Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday launched the BJP's campaign in western Uttar Pradesh, saying his government had shown the courage to conduct a surgical strike in all spheres -- land, sky and space. The contest is between a "a decisive government and an indecisive past", Modi said in his address to a rally in this western Uttar Pradesh town a day after announcing that India had demonstrated anti-satellite missile capability by shooting down a live satellite.
On the one side there is a strong 'chowkidar', on the other, a line of tainted people, the prime minister said. "India has made up its mind who to vote for," he told the rally. "I will give an account of my work, but at the same time seek an account from my opponents... a 'chowkidar' does no injustice," he said. Modi began his speech by paying tribute to Choudhary Charan Singh, former prime minister and father of RLD leader Ajit Singh who has aligned with the BSP and the SP in this election.
Uttar Pradesh – the politically-sensitive state which sends 80 members to the Lok Sabha – will go to polls in seven phases starting April 11, the Election Commission announced on March 10. Voting in Uttar Pradesh will be held on April 11, April 18, April 23, April 29, May 6, May 12 and May 19. The counting of votes will take place on May 23. The high-voltage elections in the state will see Congress chief Rahul Gandhi contesting from Amethi and Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Varanasi. Meanwhile, putting rumours of retirement to rest, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi will be contesting from Rae Bareli.
The date sheet shows Varanasi constituency voting last on May 19 while a number of high-profile seats, including Amethi and Rae Bareli, will vote on May 6. Voting in Lucknow, which elected Home Minister Rajnath Singh in 2014, would also vote on May 6 and so will be the case for another high-profile union minister Ram Vilas Paswan's Hajipur constituency.