies, while his alliance partner and Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi is going to address three campaign rallies on Friday.
Modi had on Thursday addressed two election rallies in Bahraich and Basti, a day which coincided with the fourth phase of voting which recorded a 61% turnout.
Here are some of the key facts and latest updates on Uttar Pradesh assembly elections:
■ Stung by repeated barbs by BJP leaders at former prime minister Manmohan Singh, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi today said the voice of Prime Minister Narendra Modi was “feebler even than that of a mouse". “The voice of PM, who has given the clarion call of Make in India, is not of a roaring lion, but even feebler than that of a mouse," Rahul told an election meeting in Mahsi assembly constituency here that goes to polls on February 27.
■ BJP national president Amit Shah in his rally at Azamgarh said: Sheilaji, the entire country agrees with you that Rahulji is not mature, but why is Congress forcing him into UP. (@BJP4India)
— “If he is not mature, then why has he been enforced upon Uttar Pradesh? Is this a political laboratory or learning ground for someone?" Shah asked. (PTI)
— Noting that the state faces a plethora of problems, he said “men of steel" are needed to solve them. “Problems of Uttar Pradesh can be solved only under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi," Shah said.
— Citing BJP’s election manifesto, which claims there has been significant decline in cattle count in UP under the SP rule, he said if his party forms government, it would shut all slaughter houses and ensure that instead of “streams of blood", those of milk and ghee flow.
— Mounting an attack on the SP-Congress alliance, he said, “It is quite amusing that one prince is giving tough times to his mother, the other to his father, and both are troubling UP."
—Seeking a performance report from the Congress, Shah said, “Your (Rahul’s) family has ruled the country for over 60 years. What has it done for the country? Rahul must answer this."
— “Rahul asks what the Modi government has done for the country. Rahul Baba, the first thing that we have done is that we have given a PM who speaks. You had given a PM who did not speak for 10 years, and his voice was heard by you and your mother," he said.
■ Addressing a rally in Basti, Rahul Gandhi says “let’s build a new Uttar Pradesh and elect a government for the youth, farmers and the poor instead of those who spread only hatred. We never bargain with farmers and say vote us first and then we will waive loans. We work for farmers." (@OfficeofRG)
■ PM Modi is addressing the Gonda election rally. Here are the highlights from his speech:
— Invoking Lord Shiva on Mahashivratri, Modi says people, with their third eye, can see what is good for them and what is bad. The poorest of the poor can detect truth. Since I took stern steps against corruption and banned notes, big forces are out to mislead the country. (PTI)
— BJP has fared well in all elections post-demonetisation, be it civic polls in Odisha, Maharashtra or Chandigarh or panchayat polls. (PTI)
— Nothing for farmers in Samajwadi Party’s socialism, says Modi. (@BJP4India)
— SP, BSP were fighting with each other for 15 years but after note ban they have joined hands to oust me. But i will continue my fight against black money and corruption, says Modi. (TV reports)
— We will celebrate kesariya (saffron) holi in UP and after forming the government, the first decision will be loan waiver of farmers: Modi. (PTI)
■ In his rally in Ayodhyaya in Faizabad district, Akhilesh Yadav targeted BJP’s attempt to polarise volters. He said that while SP talks about giving laptop and smartphones to the people, BJP is still trapped in ‘kabristan versus samshaan’ debate. They have even divided electricity into ramzan and diwali. (TV reports)
On Mayawati, Akhilesh said the BSP is trying to check the SP with the help of the BJP, alleging the BSP had transferred its votes to the saffron party in last Lok Sabha polls. (PTI)
■ Akhilesh will address three rallies in Faizabad, four in Ambedkar Nagar (earlier called Mau).
■ Rahul will address three election rallies—the first in Bahraich district’s Mahsi constituency, the second in Basti, and the third in Balrampur on Friday.
■ Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national president Amit Shah too is going to address election rallies in Azamgarh, Balia, Mau and Gorakhpur. Many other senior leaders like Rajanth Singh, Kalraj Mishra, Uma Bharti, Venkaiah Naidu, Keshav Prasad Maurya will address various other rallies in eastern Uttar Pradesh in the next two days.
■ The 52 assembly seats at stake are spread across Balrampur, Gonda, Faizabad, Ambedkar Nagar, Bahraich, Shravasti, Siddharth Nagar, Basti, Sant Kabir Nagar, Amethi and Sultanpur districts.
■ The ruling Samajwadi Party (SP) had won 37 seats out of 52 in 2012 assembly polls, while the BJP and the Congress won five seats each, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) had won three, while the Peace party won two seats. Districts Shravasti, Balrampur, Sultanpur and Ambedkar Nagar had emerged as strongholds of the SP with the party winning all the seats there.
The downfall of Congress is so evident that even SP is wondering if it was worth leaving 103 seats for them in UP elections: Sh @arunjaitley
■ A total of 1.84 crore voters are expected to exercise their franchise at 12,791 polling stations and 19,167 polling booths in this phase.
■ Modi on Thursday had responded to Akhilesh’s “donkeys of Gujarat" remarks. “I can work like a donkey for the nation. Akhilesh was afraid of donkeys of Gujarat as donkeys are loyal to their masters. Can understand if Akhilesh attacks me or BJP, but he has attacked donkeys even though they are thousand of kilometres away. Akhilesh should know when the Congress was in power as part of UPA (United Progressive Alliance), it came out with postal stamps on donkeys of Gujarat."