UP Assembly Election 2022 Phase 1 Voting Live Updates, Live Voting UP Elections 2022 Phase 1

Government workers collect EVM machines and election materials a day before the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, in Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday. (Express photo by Praveen Khanna)

Canvassing for the first phase was limited to virtual support due to a ban on road shows and physical gatherings in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

As Prime Minister Narendra Modi spearheaded the BJP campaign, arguing for a dual-engine government for rapid development, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath attempted to shed light on the alleged “exodus” of Hindus from Kairana before 2017.

The SP-RLD alliance, on the other hand, focused its election campaign on farmers’ issues and attacked Adityanath on poll promises.

BSP leader Mayawati, who started her campaign late, reminded people of her government’s law and order track record in the past. The Congress under its Secretary General Priyanka Gandhi has generated interest as seen in door-to-door campaigns.

A bank of 12,000,000 votes: why the parties talk about old pension and new pension

One scheme that keeps coming up in Uttar Pradesh election discourse and has been mentioned in Samajwadi Party and Congress manifestos is the government employee pension.

Akhilesh Yadav announced last month that if the SP formed government, he would restore an “old pension scheme” from before 2005 (the SP was in power at the time, led by Mulayam Singh Yadav). Six days later, UP Chief Secretary Durga Shanker Mishra held a review with officials and issued a statement detailing how the “new pension scheme” was more beneficial. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath then attacked Akhilesh, saying the “new pension scheme” was in fact authorized in 2005 under Mulayam and remained in cold storage.

On Wednesday, Congress stepped into the game, with its manifesto promising a “halfway” solution. Whatever scheme is finally applied, the beneficiaries would be those retiring around 2030-35, since it would apply to those hired after 2004. However, in the short term, all parties have their eyes on the 12 lakh government employees and their families.

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