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Lok Sabha elections 2019: Strong Hindutva pitch to feature in Yogi Adityanath’s campaign

UP CM Yogi Adityanath’s campaign for the Lok Sabha elections next month will include a strong Hindutva pitch and showcase BJP government’s development initiatives, according to functionaries in the party who asked not to be named.

lok-sabha-elections Updated: Mar 24, 2019 07:54 IST
Smriti Kak Ramachandran
Smriti Kak Ramachandran
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Lucknow , India - March 19, 2019: UP Chief minister Yogi Adityanath Pressconference at BJP Party office n Lucknow , India, on Tuesday, March 19, 2019. (Photo by Subhankar Chakraborty
Lucknow , India - March 19, 2019: UP Chief minister Yogi Adityanath Pressconference at BJP Party office n Lucknow , India, on Tuesday, March 19, 2019. (Photo by Subhankar Chakraborty(Subhankar Chakraborty/HT PHOTO)
         

Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath’s campaign for the Lok Sabha elections next month will include a strong Hindutva pitch and showcase the Bharatiya Janata Party government’s development initiatives, according to functionaries in the party who asked not to be named.

Adityanath’s campaign will come as the BJP launches on Sunday a blitz leading to the general elections spread over the next two months. Senior central ministers, BJP chief Amit Shah and chief ministers of BJP-ruled states will address the “Vijay Sankalp Sabha” election meetings on Sunday and Tuesday.

According to the party functionary quoted above, Adityanath will kick-off his campaign with a rally at Mathura on Monday after praying at Saharanpur’s Shakumbari Devi temple. His speech is likely to focus on “reinforced” Hindutva, especially in Western Uttar Pradesh.

“His campaign has been designed to showcase how he did not lose sight of his Hindutva ideology even as he set about developing institutions such as setting up a new university in Saharanpur,” said this person.

The visit to the temple and the site of the rally too have been chosen as a retort to the announcement by the Samajwadi Party- Bahujan Samaj Party (SP-BSP) coalition’s decision to kick-start its campaign from Deoband, which known for the Sunni seminary Darul Uloom Deoband.

“The messaging is clear, if the Opposition wants to appease the minorities, Yogi ji will also not shy away from wearing his saffron credentials on his sleeve,” the party functionary said.

On Sunday, Shah will address a rally in Agra while Union home minister Rajnath Singh will be in Lucknow. Union ministers Sushma Swaraj, Nitin Gadkari, Ravi Shankar Prasad, JP Nadda, Piyush Goyal and Nirmala Sitharaman will also address rallies on Sunday.

“Through these Vijay Sankalp Sabha, BJP leaders will inform the people about works done by the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and also make the people aware of the competition to insult security forces being carried out by the Congress and some other opposition parties,” Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said Saturday.

Adityanath recently said since his government came to power in 2017, there has been no exodus of the majority community from areas such as Kairana – referring to claims made by a BJP MP in 2016. Then BJP MP Hukum Singh had claimed that Hindus in Kairana were being forced to leave homes in the face of “deteriorating law and order situation with frequent demands of extortion by different criminal gangs.”

The UP CM is also scheduled to address a rally on March 26 in Gujarat’s Gandhinagar, where Shah is seeking election the Lok Sabha. Adityanath raise the issue of Samajwadi Party “belittling Dalit icons”, said the person quoted in the first instance.

First Published: Mar 24, 2019 07:54 IST

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