UP elections: SP-Cong alliance calls Modi, Shah 'baharwale' in campaign

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A day after Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav kick-started his campaign, the SP-Congress alliance is ready with its joint pitch against the Bharatiya Janata Party and Narendra Modi in particular. The alliance will pitch Akhilesh Yadav and All India Congress Committee vice president Rahul Gandhi as 'UP ki ladke' (the UP boys) against 'baharwale' (outsiders) Narendra Modi and Amit Shah in their joint campaigns.

SP-Cong call Modi, Shah 'baharwale'

Rahul Gandhi has held his parliament seat from Amethi for over a decade, while Akhilesh Yadav drove SP to victory in Uttar Pradesh assembly polls in 2012. Their alliance is now all set to project this familiarity that the leaders share with the voters of Uttar Pradesh as their strength as against a Narendra Modi and Amit Shah who are 'outsiders' to the state. While Priyanka Gandhi and Dimple Yadav will have a key role to play in the campaigns, Rahul Gandhi and Akhilesh will jointly don the image of boys next door that people will easily connect with. The alliance is attempting to make a 'apne ladke' perception on the voters.

Given the favourable results to the BJP in most exit polls, the alliance's primary focus becomes discrediting the BJP and this pitch is aimed at the same. The 'baharwale' jibe is not new to Modi who was taunted on similar lines when he contested from Varanasi in the 2013 parliamentary polls that brought him a thumping victory.

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