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BJP goes faceless in UP, bids on brand Modi again

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With an ambitious start at the Aishbagh ramleela in Lucknow, PM Modi had planned a series of rallies in poll bound UP.

BJP top brass had planned to rope in the PM as the face for UP elections who will be doing a structured series of rallies in six zones of Uttar Pradesh in next couple of months.

Unlike Bihar, BJP is preparing again for  a crucial electoral battle without a chief ministerial candidate, and they had planned around eight Modi rallies in the state from October 24 to December 25. The rallies are placed in order of one rally in every 10-15 days within a span of two months. Although the locations are not yet finalized but it is being believed that BJP will do a massive rally at Lucknow in the month of December on the completion of Parivartan yatra. This will happen on December 25th, which is former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s birthday.

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But in this series of rallies Modi will begin with addressing a rally at Mahoba which falls in the economically deprived region of Bundelkhand.  Modi will be launching a central government irrigation scheme, Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojna (PMKSY) from Mahoba on 24th October. Incidentally, during the beginning of the Lok Sabha elections, Modi had addressed a rally at Jhansi, which also falls in the economically backward region of Bundelkhand.

Bundelkhand is the same area which had pushed BJP leadership into a controversy when the ruling SP had alleged them of playing politics by sending an empty water train to the drought hit region.  Although Railways minister Suresh Prabhu had rejected the charge saying a ten-wagon train was on the way to fill water at Jhansi.

PMKSY

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PM Modi will also address a rally in his constituency Varanasi where he will launch 5 projects for various public enterprises and state departments including, Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL), Railways and postal department during his visit. GAIL, is hosting the event at DLW ground, and they have also invited UP governor Ram Naik and CM Akhilesh Yadav for the function.

This plan of pre poll rallies looks like BJP is following the same pattern of 2014 Lok sabha Elections and 2015 Bihar Vidhan Sabha elections. In 2014 Narendra Modi had addressed some eight pre poll rallies in Uttar Pradesh and similarly in Bihar he had addressed four pre poll rallies in four zones of Bihar during the run up for elections. Since May this year, Modi had already addressed rallies in Saharanpur, Ballia, Gorakhpur and Allahabad.

BJP going the Bihar way-

After it had been cleared that BJP is only hoping on Brand Modi for Uttar Pradesh, the party is again going faceless over question of CM candidate as they did in Bihar. State president Keshav maurya had categorically stated that party will contest in the name of PM Modi and on the other hand senior leader Vinay Katiyar had also urged to contest on the basis of “Brand Modi”.

In a telephonic conversation with WFN, Katiyar said “Declaring CM candidate will only give birth to complications and UP is a state which is deeply divided on caste lines. It is a good move that our party will contest in the name of good works done by PM Modi and central government. We will decide the face for CM after the results and I am sure BJP is coming with a majority”

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Taking another step on lines of Bihar, BJP is resurfacing the hindutva row apart from the Brand Modi flank, but this time there is no Mohan Bhagwat so the party is trying craft the name of Ram in other ways by announcing museums and other plans.

The third repetitive technique taken from Bihar comes with the over emphasising on Lord Buddha with “Dhamma Chetna Yatras and PM Modi enchanting Yuddha to Buddha on India’s inherent desire to world peace. They did the same in Bihar but  Lord Buddha’s name was of no political use in the wave of grand alliance.

Decoding Brand Modi-

Brand Modi which was once a tough challenge for opposition in 2014 was countered in a mimic way by Lalu Prasad yadav in Bihar. Political experts believe that it is nothing but a confluence of Hindutva with modern age politics garnished with a 360 degree planning.  Socialists in Lucknow believe that PM Modi’s attendance at Viajaydashmi function was indicative of such politics. Even though the PM had not subtly associated himself with Hindutva but his government and party leaders are openly endorsing it.

Will it be instrumental-?

The biggest question which comes in mind over Brand Modi is about its reactions, especially in a state like Uttar Pradesh which is deeply divided on lines of caste creed and community. BJP wants to over-rule the caste equations by forging a broader Hindu identity but no one had assured about its proper execution.

The fear from BSP and SP-

Political experts in Lucknow say that this move of organising a good number of rallies comes after a fear created by both SP and BSP. Mayawati had already started her campaigns and she had addressed pre poll rallies at Agra, Saharanpur, Allahabad, Azamgarh and Lucknow from August to October. BSP had also planed some more rallies and events in upcoming months. While the ruling SP which was busy with the infighting had also geared up and Akhilesh is going to start his own yatra in first week of November.

BJP is again going to fight a faceless battle in UP like Bihar and that still comes as the biggest fear especially in times when leaders from other parties are increasing the crowd in the love for tickets. The existing BJP leadership in the state is much worried about party’s old cadres who are miffed by entry of outsiders and their bids for tickets. As the elections are approaching near, everyone in the BJP, from its workers to even assembly candidates are apparently fully dependent on Prime Minister Modi like they did in Bihar.

