Jalaun's Political Battle: BJP Banks on Yogi's Governance for Third Term

Jalaun's transformation from a dacoit-ridden region to a symbol of BJP's governance and law-and-order under Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath sets the stage for a heated political contest. While BJP eyes a third successive term, opposition parties challenge its claims, accusing it of hiding failures.

PTI | Jalaun(Up) | Updated: 18-05-2024 18:41 IST | Created: 18-05-2024 18:41 IST
Jalaun's Political Battle: BJP Banks on Yogi's Governance for Third Term
  • Country:
  • India

Ram Babu Nishad looks back to a time when locals would avoid even attending weddings in the night. ''Pata nahi hota tha ghar sahi salamat lautenge ki nahi,'' he says.

Once infamous as a haven for dacoits and mafia, the BJP is banking on Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's law-and-order and development pitch to secure a third consecutive victory from the Jalaun Lok Sabha seat.

The opposition, however, has been accusing the BJP of lying over its claims.

A Samajwadi Party leader says the BJP is spreading ''lies'' about the party patronising goons while governing the state and lauded its chief Akhilesh Yadav who, he said, ''is always ready to solve people's problems''.

During a recent poll rally in the constituency, Adityanath said, ''Jalaun serves as a gateway to Bundelkhand. What was its condition a decade ago? The Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party and the Congress surrendered Bundelkhand to the mafia, depleting its resources and pushing the region into chaos. Development was hindered, leading to youngsters migrating, farmers killing themselves, and even industrialists and women living in fear.'' According to some locals and BJP leaders, the region -- that includes ''bandit queen'' Phoolan Devi's native Khedpur Gudha village -- shivered from the fear of dacoits during governments led by the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party. People used to carry arms to protect themselves from criminals.

Nishad and others of the Kalpi assembly segment say such was the fear of dacoits during the Samajwadi Party's government that people dared not venture outside after evening.

The Adityanath government has given ''kitab aur kalam (books and pens)'' to youngsters to build their futures, says Ram Dayal of Kalpi.

Hardeo Singh of Urkara Kala village and Mahendra Singh of Satrahju village echoed similar views.

Banking on the ''Modi-Yogi'' factor, the BJP is confident of winning the elections from the reserved Jalaun seat.

It has fielded Bhanu Pratap Verma, who is seeking a third consecutive term in the Lok Sabha. Hoping to break his stranglehold on the seat, the Samajwadi Party has fielded Narayan Das while the Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party has nominated Suresh Chandra Gautam.

Jalaun, located in the Bundelkhand region, goes to the polls on May 20.

Besides making people aware of the advantages of a double-engine government, the saffron party leaders are highlighting the ''dark days'' of the Samajwadi Party rule.

''Now, there is no fear of any goons or mafia … People can stay out even late in the night,'' says Surya Naik, a district leader of the BJP's Kisan Morcha.

Narendra Singh Yadav, a BJP ex-MLA, dismissed any notion of the Samajwadi Party posing a challenge and said people regale in the development work and law and order situation in the area now. Asked about locals complaining that he was not available to them, Union Minister of State Verma told PTI, ''The constituency is vast. Hence, it becomes difficult to go to every village. But I am sensitive towards the problems and try to solve those.'' Campaigning in Jalaun earlier this week, Adityanath trained his guns on Congress and Samajwadi Party leaders, drawing a parallel between the current election and the Mahabharata while portraying Prime Minister Modi as Krishna and the opposition as Duryodhana and Dushasana.

''On one side are those who betray Lord Ram, who fired at Ram devotees, praise Pakistan. Against these Duryodhana and Dushasana of this Mahabharata, Prime Minister Modi has assumed the role of Krishna, guiding the BJP,'' Adityanath said.

Throughout history, those opposing Lord Ram have faced defeat, he said.

''They (opposition) only care about their own families. They are unconcerned about the country, faith, the poor, farmers or women. Their only concern is their family. In contrast, for Modi ji, India's 140 crore people are his family,'' the chief minister said.

He also claimed that attacks on Ram devotees were common during the Congress and the Samajwadi Party regimes.

''Now, we can proudly say Ram Lalla is in a grand temple for which countless Hindus sacrificed their lives,'' he said.

The opposition parties, however, dismissed the BJP's claims of improving law and order and bringing development in the area. Deep Raj Singh Gujjar, the Samajwadi Party's Jalaun district president, said, ''Blaming the Samajwadi Party on law and order is a political ploy by the BJP to hide its own failure on 'kanun vyavastha'. Criminal incidents are rampant today.'' Local Bahujan Samaj Party leaders asserted that it will be wrong to underestimate the party.

''Weaker sections of society got a voice during Mayawati's tenure as Uttar Pradesh chief minister. People have seen it and that's why they are silently supporting us,'' said a district unit leader of the party.

One local reposed his faith in the double-engine government -- a term used by BJP leaders when their party is in power both in the state and at the Centre -- for the area's development.

''We have faith in the double-engine government of Narendra Modi at the Centre and Yogi Adityanath in Uttar Pradesh for development,'' says Devendra Sharma.

Israr Ahmad, who runs a dhaba along the national highway in Kalpi, says, ''There is no fear of running the outlet even late in the night …'' ''Nobody can dare disturb peace in the regime of ''Bulldozer Baba,'' he adds, using an epithet used for Adityanath. The constituency covers five assembly segments in the Jalaun, Kanpur Dehat and Jhansi districts.

The incumbent MP Verma has served five times in the Lok Sabha, securing victories in 1996, 1998, 2004, 2014 and 2019.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Give Feedback