Elections 2019: How Amethi battle is sign of challenges to Congress nationally
It is Friday morning and Arvind Panday (37) and Dev Prakash Mishra (35) share a bench under a tree near a tea shop. They also share a similar past—both belong to farmer families from Amethi district, both voted for the first time in the 2004 Lok Sabha elections, and both supported Rahul Gandhi, who made his political debut that year. They’ve voted for Gandhi, now Congress president, in every general elections since. This election, however, they’ve diverged on their political views.
“My vote this time too will be for Rahul Gandhi," declares Mishra, sitting at the tea shop under the banyan tree in Musafirkhana, a town in Amethi district. “His family has done so much for this constituency. This is a crucial election and he needs our support more than ever. This constituency is not going any other way," says Mishra, who runs a small business. (READ MORE)
Elections 2019: RSS focuses on upping voter turnout
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), faced with the twin challenge of an alliance of the Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party on the one hand, and the Congress on the other, has turned to volunteers of its ideological parent Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) for help.
With its 80 Lok Sabha seats, Uttar Pradesh is seen as key to the reins of power in New Delhi. The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) swept the state in 2014, winning 73 seats, which in turn gifted the NDA its massive majority. In 2017, the state again voted overwhelmingly for the BJP in the assembly elections. (READ MORE)
Elections 2019: Enough said about temple, say Ayodhya residents
Most voters in Ayodhya, the holy town that is often in the news and which falls in the Faizabad Lok Sabha constituency of Uttar Pradesh, feel that the construction of a Ram Mandir (temple) at the disputed site should not be used for political gains during elections. Instead, they want to talk about infrastructure development, which they say have been missing.
In national debates, politicians may take uncompromising stands on the issue but those who live in the town and around the disputed site have no doubt that consensus through talks is the only way forward to ensure peace between the majority and the minority communities. Ayodhya falls within the Parliamentary constituency of Faizabad. (READ MORE)
Elections 2019: In Rae Bareli, old habits are hard to break
Not at all," was former Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s crisp reply when reporters asked her on 11 April in Rae Bareli whether Prime Minister Narendra Modi was invincible in this election. “Don’t forget 2004. Vajpayeeji was invincible, but we won," she added. Gandhi, who was speaking to reporters after filing her nomination papers for the seat, was referring to the 2004 Lok Sabha elections when the Congress defeated the first National Democratic Alliance government under former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Her confidence comes from the people of Rae Bareli constituency, which she has been representing since 2004. The seat was once represented by former prime minister Indira Gandhi and, like her son’s seat of Amethi next door, is a pocket borough of the Gandhi family. (READ MORE)
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