Allahabad: A sea of humanity flooded the streets of the ‘Sangam’ city on the last day of campaigning for fourth phase of assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday, with road shows conducted by Rahul Gandhi with ally Akhilesh Yadav and BJP president Amit Shah.
Rahul had stayed overnight at the historic Swaraj Bhavan in Allahabad, the birth place of his grandmother and former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, after holding a rally at Koraon in the district’s trans-Yamuna region last evening. He was joined this noon by the Uttar Pradesh chief minister for their road show, which commenced at the Balson Chauraha (crossing) facing the historic Anand Bhavan.
Perched atop a Mercedes bus, the leaders were greeted by a large number of young supporters of the Congress and the state’s ruling Samajwadi Party who raised slogans like “UP ko ye saath pasand hai" (UP likes this alliance) and “Kaam bolta hai" (Work speaks for itself).
As they headed towards the Allahabad University (AU) campus, a palpable enthusiasm was seen among the students.
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Two candidates in the city fielded by the Congress-SP combine — two-time MLA Anugrah Narayan Singh from Allahabad (North) and debutant Richa Singh from Allahabad (West)— have formerly been presidents of the AU students union.
Besides, the chief minister’s cousin and Badaun MP Dharmendra Yadav, who stood beside the two leaders during the road show, has been an AU alumnus. Towards the close of the road show on Station Road, the two leaders made very short speeches.
The leaders said they will form the next government in the state and claimed the momentum gained by their alliance had made Prime Minister Narendra Modi jittery.
A road show was held by BJP president Amit Shah, who started the day with a rally in Soraon — a predominantly rural assembly segment in the district’s trans-Ganga region, followed by a brief public meeting at Mundera Mandi in the city in support of party national secretary Siddharth Nath Singh, who has been fielded from Allahabad (West).
Lively crowds came out on streets to join the road show, raising slogans in support of the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Shah was joined by the party’s state unit chief Keshav Prasad Maurya whose Phulpur parliamentary constituency covers a major part of the city.
Schools across the district were today ordered closed by district magistrate Sanjay Kumar as traffic snarls were expected. Officials on election duty were also conducting poll-related exercises.
Polling for all the 12 assembly constituencies in Allahabad, the largest number for any district in the state, will be held on 23 February.