Political activities in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh have slowed down after the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes.
Some political parties, which had already announced the dates of rallies or public meetings before high denomination notes were scrapped last week, have either cancelled or deferred their programme.
A case in point is that of the second phase of chief minister Akhilesh Yadav’s ‘Vikas se Vijay Rath Yatra’. It was scheduled to start from Jhansi on Monday. The Samajwadi Party (SP) is now reworking the dates for the second leg of the ‘yatra’ in Bundelkhand region of UP.
“We will release the revised schedule of the ‘rath yatra’ in a day or two,” said SP spokesperson and cabinet minister Rajendra Chowdhary told HT.
He said the campaign to highlight the achievements of the Akhilesh Yadav government, which was flagged off by SP patriarch from Lucknow on November 3, would restart by November-end now.
The party has two other important events lined up: birthday celebrations of its national president Mulayam Singh Yadav, who turns 78 on November 22, in Lucknow and launch of the poll campaign by Mulayam, a day later from Ghazipur in eastern UP on November 23.
The birthday celebrations are expected to be low-key. The Janeshwar Mishra Trust headed by chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, which has decided to organise the birthday bash, has just one billboard outside its office congratulating ‘netaji’ (Mulayam) on his 78th birthday.
The Samajwadi Party is not the only political outfit whose plans have been hit.
The Congress’ move for early distribution of party tickets for 2017 assembly elections will also be delayed now to mid or end of December or even more.
Initially, the Congress proposed to begin distribution of tickets by November-end or early December.
“Yes, we wanted to declare our tickets early. But we will delay the announcement of tickets by a week or two in view of prevailing situation in view of union government’s decision to demonetize Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes. We are concerned about people’s problems. The situation is going from bad to worse. We will begin the exercise of distributing tickets after watching the situation for some time,” said state Congress chief Babbar on telephone.
Also, the party’s plan to send 200 teams of Dalit leaders to reach out to nearly 8000 Dalit-dominated villages across the state has been delayed.
“We are concerned about the problems being faced by the people now. We do not want to upset the people by being seen pursuing political agenda when they are facing serious problems. We will rework our programme now,” said a senior party leader who did not wish to be named.
The Congress’ Rahul Sandesh Yatra had ended in different districts on November 10. After that, the party had proposed to send teams to Dalit dominated villages.
The party is yet to work out a final date to send them to the villages. UPCC scheduled caste department chairman Bhagwati Chaudhary said: “We will send the teams soon.”