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UP ELECTIONS: BJP Speeches in Gorakhpur ‘Bulldoze’ Education, Jobs to Backseat

Saurabh Sharma |
Youths of Gorakhpur, Kushinagar and Deoria are angry with the party for not mentioning education and employment in its election rallies.
UP ELECTIONS: BJP Speeches in Gorakhpur ‘Bulldoze’ Education, Jobs to Backseat

Gorakhpur/Deoria/Kushinagar: Shivam Dubey (19) was buying vegetables near Nausadh area, in Yogi Adityanath’s home turf of Gorakhpur, on Saturday when he was informed that the chief minister (CM) was scheduled to address a public rally at the nearby Ram Leela ground.

A science student of Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gorakhpur University, Dubey was all excited to see and listen to Adityanath. However, after listening to local Bharatiya Janata Party leaders and finally Adityanath and Gorakhpur’s member of Parliament and Bhojpuri actor Ravi Kishan for around two hours, he was disappointed—none of them mentioned education or employment. 

“Being a maths graduate, the chief minister could have, at least, spoken on education because it is the only thing that can make the country progress. He only spoke about development and bulldozing, nothing on employment,” a disappointed Dubey told Newsclick on the way back to his rented accommodation. “I saw his MP claiming in front of reporters that the party wants to make UP the most economically strong state. But I fail to understand how will this be possible without providing quality education and employment to youths?” Dubey asked adding that he attended the rally expecting a statement on education. 

“It is good that the elections are being fought on the issue of development. But being a youth, I expect more from such speeches. I am not disheartened; I am hopeless because no one is paying attention to the problems of youth—this is definitely going to cost the ruling party and also the nation,” Dubey said. “People are glorifying the chief minister over various issues, including the idea of a Hindu nation. How long will this sustain when you have millions of jobless youths?”

Jitendra Kashyap (23) is more critical of both the state and the Centre. A native of Gorakhpur’s Sahjanwa area, he had attended an Adityanath rally organised on the outskirts at Adarsh Inter College, in Belwara. Stunned to see artists performing acrobatics and singing songs in praise of the CM and people dancing to drumbeats, he told Newsclick the next day, “I thought what kind of progress have we made after electing Narendra Modi as prime minister and Yogi Adityanath as our chief minister.”

Kashyap believes that “people are still being fooled” in the name of development. “Different things are being done to pull crowds and no one mentions issues which will help the country progress,” he added.

“Leaders should have talked about education and employment instead of bulldozers. They are speaking on issues which are not taking the nation anywhere. They brought acrobats and distributed Modi’s masks and balloons among children. Is this how you plan to take the nation forward?” Kashyap asks. “We are the youngest nation considering the number of youths but they are jobless. Instead, they are being asked to lip-sync our leader’s [Modi] songs. The youths are getting distracted in the name of national security, Hindu Muslim issue and others.”

Sarvesh Pandey, present at a massive roadshow of Samajwadi Party president and former CM Akhilesh Yadav the same evening, said that he rides an e-rickshaw after paying a daily rent of Rs 500 to feed his elderly parents despite being a science graduate and cracking the Railway Recruitment Board examination.


“Every time a job notification appears under the current government, it has landed in court. Question papers get leaked a day before the competitive exams and yet the government has been shamelessly asking for votes by presenting wrong employment data. I am a science graduate who has cracked a competitive government exam but I ride an e-rickshaw,” said Pandey, awaiting the offer letter.

“We struggle for bread and butter daily. Therefore, we need a change in government—one which pays attention to education and employment, not issues which divide the community and break the social harmony of our country,” Pandey added.

Asked about the missing issue of education in election speeches, Lucknow-based veteran journalist Jai Prakash said, “We need to understand that voting in India is done on a psychological pattern, not on issues. Political parties do not hesitate in using tools which hit people’s psychology.”

Issues matter, Prakash said, “but the majority of votes are cast on other factors. For example, when the Balakot strike happened, votes were cast on national security. Now that Indian students are being rescued from Ukraine and the issue is being mentioned in election speeches, we shouldn’t be surprised if it becomes main reason for voting. It’s very unfortunate that issues like Hindu-Muslim, caste and others overtake the issue of education”, he added.

The writer is a freelance journalist.

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