Akhilesh Yadav Demands Funds For Digital Rallies From Election Commission

Akhilesh Yadav

New Delhi: Samajwadi Party Chief Akhilesh Yadav has demanded funds from the Election Commission, for conducting digital rallies and to compete with BJP hours before Election Commission announced the Assembly Elections dates. The Election Commission in the press conference on January 8 asked the political parties to conduct digital rallies to avoid the spread of Covid. Akhilesh Yadav for digital infrastructure to ensure a level-playing field for all political parties in the upcoming Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections.

"The BJP has had a digital infrastructure for a long time, unlike other political parties," Yadav said at a press conference in Lucknow. "We will request the Election Commission to strengthen the digital platforms of other parties so that they can come in a position to compete with BJP. In case there is a need for digital rallies, we need to ensure that other parties are also having good digital infrastructure."

At a press conference later on Saturday, Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra advised political parties to conduct campaigns virtually and said no rallies or roadshows will be allowed till January 15. He said that the poll panel will review about rallies and roadshows based on the coronavirus situation.

At Uttar Pradesh the situation for Bhartiya Janta Party is quite critical, as the party is facing competition from Samajwadi Party. The UP polls are also an indicator of how the BJP might perform in the 2024 general election; the state sends 80 MPs to the Lok Sabha - the most of any.

The elections to 403-seat Uttar Pradesh Assembly will be held in seven phases on February 10, February 14, February 20, February 23, February 27, March 3 and March 7. The votes will be counted on March 10.

The Samajwadi Party has already announced an alliance with the Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (Lohia), which is headed by Yadav's uncle Shivpal Yadav, for the upcoming Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections. In the past few months, Akhilesh Yadav has announced alliances with several other regional parties as well. These include the Om Prakash Rajbhar-led Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party, the Jayant Singh Chaudhary-led Rashtriya Lok Dal, the Mahan Dal and the Janwadi Party (Socialist).

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