Besides the Narendra Modi factor, toilets and houses are key reasons why the Bharatiya Janata Party believed it will do well in India’s most populous state.
The icing on the cake is Union leader Smriti Irani winning against Congress president Rahul Gandhi in Amethi by a margin of 55,000 seats.
ET spoke to key people of the PM’s team, who spoke on condition of anonymity, to piece together the strategy that led to this big win.
Irani has achieved what stalwarts such as Kanshi Ram, Sharad Yadav and Rajmohan Gandhi could not—all of them have lost from Amethi in the past.
The Narendra Modi factor seems to have trumped other factors like caste.
The big push was however clearly in Eastern Uttar Pradesh where Modi did 18 rallies in last three phases compared to only 11 in Western UP in first 4 phases.
Also, the two leading contestants here are no strangers to the voters in this reserved seat, where the BSP is desperate to shed its no-win record.
Outside Amethi and Rae Bareli Congress has ‘islands of hope’ in Mirzapur, Kushinagar and Maharajganj.
BSP supremo Mayawati has sent state party chief RS Kushwaha to contest against the BJP’s sitting MP, Ravinder Kushwaha, the son of four-time MP, HKP Kushwaha.
Varanasi is set to witness a major campaign clash with Congress planning a big road show by Priyanka Gandhi here on Wednesday; a joint rally by Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav a day later.
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