Amit Shah cancels campaign in Deoband due to huge crowds amid Covid; Sidhu says Majithia was my driver
Union Home Minister Amit Shah will visit Deoband in Uttar Pradesh today ahead of Assembly elections in the state. The visit is significant as the constituency has often been considered the “center of minority politics”, won by the BJP in 2017. The constituency known for the famous Islamic seminary Darool ulum Deoband has around 3 lakh voters. About 1.25 lakh are Muslims. Among the Hindus, there is a strong presence of Gurjar and other OBC sections, minus the Jats. Deoband is one of the 7 constituencies of Saharanpur in western UP. In 2017, the BJP won 4 of those 7 seats, including Deoband. Two were won by Congress and one by SP. For the BJP, which is facing the “Jat challenge” in other parts of western UP like Muzzafarnagar, Shamli and Bagpat, Saharanpur therefore holds great significance. Through Shah, the BJP not only hopes to retain the seat of Deoband but will also aim to influence neighboring constituencies. Prior to 2017, the BJP only won the Deoband in 1996.
BJP National Chairman JP Nadda on Friday targeted Samajwadi party leader Akhilesh Yadav asking why he remembers the person responsible for partitioning India and not the one who united the country. Nadda made the remark while apparently referring to Yadav’s statement about Pakistani founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah, whom he seemed to equate with Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Patel at an event in October last year. .
Earlier in the day, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath called Yadav and his party “worshippers of Jinnah”. Nadda and Adityanath’s remarks come a day after BJP leader and defense minister Rajnath Singh said the issue of farmers’ sugarcane should be raised in the election and not the Pakistani leader’s name. Addressing a poll here, Nadda asked why Yadav remembers the person responsible for partitioning India.
“Why doesn’t he remember Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the one who united the country,” he asked. Attacking the Samajwadi party, Nadda said the previous PS government had failed to address the law and order issue in the state. “Women were not safe under their government. Law and order was very poor. Today either the mafia surrenders or they go to jail or they leave Uttar Pradesh,” he said.
Nadda also accused Yadav of giving tickets to criminals for the upcoming UP Assembly elections. “What is the constraint of Akhilesh Yadav to make criminals his candidate? This is done to keep the friendship intact. You might be friends, why should UP people be friends (with you),” he said. Nadda said that under the previous SP regime only one family flourished, apparently referring to the Yadav family.
“But, under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, development is taking place on the basis of ‘sabka saath, sabka vikas and sabka vishwas’,” he said. Nadda also said that the SP never sought votes based on performance. “They make new promises every time in every election, but the BJP advances on the basis of a ballot. Only the BJP does what it promises. The other parties make false promises. The Prime Minister has changed the working culture of the country,” he said.
Mounting an attack on the SP, the BJP leader said, “In the SP government, the land mafia used to seize government land, forcibly occupy houses and dislodge the poor from Their houses. But in our government, the mafia has surrendered. Later, speaking to Bareilly, Nadda said, “Whether it’s SP, BSP or Congress, they’re all part of one family. They only benefited their families. For the BJP, family is the party. Our focus is ‘sabka saath, sabka vikaas, sabka vishvaas and sabka prieas’.
Meanwhile, the North Goa district administration on Friday banned all physical gatherings, roadshows and padyatras until January 31 to contain the spread of Covid-19 in the coastal state.
An order issued by North Goa District Magistrate Ajit Roy on Friday said that “no physical gatherings of political parties and candidates (including probable groups or any other election-related groups) will be permitted before 31 January. /gatherings and processions of vehicles are authorized until January 31”.
“Door-to-door campaigning is permitted for a maximum of 10 people, including candidates (excluding security personnel), and political parties, candidates and party employees must ensure compliance with the appropriate Covid behavior,” the order adds.
Goa saw a sharp rise in Covid-related deaths on Friday with 20 people dying in the past 24 hours. As many as 1,322 new Covid cases have been reported in Goa in the past 24 hours, bringing the state’s active case count to 11,903.
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