Azamgarh: With just two days left for the campaigning in Azamgarh to end, a war of words between the contesting parties is intensifying every hour.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, on Sunday, blasted the Samajwadi Party for "betraying" the people of Azamgarh and ensuring that the area remains undeveloped.
"You have sent two former chief ministers to Lok Sabha but they left you without a word. Did they come to you during Covid pandemic? We have given Azamgarh a new identity. You have lived for long with an identity that gave you nothing to be proud of. I promise development if you promise to vote for BJP," he said.
A day ago, on Saturday, UP BJP chief and Jal Shakti minister Swatantra Dev Singh drew religious analogy.
Since Azamgarh has a sizeable population of Rajbhars, mostly considered loyal to Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party (SBSP) whose chief Om Prakash Rajbhar has been pitching for the SP here, Swatantra Dev began his campaign by invoking "Maharaja Suheldev" before referring to sage Durvasa.
"Azamgarh used to be the place where sage Durvasa prayed. Azamgarh may have given chief ministers, it may have sent Lok Sabha MPs, but the district's identity took a severe hit. Under the guidance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and leadership of chief minister Yogi Adityanath, Azamgarh is well on way to becoming Aryamgarh," he said.
UP minister A K Sharma termed the by-election as a 'dharma yuddh'. The Samajwadi Party that is fighting to retain the seat that was vacated by its president Akhilesh Yadav, is also leaving no stone unturned to ensure its victory.
SP leader Mohammad Azam Khan, in his campaign, has been lashing out at the BJP.
"I have been watching what has been unfolding in the country over the past three-four days. Trains and buses have been set on fire, and police vans, government property vandalised across states in protests against the Agnipath scheme. I am waiting to see what action the government will take. How many posters of offenders will be put up and if damages will be recovered from them? The government has been targeting the weak," said Khan at a rally.
Azam Khan said he suffered atrocities and injustice with patience.
"I was in jail for 27 months. If I think of taking revenge, it will only cause further harm to our community. Hence, I have decided to tolerate everything," he said and asked people to vote for SP candidate Dharmendra Yadav.
The BSP candidate Shah Alam a.k.a Guddu Jamali also lashed out at SP. "Samajwadi Party wants the minority community to vote for them but does not share power with us. The SP does not want any Muslim leader to emerge, they want us to be their servants," he said.
Jamali has been underlining the fact that his home is in Azamgarh while Dharmendra Yadav will fly off to Etawah-Mainpuri and Nirahua will go back to Mumbai.
"My association with Azamgarh and with you people will end only when you carry me to the burial ground," said Jamali.
BJP candidate Dinesh Yadav Nirahua has been relying on star power, songs and slogans to take pots-shots at opposition leaders.
Bhojpuri film stars and BJP leaders Manoj Tiwari and Ravi Kishan have campaigned for Nirahua over the past three days while Amrapali Dubey, Sanjay Pandey, Pravesh Lal, Manoj Tiger have also been seeking votes for him.
Surprisingly, Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati have not yet campaigned for their party candidates. —IANS