Uttar Pradesh chief minister and star campaigner of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Yogi Adityanath, has emerged the only ‘centurion’ in terms of the number of rallies addressed during the 2019 Lok Sabha polls across party lines in the state.
By the time the hectic campaigning for the polls came to a close on Friday for the 7th and final phase of polling to be held tomorrow, Adityanath had already addressed nearly 137 public meetings in UP, which is more than the combined rallies addressed by the top leaders of the opposition camps -- Congress, Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).
While, Congress president Rahul Gandhi addressed about 20 rallies/roadshows in UP, his sister and the party’s general secretary for Eastern UP held 40 public meetings, apart from roadshows. Congress is contesting 70 of the total 80 parliamentary seats in the state, leaving the remaining 10 constituencies for other parties.
SP president Akhilesh Yadav addressed more than 50 rallies, while BSP president Mayawati held nearly 25 public meetings. However, the leaders of the two parties, which have tied up for the pre-poll alliance in UP, had also addressed 21 joint rallies in the state, some of which also featured their partner Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) president Ajit Singh and his son Jayant Chaudhary.
Meanwhile, Narendra Modi and party president Amit Shah also paid ample attention to the country’s most populous and politically significant state during electioneering. Modi addressed 29 rallies apart from a roadshow in his parliamentary constituency of Varanasi, from where he is seeking re-election.
Shah held 28 rallies and two roadshows across the state, including Lucknow, from where union home minister Rajnath Singh is contesting for the second time.
Adityanath not only addressed 137 rallies in UP, but was actively involved in canvassing for the party candidates in other states, where he was the star campaigner in 26 public meetings, thus taking his total count to more than 160 pan-India during these general elections alone.
In all, the saffron party organised nearly 480 rallies in 403 assembly constituencies to galvanise electorate in its favour and apprise people of the purported goods works done by the Modi government at the Centre.
During the course of elections, Adityanath, Mayawati and union minister Menaka Gandhi, seeking election from Sultanpur, were even barred from electioneering by the Election Commission over their alleged controversial statements.
SP leader and candidate from Rampur constituency Mohd Azam Khan was barred from electioneering twice over his alleged hate speeches.
Tomorrow, polling would be held across 13 Eastern UP constituencies, including Varanasi, Gorakhpur, Maharajganj, Kushinagar, Deoria, Bansgaon, Ghosi, Salempur, Ballia, Ghazipur, Chandauli, Mirzapur and Robertsganj. Prominent contestants in the fray include Modi, Bhojpuri cinema superstar Ravi Kishan (Gorakhpur), union minister of state for railways Manoj Sinha (Ghazipur) etc.