Millennium Post

In west UP’s hub, IM terrorists’ arrest, hate speeches dictate poll agenda

In west UP’s hub, IM terrorists’ arrest, hate speeches dictate poll agenda
With extremely polarised poll environment, no wonder the local media is replete with the tales of attacks planned to eliminate BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.

Thanks to the strict directions of Election Commission, the polls in the suburbs and rural areas have lost colour. While in Delhi the street furniture (read hoarding at the bus stops) are illuminated with the message of the political parties, less than a 100 kilometres away from the national Capital in absence of banners, buntings and posters the environment carries a drab look.

In absence of the aforementioned mediums of conventional communication, the written word spread largely through the local editions of the national dailies is setting the tone of the poll discourse. For the past seven days, the headlines have been dominated by news like call given by Imran Masood, the Congress candidate from Saharanpur, to make a mincemeat of Narendra Modi and his subsequent arrest, Supreme Court’s direction to arrest accused numbering about 6000 in
Muzzafarnagar riots cases, arrest of terrorists like Indian Mujahidin boss Tehsin Akhtar alias Monu and al Qaida trained bomb maker Waqas.

The pro and anti Modi sentiments is visible all over. While for the BJP the agenda is to get 272 Lok Sabha seats for the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and have a Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre, manifesto of all the other parties in the region, BSP, SP and Congress alike, is to stop the Gujarat chief minister at any cost.

Meerut seat is currently held by BJP’s Rajendra Agarwal and he is being challenged by three candidates from the minority community – Shahid Akhlaq from BSP, Shahid Manzoor from Samajwadi Party and Nagma from the Congress. Samajwadi Party’s Shahid Mazoor as of now seems to have emerged as the main challenger though BSP has once again fielded its former MP Shahid Akhlaq, who in the last poll contested as rebel and ensured defeat of BSP’s official candidate Malook Nagar.

With three way division in the Muslim votes and Rajendra Agarwal being the lone Hindu candidate from a dominant party, the BJP certainly enjoys an advantage. The party’s local leadership is also working towards increasing voting percentage especially in the Hindu areas which have been falling from past few elections.

With Narendra Modi having addressed a huge rally here in February which according to most conservative estimates saw an attendance of over four lakh people, it’s going to be BJP on one side for certain but who would be the principal opponent would be decided by the way the Muslim community decides to vote.
Sidharth Mishra

Sidharth Mishra

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