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  India   All India  15 Feb 2017  Note ban is key in phase two of UP Assembly elections

Note ban is key in phase two of UP Assembly elections

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Feb 15, 2017, 1:33 am IST
Updated : Feb 15, 2017, 6:42 am IST

Impact of demonetisation has been greatest in industrial areas of Rampur, Moradabad, Bareilly, Badaun.

Old Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes placed in an order that reads BAN in New Delhi. (Photo: PTI)
 Old Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes placed in an order that reads BAN in New Delhi. (Photo: PTI)

Lucknow: The second phase of polling in the ongoing Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections will be crucial as the impact of demonetisation has been the greatest in this phase and a number of cottage industries have faced the jolt.

The knife industry and embroidery units in Rampur are on the verge of shutting down as demand has dwindled post the ban on high-value currency notes. Brassware in Moradabad, cane-work in Bareilly and the sweet industry of Badaun has also taken a hit.

Union finance minister Arun Jaitley clarified on Tuesday in Lucknow that demonetisation had nothing to do with elections and was a decision taken to clean up the economy.

“After notebandi, the orders started drying up and we have been without work. If this continues, several families will be forced to either migrate of work as labourers,” Rukhsar Bano, who excels in ‘tukdi’ work (a kind of embroidery made with tiny pieces of fabric), said.

The districts that will vote in this phase include Amroha, Moradabad, Rampur, Bareilly, Bijnore and Saharanpur, where, demographically, minority population is above 30 per cent on several seats. Other districts going to polls are Sambhal, Badaun, Shahjahanpur, Pilibhit and Kheri and they also have a sizeable Muslim presence.

The BSP has fielded 26 Muslim candidates, the Congress-SP alliance has given tickets to 25 Muslims. The RLD, too, has 13 candidates from the community. The race for the minority vote has been further made interesting, with 15 such seats, where both the BSP and SP-Congress and, in some cases, the RLD have given tickets to Muslims.

Non-BJP parties are, therefore, trying to make demonetisation a major poll issue in this phase.

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The Congress-SP alliance is confident of improving its tally. Its star campaigners, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and SP president Akhilesh Yadav, have focused their speeches on demonetisation.

In the 2012 Assembly elections, the BJP had won just 10 out of these 67 seats while the SP won 34, BSP 18, and three seats were won by the Congress.

Senior UP minister Mohd. Azam Khan is seeking his ninth term to the state Assembly from Rampur while his son Abdullah Azam is making his political debut from Swar, a seat in Rampur.

While Azam Khan is being challenged by Tanveer Ahmad of BSP, Abdullah Azam faces a veteran in Kazim Ali of BSP. UP minister Mehboob Ali is being challenged by Naushad Engineer of BSP in Amroha.

Former Union minister Jitin Prasada is contesting from Tilhar, a seat in his hometown Shahjahanpur and chief minister Akhilesh Yadav has campaigned for him. He has won seven consecutive terms, and is now poised to record an eighth win from Shahjahanpur.

A total of 107 candidates, who are in the fray for the second phase of elections, have declared criminal cases against themselves, while there are 256 crorepatis, as per a report by the Election Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) that analysed the self-sworn affidavits of candidates from 92 political parties, including 6 national parties.

Tags: arun jaitley, demonetisation, uttar pradesh assembly elections
Location: India, Uttar Pradesh, Lucknow