Lucknow, May 18: The 17th Lok Sabha polls in Uttar Pradesh witnessed an unprecedented campaigning with a strong band of BJP leaders outclassing the small group of scattered opposition.
BJP had a large number of leaders, which included Union ministers, state ministers and party leaders to campaign for them, but in contrast, the main contender SP and BSP only relied on Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati. The Congress mainly depended on the new political entrant Priyanka Gandhi Vadra while party president Rahul Gandhi too held meetings and road shows at 20 places.
According to sources here on Saturday, while the BJP campaigning was spearheaded by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who himself addressed 29 rallies and road shows apart from as many meetings and roadshows by party president Amit Shah. Besides, UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath held 137 meetings and road shows during over two months of campaigning.
Mr Shah held 28 election meetings along with two roadshows. Though there were demands of about 50 meetings of PM Modi, on whose name the BJP went for polls this time, but the party could deliver only 29 rallies, including a roadshow in his own Varanasi constituency. Several union ministers also joined the electioneering in UP but they concentrated only in Varanasi and Gorakhpur.Despite the UP CM being banned for 72 hours by he Election Commission during the campaigning by over his comment on Ali and Bajrangbali, the BJP leaders assisted by senior leaders-- UP BJP president Mahendra Nath Pandey and two deputy CMs Keshav Prasad Maurya and Dr Dinesh Sharma-- held over 477 meetings covering all the 403 Assembly segments of the state.
The Congress banked on Priyanka Gandhi Vadra who addressed 40 election meetings and participated in similar number of road shows covering 55 Lok Sabha seats. Party president Rahul Gandhi too attended 20 rallies in the state.Congress fielded candidates in 70 seats along with its alliance partners but unfortunately, their leaders could not canvass in support of all their candidates. Lucknow being one of the seats, where Congress fielded Acharya Krishnan, but nor Priyanka or Rahul took the pain to campaign. Priyanka, however, campaigned vigorously in Rae Bareli and Amethi for several days for her mother Sonia Gandhi and brother Rahul Gandhi respectively.
The least campaigning was done by the SP-BSP alliance, when both Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati addressed 21 joint rallies against their earlier announcement of 18, which was one in every division. Besides this Akhilesh addressed 50 plus other rallies for his candidates while Mayawati addressed 25 rallies which included several in other states.
Other leaders of SP and BSP too campaigned in this elections, but they were mostly traveling on car and concentrating on certain seats deputed by the party. (UNI)