A senior BJP MLA and ex minister told us on conditions on anonymity- “Are they thinking of those local leaders and candidates who had been giving their sweat and blood for the party and those who are true aspirants of tickets? In this mad rush to present PM Modi’s face everywhere, the BJP will lose the plot. We are a party with a democracy and we should think about our existing leaders also.”

 

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Congress to welcome farmers’ tractor rally in Delhi

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The Congress in Delhi will welcome the farmers’ tractor rally on January 26 on the rally route to pledge solidarity with the farmers demanding the repeal of the three farm laws. The Congress workers have been asked by the party to welcome the rally on various points in the capital.

The Congress said the farm laws, if implemented in the present form, will be a total sell-out of the farm sector to a few chosen corporates supporting the BJP, therefore the farmers demand repeal of the laws.

Chowdhry Anil Kumar, President of the Delhi Congress unit said, “The farmers have been protesting on the borders of Delhi for over the past 60 days, braving the bone-chilling cold weather, demanding the repeal of the anti-farmer laws, and over 100 farmers have already become martyrs to the cause, and I will personally welcome the tractor rally.”

He alleged that the Modi government seems to be unmoved by the plight of the farmers, and adamant that it will not repeal the three laws after 11 rounds of talks with the farmers have produced no result, as the government is firm on not repealing the laws and is just fooling the farmers by holding futile talks. He said that the tractor rally will be a loud statement of the farmers’ anguish and anxiety.

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Congress has high hopes with DMK in Tamil Nadu

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The Congress is pinning its hopes on the Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu, where it will contest in alliance with the DMK, with former party president Rahul Gandhi making a trip to the southern state twice in 10 days and is expected to visit the state again in February.

Rahul Gandhi has been invoking Tamil pride in the state and attacking the BJP and AIADMK. In one of his speeches, the Congress leader said, “The Prime Minister says one language, one culture and one nation. Is Tamil not an Indian language? Is Tamil history not Indian history?”

Attacking the BJP, Rahul Gandhi said in another of his speeches, “It is an honour for me to be here with you. Whenever I come to Tamil Nadu, I am struck by your enthusiasm and by the way you live your life, something that I call Tamil spirit. No matter what difficulty you face, you always have a smile on your face and remain positive.”

He also said that in every non-BJP ruled state, Prime Minister Narendra Modi uses the CBI and ED to attack the opposition. “Why is the ED and the CBI not investigating the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister? What has the CM given to PM Modi in exchange for this? That is the central question,” he said.

Rahul Gandhi also alleged that Modi has the remote control to the government of Tamil Nadu, but the people of the state will take the batteries out of his remote control and throw them away.

The DMK-Congress alliance had outsmarted the AIADMK in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls and holds an advantage in the Assembly elections as the ruling party lacks a charismatic leader such as Jayalalitha.

While the DMK has an alliance with the Congress, the AIADMK is likely to go with the BJP. The Congress is optimistic as its alliance with the DMK and the CPI(M) had won 38 out of the 39 seats in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

There is also an anti-incumbency factor in Tamil Nadu with the AIADMK ruling the state for two terms now.

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Bring Bill in Budget Session to repeal farm laws, demands Trinamool

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With just five days to go for the Parliament’s Budget Session to commence on January 29, the Trinamool Congress on Monday demanded the government to introduce a new Bill to repeal the three farm laws.

Addressing a press conference here, Trinamool’s Rajya Sabha MP Derek O’Brien said, “All of you know Trinamul Congress’ stand on the three farm laws and Mamata Banerjee’s commitment on the issue of land and farmers. In the upcoming session of the Parliament, the government must introduce a Bill and turn it into an Act to repeal the three farm laws.”

“Ddemocracy was murdered in the Rajya Sabha. The government must introduce a Bill and repeal the three farm laws,” O’Brien added.

The Trinamool leader also compared the PM Kisan scheme to the Krishak Bandhu scheme being run in West Bengal by the Trinamul Congress government. “Under the Krishak Bandhu scheme, a farmer gets Rs 5,000 per acre, while under the PM Kisan scheme, a farmer gets Rs 1,214 per acre,” he

Highlighting the other important points of the state government run scheme for the farmers, O’Brien said, “In Bengal, there is scope for all the farmers, while under the PM Kisan scheme, the benefits will be received only by small and marginal farmers with up to 2 hectares of land.”

He said that Krishak Bandhu’s coverage is 100 per cent in the state, while PM Kisan has a coverage of only 92 per cent.he said.

O’Brien added that under the Krishak Bandhu scheme, if a farmer between the age of 18 and 60 years dies, his family gets a benefit of Rs 2 lakh, but there is no such provision under the PM Kisan scheme in case of a farmer’s sudden death.

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