Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Poster war in Lucknow ahead of PM Modi’s Dussehra visit

Hours ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s arrival at Lucknow’s Aishbagh Ramlila grounds, where he is expected to deliver a speech on Vijayadashami, a series of posters hailing the Indian Army’s surgical strike across the Line of Control came up outside the venue on Tuesday. 

 The opposition has attacked the Bharatiya Janata Party for trying to leverage the military action in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh after the appearance of the BJP’s posters featuring its top brass and a silhouette of a soldier.

Some politicians, including those of the Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party and the Congress have also targeted Modi’s visit to Lucknow but BJP vice-president Dinesh Sharma - who is also the patron of the Aishbagh Ramlila committee - denied any political linkage to his trip.

The BJP feels that political rivals, wary of the fact that the surgical strikes would impact political discourse in poll-bound states, are busy insinuating motives to everything the PM does.

The posters apparently plastered by BJP supporters seem to have come up as an answer to those put up local Congress leaders targeting the PM and party chief Amit Shah in several parts of the state.

Posters welcoming Prime Minister Narendra Modi and home minister Rajnath Singh have been put up near the Ramlila grounds.

In one of the posters that read ‘Lucknow welcomes the avengers of Uri’, PM Modi is shown wearing a hat with Union home minister Rajnath Singh standing by his side. 

A case was registered against a local Congress leader Prabhakar Singh Chauhan, the district chief of the party’s public grievances cell, in Sitapur couple of days back for an objectionable poster that referred to the PM as ‘Shaheedon Ka Hatyara (Murderer of martyrs).’ 

The poster kicked up a row and local residents, who were angry at the PM being addressed in a derogatory way, defaced it.

This was followed by another poster that surfaced on a social networking site showing Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi as Ram and Shah as Ravana. Titled ‘Surgical Strike’, it was attributed to Allahabad-based Congress leader Haseeb Ahmad and his colleague SC Dubey.

The Congress has distanced itself from both the posters.

The BJP, which recently held statewide protests against Gandhi’s ‘khoon ki dalali’ remark aimed at the PM, has also targeted UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav whom it has accused of supporting Gandhi’s ‘khoon ki dalali’ remark.

“The UP CM’s backing of Rahul Gandhi’s remark exposes both the leaders and their parties. The country would never forgive those who raise doubts over the army,” state BJP chief Keshav Prasad Maurya said.
UP Congress leader Hilal Naqvi hit back, saying that his party wasn’t against the army.

“We are proud of the army. But we are against the BJP and PM’s attempt to draw political mileage out of the army action. We stand by ‘khoon ki dalali’ remark of our leader as this is what the BJP top leadership was doing,” Naqvi said.

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