U.P. CM kicks off civic polls campaign from Ayodhya

Promises to restore its lost glory and grandeur

The BJP is going all out to campaign for the urban local body elections in Uttar Pradesh to continue its winning streak in the State.

Days after releasing a separate manifesto, a Sankalp Patr, for the municipal polls — a first for any party in the State — Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Tuesday kicked off his campaign from Ayodhya, which was elevated to a municipal corporation after the BJP came to power in the State in March.

Mr Adityanath is expected to address more than three dozen rallies for the municipal polls, in a style similar to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s campaign strategy.

Suppressed splendour

Addressing a rally in Ayodhya, he accused the previous Samajwadi Party government of neglecting the town and of trying to restrict and tarnish thepehchaan (identity) and grandeur of the town in the eyes of the world. Those who “discriminated with your identity”, can never be forgiven, he said.

Mocking the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party, Mr. Adityanath said the two parties were struck by “electric current” each time he visited Ayodhya.

“Ayodhya is a symbol of faith for us. Ayodhya is the land of maryada purshottamShri Ram … Ayodhya should get back its glory,” the Chief Minister said.

Traditionally strong in urban areas, the BJP secured 10 of the 12 mayor posts in 2012. This time, the mayoral elections will be held for 16 posts, with the inclusion of four new seats including Mathura (Vrindavan) and Ayodhya, names emphasised by Mr. Adityanath in his speech.

Promises projectsWhile mentioning that his government had already inaugurated development projects worth Rs. 137 crore in Ayodhya, Mr. Adityanath promised more schemes after the polls.

He claimed credit for restoring grand Diwali celebrations in the town and said his government’s priority was to make the town “shine” and bring a smile to the face of every person who visited it.

“Ayodhya gave Diwali to the world but Diwali disappeared from Ayodhya. We restored it,” he said.

While appealing for votes for the BJP candidates, Mr. Adityanath followed up on the promise made by his party in the manifesto and said a gaushala would be built in all major cities to cater to stray cattle.

After Ayodhya, he is expected to hold campaign rallies in all major urban centres including Kanpur, Varanasi, Allahabad, Muzaffarnagar, Gorakhpur, Jhansi, Lucknow and Mathura, with more than two rallies per day on average.

Elections will be held for over 650 posts, including 16 mayors and 200 Nagar Palika Parishads, starting November 22 in three phases. Results will be declared on December 1.


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