Graft to leave mark on UP polls | lucknow | Hindustan Times
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Graft to leave mark on UP polls

The countrywide protest against corruption is likely to have an impact in a rather unexpected quarter: the 2012 assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh. Sunita Aron reports

lucknow Updated: Sep 07, 2011 23:52 IST
Sunita Aron

The countrywide protest against corruption is likely to have an impact in a rather unexpected quarter: the 2012 assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh. It may not marginalise caste, but both civil society and the politicians expect corruption to be a significant issue.

Anna Hazare’s indefinite fast, WikiLeaks on chief minister Mayawati and the arrest of Amar Singh in ‘cash-for-vote’ scam have definitely affected the public mood.

“Unless rural voters are brainwashed, corruption issue will dominate the polls,” said Justice Kamleshwar Nath, former lokayukta, Karnataka and chairman of Gandhian Seva and Satyagraha Brigade.

“Corruption pinches all and after Anna’s movement, it has become a household word,” agreed IC Dwivedi, retired IPS officer and convenor of UP Election Watch.

“Corruption is going to be the main issue in 2012 polls,” said IR Lamba, president, Lucknow Citizen’s Forum.

Taking a cue from the people’s mood, the state’s opposition parties have made corruption a key poll plank. The Congress had always been vocal about the siphoning of funds from the Central development schemes. Now the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the BJP have joined the bandwagon.

To spread the word among the rural voters, SP plans a rathyatra and the BJP a Swabhiman yatra.

“The Wikileaks were a blow to the pride and self respect of the state,” BJP national vice president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi recently said. “People would want to know how BSP’s funds grew from R29 crore to R330 crore in five years.”