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  India   Parties in UP in a tizzy, change election strategy

Parties in UP in a tizzy, change election strategy

Published : Nov 10, 2016, 2:19 am IST
Updated : Nov 10, 2016, 2:19 am IST

Hours after the demonetisation of 1,000 and 500 rupee notes by the Modi government, political parties in Uttar Pradesh are planning a change in strategy for the upcoming Assembly elections.

Hours after the demonetisation of 1,000 and 500 rupee notes by the Modi government, political parties in Uttar Pradesh are planning a change in strategy for the upcoming Assembly elections.

The SP and BSP will apparently be the worst hit by the demonetisation move as they were preparing for the elections “in a big way”.

Political leaders, cutting across party lines, admitted — albeit, on condition of anonymity — that the demonetisation would have an adverse impact on campaigning.

Chief minister Akhilesh Yadav said the decision could have been taken because of the UP elections. Parties have apparently been stashing up black money for election expenses, which they obviously can’t use now. The losses will be huge but no one is ready to comment on it.

“Elections can’t be contested on the strength of white money alone and the BJP candidates also realise this but are too afraid to speak. Every party, every candidate spends beyond the permissible limit, which is invariably black money. Let us see how the BJP runs its campaign only on white money this time ” said a SP candidate.

Non-BJP parties see this as a shrewd ploy by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to corner his rivals on black money. “This has been done to blunt the attack by the Opposition on the Modi government’s failure to bring back black money stashed abroad. Anyone now opposing the move will be seen as supporting black money. The move has been perfectly timed to derive political mileage in the upcoming state elections, particularly UP,” said a SP minister.

The non-BJP parties will now highlight the inconvenience caused by the sudden decision to the common man, particularly small traders, farmers and people living in rural areas.

UPCC president Raj Babbar said, “Farmers and people in rural areas are not bank savvy and tend to keep cash in their homes. Farmers have just made their earnings with the paddy crop. The marriage season is on and the common man is facing huge inconvenience. This is evident from the panic prevailing in the country.”

He clarified that while the Congress supported the move to curb black money, the government should have taken measures to ensure the common man does not face inconvenience.

A BSP functionary said the move to demonetise higher currency notes and then the closure order of banks and ATMs is designed to trouble the downtrodden sections of society, mainly labourers, who depend on daily wage earnings.

“Today itself, more than 70 per cent labourers did not get employment because people did not have 100 rupee notes to pay them wages. Work on construction sites is stopped and this will continue for almost a week. A large number of people will go without meals. This is an anti-dalit move,” said a party functionary.

Location: India, Uttar Pradesh, Lucknow