Taliban to Ram Mandir: Yogi's poll campaign against SP
As Assembly elections are drawing near in Uttar Pradesh, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and the Bharatiya Janata Party are pitching religion as the key electoral plank to corner its main rival, Samajwadi Party. Three major themes around which the saffron party will be campaigning are—raising the issue of national security highlighting the Taliban, countering Muslim appeasement, and consolidation of Hindus through the Ram Temple.
The BJP is reportedly trying to weave a narrative equating the SP with the Taliban. This was fuelled after SP MP Shafiqur Rahman Barq equated the Taliban coming to power in Afghanistan to India's freedom struggle. Taking a cue, CM Yogi asked a crowd on Sunday, "Would people who support the Taliban had ever allowed for a law against the Triple Talaq to come?"
'SP stands for regressive mindset as the Taliban'
On the subject of the BJP's Taliban strategy against the SP, a senior UP BJP leader told CNN-News18, "We are trying to highlight that the Samajwadi Party stands for such a regressive mindset as the Taliban."
Ram Temple: An attempt to consolidate Hindu vote bank
In a bid to consolidate the Hindu vote bank, Adityanath has repeatedly invoked the ongoing Ram Temple construction work in Ayodhya. The CM had also attacked the SP over the firing incident at Kar Sevak in Ayodhya when SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav was a CM of the state. "Would people who opened fire on Ram Sevaks build the Ram Temple?" CM asked.
Temple politics running high in UP
As the election draws near, the politics surrounding the Ram Temple has become a major flashpoint. The BJP is trying to give the impression that the pace of the ongoing Ram Mandir construction would suffer under any other government. Meanwhile, Adityanath has also attacked SP's Akhilesh Yadav, saying that the latter never visited temples earlier as he feared offending the Muslim vote bank.
'Abbajaan': A campaign to target SP's Muslim appeasement
Reportedly, another high-voltage campaign on the BJP's focus is 'Abbajaan.' The campaign aims to highlight purported Muslim appeasement by the SP. On this front, Adityanath has alleged that the SP government tried to drop cases against terrorists backed by Pakistan who committed terror acts in UP. The campaign was bolstered further after muscleman Mukhtar's Ansari's eldest brother Sabatuddin Ansari joined the SP last week.
BJP came to power in UP in 2017 after decades
The BJP came to power in UP in 2017 after a gap of over two decades. While the saffron party's key Hindutva campaign on Ram Temple is centered around UP's Ayodhya, it had suffered major setbacks due to the rise of caste-based Mandal politics. This time the state is likely to witness a three-corner fight between the BJP, the SP, and the BSP.