In UP 2022, it's back to Mandal vs Kamandal
Hindustan Times Delhi|January 17, 2022
The battle for Uttar Pradesh (UP) has thrown up unforeseen twists and turns. The coalition led by Samajwadi Party (SP) leader, Akhilesh Yadav, has now taken on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) head on, and brings back to mind the old Mandal versus Kamandal battle.
Shashi Shekhar

Chief Minister (CM), Yogi Adityanath, contesting from Gorakhpur, is trying to propagate the message that the saffron party should be given credit for the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya. Earlier, deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya added to the BJP's religio-political mix by raising the issue of Mathura. Later, the CM joined in asking whether Mathura could be left out if a grand temple could be built in Ayodhya and the Vishwanath corridor in Kashi was opened by Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi himself. The message is clear, the BJP is going into the election on a plank largely comprising religion and development.

Official figures show that to date 4.3 million poor people have been given houses in UP; 150 million are getting five kg extra food grain per unit per month. The BJP has promised 450,000 full-time jobs and 350,000 contractual jobs; 2.5 million people have also been given jobs under the One District One Product scheme. Under the Saubhagya scheme, 14.1 million houses have been given free electricity connections and 16.7 million have got free gas connections. The state government claims that arrears of 21.5 lakh crore have been paid to sugarcane farmers so far.

But is this enough?

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