On October 12, Akhilesh Yadav set the Samajwadi Party campaign rolling for the 2022 Uttar Pradesh assembly polls. The two-day Vijay Rath Yatra, which concludes today, will cover about 65 kilometres from Kanpur southwards to Hamirpur district in the state as well as Jalaun and Kanpur Dehat districts. Gaon Connection followed the red bus in Kanpur to feel the pulse of the crowd.
Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh
It was a sea of red in Kanpur. Red balloons, red caps, a generous sprinkling of red shirts and kurtas and a big red bus carrying Akhilesh Yadav, national president of the Samajwadi Party, and former chief minister of Uttar Pradesh from 2012 to 2017.
Yesterday, October 12, Yadav set the Samajwadi campaign rolling for the 2022 assembly polls, at Kanpur. Speaking into a microphone, the 48-year-old Samajwadi Party chief appealed to the old and young alike for their support.
The two-day Vijay Rath Yatra, which concluded today, covered about 65 kilometres from Kanpur southwards to Hamirpur district in the state as well as Jalaun and Kanpur Dehat districts.
Gaon Connection followed the red bus in Kanpur as it began the first leg of its journey. Subsequently, Yadav will take the yatra across the other districts of the state too. The schedule is yet to be finalised.
In wake of the recent events in Lakhimpur Kheri in the state where recently eight people, including four farmers, were killed in violent clashes, the farmers issue was very much a part of the sloganeering and speeches. Poverty, rise in living expenses, education of girls, protection of women’s rights..etc., came up in Yadav’s campaign speeches.
Gaon Connection spoke with people, including villagers, to understand what the key issues were in the elections this time, hits and misses of the present government, and expectations from the next government.
“Look at how girls and women are being raped and abused in the state. It speaks of the complete lack of any security and safety for us,” Uzma Iqbal Solanki, Samajwadi Party worker, lashed out. “Provide security and protection to women, or it will be these very women who will unseat the ruling party,” she warned.
“Everyone in the state is in distress. Whether it be the student, the farmer, the business person, the youth…,” Anand Bhadauria, a Samajwadi Party leader, told Gaon Connection. “The wheels of this Vijay Rath will stop rolling only when Samajwadi Party comes back to power,” he added.
However, there were those that said they had no problem with the Yogi Adityanath-led government.
“The Yogi-government has ensured a fear-free society. It has curbed violence and rowdyism, and the government machinery is working with utmost honesty and integrity,” Rajesh Kumar Dubey, a shopkeeper in Kanpur, told Gaon Connection. In his opinion, no other government in the state had delivered on its promises as much as the Yogi-sarkar had.
Some preferred to take the middle-of-the-road approach. “This government has taken up several issues. It has delivered on some of the promises it made and not delivered on some others,” Karthik Pandey, a resident of Kanpur, told Gaon Connection.
“Where it has not delivered, the opposition has done a good job of reminding it of its shortcomings,” Pandey said. All governments have their shortcomings, he added.
In between posing on the top of the red bus, for the camera persons, Akhilesh Yadav promised that the Vijay Rath would travel to every corner of the state enlisting the blessings and the support of every citizen of the state.
“Every time the Vijay Rath has set out on its journey, it has brought about positive change in the state,” Yadav said.
Meanwhile, Jasbeer Singh, a local businessman in Kanpur, observed: “Sarkar kissi ki bhi ho, aam aadmi ko sasta saaman milna chahiye, acchi education chahiye. Abhi aam aadmi pissa ja raha hai.” No matter which government comes to power, the common person should get reasonably priced products, good education… Right now the citizen of the state is getting crushed]
Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state, to elect 403 members of the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly are scheduled to be held February-March next year.