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UP: Parties search for poll planks

September 17, 2006 20:01 IST

With Assembly elections looming large, political parties in Uttar Pradesh are searching for substantial issues they can make use of as poll planks.

The ruling Samajwadi Party is likely to highlight development and what the party claims are the government's welfare measures 'for all sections of society'.

"Our government has taken steps for every section of the society, irrespective of the caste and creed," state SP unit president Ram Saran Das told PTI. He listed unemployment allowance, Kanya Vidya Dhan scheme and the proposed distribution of sarees among poor women as some of the welfare schemes of his government during its three-year regime.

The SP will also claim that a record number of proposals for setting up new units in the state had been received during its term. The Reliance power project at Dadri, a new power plant at Sonebhadra and Birlas' proposed power project at Rauza were certain to make the state power surplus, Das said.

Also, for the first time the dues of sugarcane farmers have been paid in full, Das claimed, adding that several new sugar mills had come up in the state during the past couple of years. The SP would try and deflect the criticism on the law and order front by flaunting its report card on the industrial front, party sources said.

The BJP, which is plagued by desertions in its rank during the last three years, was once again likely to raise the Ram Temple issue, going by the hints dropped at its recent national executive meet at Dehra Dun.

Top party leaders, including L K Advani, Rajnath Singh and others would launch the party's election campaign from the temple town of Ayodhya after paying obeisance at the makeshift Ram temple on September 26.

The state party leadership was hard-pressed to explain that the Ram temple was not an election issue, saying it was attached with the sentiments of all the Hindus.

BJP spokesman H N Dixit said his party would raise the 'pathetic law and order situation, lack of development and failure of the SP government on all fronts'.

The BSP would also like to highlight 'lack of development' in the state, but would focus mainly on alleged 'discrimination against the Dalits by the SP-led government', party sources said.

The Congress, which is extending outside support to the Mulayam Singh Yadav government, claimed there was no dearth of issues, law and order being at the top, and it would make all-out attempts to 'expose the alleged corruption and scams during the SP rule'.

The new entrant into the scene, former prime minister V P Singh-led Jan Morcha, would focus its attention mainly on the alleged plight of farmers in the state. The Morcha would tell the electorate how the state government had 'grabbed the lands of farmers and sold them to industrial houses at throwaway prices', its spokesman Ramashish Rai told PTI.

Sanjay Pandey in Lucknow
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