BJP President Amit Shah on Saturday released the party’s manifesto for the UP assembly polls in Lucknow, announcing a number of sops in the event his party formed the government after 11 March.
Among the BJP’s election promises were free laptops with 1 GB free data every year, launching metro projects in Lucknow in Lucknow and Noida and free WiFi for all universities.
Both Noida and Lucknow already have functional metro services and more works are already in full swing. Distributing free laptops has been a key scheme launched by Akhilesh Yadav’s government in Uttar Pradesh.
Curiously, he made no commitment for Ram Temple, which the party had made a big poll issue in the past elections.
However, the most notable highlight of his interaction with the press after releasing the manifesto was his what many would term a bizarre definition of dynasty politics. When reminded how the saffron party, despite being historically opposed to dynasty politics, had fielded several direct relatives of the BJP in UP polls, Shah said giving tickets for MLA and MP elections did not amount to promoting dynasty politics.
In response to a question from a reporter, the BJP chief said, “By dynasty I mean that after Mulayam Singh Yadav, Akhilesh Yadav will become chief minister. After Farooq Abdullah, his son becomes the chief minister. After Nehru, Indira ji becomes (the prime minister), after Indira ji, Rajiv bhai becomes (the PM), after Rajiv bhai, Rahul ji becomes (the PM). This is what you call dynasty (politics). To become MLA and MP is not dynasty.”
In June 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had asked voters to choose his development agenda over politics of dynasty and rule of corruption.
Seven months later, when BJP on Sunday released its second list of 155 candidates for UP assembly poll, not one but several relatives of saffron party leaders were awarded tickets. They included Pankaj Singh, son of Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Rita Bahuguna Joshi, sister of Vijay Bahuguna and Mriganka Singh, daughter of BJP MP from Kairana, Hukum Singh.