2019 general elections: Campaigning gets murkier in Uttar Pradesh

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Written By: Shruti Kumar

Lucknow: As electioneering picks up pace in Uttar Pradesh campaigning is taking ugly turn with politicians using non-parliamentary language to attack their opponents.

In use of derogatory language, senior Samajwadi Party[SP] leader Azam Khan has the lead. Khan is a SP candidate from Rampur parliamentary constituency.

Challenging Azam Khan in his pocket-borough is former colleague-turned- rival Jaya Prada,who is actor-turned-policitians.

“I brought her[Jaya Prada] to Rampur. You are a witness that I did not allow anyone to touch her body. It took you 17 years to identify her real face but i got to know in 17 days that she wears khaki underwear,” Khan had said while addressing a campaign rally in Rampur on Sunday.

The BJP has demanded that the Election Commission should take cognisance of Khan’s “disgraceful and offensive” comments against Jaya Prada, who was twice elected MP from Rampur on Samajwadi Party ticket.

An FIR has been lodged against Azam Khan for the sexist remarks against Jaya Prada.

Khan has also used derogatory language against district magistrate of Rampur Aunaneya Kumar Singh. Recently, Singh got demolished illegal construction in Rampur that were constructed allegedly by Azam Khan.

“I will get cleaned Mayawati ji’s shoes by the DM,” Azam Khan said during campaigning in Rampur.

The Ambedkar Mahasabha and SC Morcha of the BJP is also up in arms against the Samajwadi Party leader.

“At the inauguration ceremony of a Haj House in Ghaziabad in September 2016, Azam Khan had stated that all across Uttar Pradesh there are statues od a person whose finger seems to say that not only does it own the plot on which it is standing, but also the plot towards which it is pointing its fingers,” said Lalji Prasad Nirmal, president of the Ambedkar Mahasabha.

Nirmal is also chairman od the Uttar Pradesh Schedule Caste Finance and Development Corporation.

“ In Rampur, a slum coloney belonging to the Valmik community was encroched by Azam Khan,” alleged Lalji Nirmal.

“We will apprise the Dalit community about anti-dalit statements of Azam Khan,” Nirmal asserted.

On Monday,the Election Commission barred Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adiyanath from campaigning for 72 hours and Mayawati for 48 hours starting tomorrow morning.

The EC’s gag order came after the Supreme Court told the panel that it could not drag its feet and had to act promptly against poll code violations.

The court had given the poll panel time till Tuesday to report on the action taken against the two prominent politicians for their controversial speeches.

“This is the situation after first phase of voting. Things will get worse as polling progresses,” said Prof Kaushal Kishore Mishra, Political Science, Banaras Hindu University[BHU].

It may be pointed out that in a speech at a rally in Saharanpur’d Deoband on April 7, BSP chief Mayawati had appealed to Muslims to vote for the alliance and not divide their vote by supporting another political party.

Two days later, reacting on BSP supremo’s comment at rally in Meerut, UP chief minister Yogi Adiyanath said, “ If the Congress, SP and BSP have faith in Ali’,we have faith in Bajrang Bali’,the followers of Bajrang Bali will not tolerate them.”

This is the scenario in Uttar Pradesh when voting for only first phase in the seven phase election process has taken place for 2019 general elections.