'Modi's speech in House unmasks BJP's challenges in UP'

'Modi's speech in House unmasks  BJP's challenges in UP'

 Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech in Parliament on Tuesday unmasked the BJP’s real challenges in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh, said party insiders.

Modi’s sharp digs at the Congress, particularly Rahul Gandhi, came as the alliance crafted by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi is set for a take-off.

The two leaders sounded the poll bugle by addressing a joint press conference first, and then having joint rallies throughout the week.

“A victory for Akhilesh-Rahul would be the beginning of the end of Modi,” is the cry of cadres of both the parties that have made “Stop BJP in Uttar Pradesh” as their main campaign plank.

On Tuesday, too, Akhilesh and Rahul held a joint rally at Nauchandi ground in Meerut and appealed to the people to bring the alliance to power “to check communal forces”. They slammed Modi’s decision to demonetise old notes.

Even though the BJP strategists factored the SP-Congress alliance into account, they appear to be taken aback by the growing chemistry between Akhilesh and Rahul.

Adding to the BJP’s worry is what insiders call the “larger than expected” resentment over ticket distribution.

Speaking in the Lok Sabha, Modi chose each subject that the BJP’s main rivals raised in the campaign as he sought to turn the tables on the Opposition. Repeating what he did during the campaign for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, Modi recounted the 2G spectrum and coal block allocation scams among other corruption cases.

In response, the Congress said the prime minister was addicted to one-liners, acronyms and ‘jumlas’. “He cannot get rid of this addiction. He trivialises mild words in English. He trivialises a natural calamity like an earthquake,” Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said.

The first of the seven-phase polling in Uttar Pradesh will be held on February 11.

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