India’s nationalist opposition party taking leaf from Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s book to attract minority Muslim voters.
Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh – “If you have to change the fortunes of India, it must begin in Lucknow,” Narendra Modi, the opposition prime ministerial candidate, said at an election rally early in March.
His statement reaffirmed a popular saying in Indian politics: The road to New Delhi passes via Lucknow, the capital of India’s most populous and politically most important state – Uttar Pradesh.
As the city goes to polls on April 30, the attention is on the constituency’s Muslims, who comprise about 22 percent of the 1.9 million voting population here.
The right-wing Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which has remained a force here for decades, is making every symbolic gesture to attract the minority voters.