India News Manch, the biggest UP- Uttarakhand poll conclave in the run-up to the assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, was held on Tuesday, 11 January at Taj Lucknow. The platform brought together all the big-wigs of national and regional politics. The mega conclave was telecast live on NewsX and India News. The event was also streamed live on major OTT platforms- Dailyhunt, Zee5, ShemarooMe, Jio TV, Watcho, MX PlayerMzaalo, TataSky and PayTm live streams.
The event’s guest list included Chief Ministers, MPs, MLAs, state cabinet ministers, along with the top brass and spokespersons of political parties. India News Manch also provided a much-needed stage for discourse and discussion in an election season marred by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kartikeya Sharma, Founder, iTV Network expressed, “Building on our legacy of innovative and engaging programming, India News will continue to host such impactful events keeping viewers at the core of its strategy. It was a pleasure to host Union Cabinet ministers, state cabinet ministers, members of parliament, chief ministers, party presidents, general secretaries and spokespersons, on one stage to participate in some of the most compelling panel discussions and exclusive interviews ahead of the elections.”
The first speaker of the event to take the centre stage, UP CM Yogi Adityanath, spoke about contesting UP elections and said that he considers himself an ordinary worker of the BJP and that he will contest elections from whichever seat the party chooses for him. Reiterating the public stance of the Sangh Parivar, Yogi Adityanath said, “Hindutva is a way of life and Hindus represent the essence of India.” Moreover, Yogi said, while underlining his government’s non-discriminatory approach, “Benefits to all, appeasement to none.” Talking about his government gaining notoriety as a ‘bulldozer regime, the UP CM stated, “We will use the only language that criminals understand.”
Jitin Prasad, UP Minister of Technical Education, while stating the reason for joining the BJP, revealed, “The leadership qualities of our honourable Prime Minister is not ordinary, and I took this decision by taking inspiration from him.” Describing the difference in the functioning of BJP and Congress, the minister remarked, “There is planning, vision and goal here which is really commendable.” According to Prasad, development and culture will be crucial factors in the upcoming UP assembly elections. He also asserted that the BJP government in UP is driven by sound policies. “Through our strong vision, we are generating employment, promoting industrialization and fueling investments,” said Prasad.
Farmers’ leader Rakesh Tikait was also an invitee to the conclave. ”BJP spends a lot of money on their IT cell. The small channels of our group have given a competition to these IT cells,” said Tikait while alleging the nation’s ruling party of maligning his image. The leader while speaking about the outcome of the massive farmers’ protests, said, “From those protests, the farmers have learned to speak for themselves with sheer confidence.” Tikait also warned the Modi government and said, “If the government works against the will of the farmers, the Sayukt Morcha will stand against it and work accordingly.”
Former UP CM & Samajwadi Party chief, Akhilesh Yadav, also made an appearance at the poll conclave. Accusing the BJP of using divisive tactics, Akhilesh said, “BJP is continuously indulging in hate politics. They are employing divisive tactics.” Speaking about possible impacts of the repeal of farm laws on the electorate of western UP, Yadav stated, “Farmers will be taking on a fight for their honour this time. And when that happens, BJP will be swept out of UP.” Further, he claimed that the SP-led alliance will form the government in the state with a massive mandate. “I can say with certainty that when the people get the chance to vote, BJP will be swept out of UP and the SP-led alliance will win 400 seats.,” said the SP chief.
Senior Congress leader Harish Rawat also graced the event with his presence. Putting forward his point about the reports of his disagreements with party leadership, Rawat said, “I am not upset with Congress high command.” Informing us about his party’s campaign strategy in poll-bound Uttarakhand, the senior leader revealed that the party has begun digital campaigns as a result of the ban on election campaigning in the state. “People of Uttarakhand are angry over Devasthanam board,” claimed Rawat about public sentiment towards the BJP.
Another prominent guest of the day was Uttarakhand’s CM, Pushkar Singh Dhami. Dhami talked about his BJP’s efforts to improve the hilly state’s infrastructure. “More than 1 lakh developmental programs started in Uttarakhand under PM Modi.” The CM also expressed confidence about BJP’s victory in the upcoming assembly elections in Uttarakhand and said, “BJP Will win with an absolute majority in Uttarakhand.”