The Election Commission has banned physical rallies in all five States that are going to polls next month
With the Election Commission putting a moratorium on holding public rallies and gatherings in view of spurt in coronavirus cases, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday launched its door-to-door campaign to reach out to voters across the Uttar Pradesh.
Starting the campaign in the state capital Lucknow, U.P. BJP chief Swatantra Dev Singh knocked doors of houses in Ballu Adda area and pasted stickers outside the homes and also applied ’tilak’ on the forehead of some house owners.
One of the BJP’s sticker reads ‘Poore hui aas, ghar ghar huaa vikaas’ (aspirations have been fulfilled, development has reached to houses).
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While announcing a complete no to holding of physical rallies and other forms of public gatherings like Nukkad Sabha till January 15 in the five States going to polls, the EC on Saturday had permitted door-to-door campaigns with not more than five persons at a time.
"As per the guidelines of the Election Commission, the BJP is reaching to the beneficiaries of various schemes of the Centre and State governments. We are giving our report card to the public, and taking suggestions from them as well. This is the first government, which is going door-to-door," Mr. Singh told reporters.
He added that the party has sought the blessings of the public through the Jan Vishvas Yatra.
U.P. BJP spokesman Rakesh Tripathi said that several party MPs and ministers participated in the programme in all 403 assembly seats different parts of the State. With the ban on physical rallies, the BJP, making all efforts to retain the power in the politically significant Hindi heartland, has deployed its foot soldiers across the State to maintain momentum of reaching out to the voters. On Monday, the U.P. BJP chief Mr. Singh had said that under this campaign, party leaders and workers will reach out to people following the COVID-19 protocol and will inform people about the work done by the Centre and State governments for farmers, workers, women and youths.
The party intends to reach out to every household falling under all 92,821 polling centers comprising 1,74,351 polling booths in the State.
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"BJP workers and leaders will reach in groups of four to five persons every house falling under 1.74 lakh polling booths within all 403 assembly segments while adhering to the Covid protocol," he said.
The campaigner will reach out to voters, including women and beneficiaries of different schemes, he said.
The BJP’s door-to-door campaign drew sharp criticism from the rivals.
Samajwadi Party MLC Sunil Singh Yadav criticised the BJP for "putting the lives of people at risk" amid COVID surge.
"Yesterday (BJP in-charge of U.P.) Radha Mohan Singh held an election meeting with all the office bearers of the BJP including Chief Minister, Deputy Chief Ministers, State president, leaders and ministers. Today, he has tested positive for COVID-19. Leaders, who were present in the meeting instead of isolating themselves, are engaged in public outreach, and are putting the lives of people at risk," Mr. Yadav said in a tweet in Hindi. He further alleged that "the BJP is spreading coronavirus by doing door-to-door campaigns (ghar ghar corona baat rahe hain)."
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U.P. Congress spokesperson Ashok Singh told PTI that the BJP is going house-to-house to placate the voters, who have become angry at the government, which has failed on all fronts.
The voting in the U.P. will be held in seven-phases with the first phase polling on February 10 and the notification for which will be issued on January 14.
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