Uttar Pradesh vote a test for PM Modi after cash ban

"We don't like people who lie and that is why we partnered with Samajwadi Party".

The state election is being seen as a referendum on his decision to ban high value banknotes in the country.

PM Modi while addressing a rally on the 1st day of phase one of UP elections, also slammed the SP-Congress alliance, saying: "Lohia ji was against Congress and those who followed ideals of Lohia ji, came forward to support Congress".

Polling in these constituencies will be held on February 11.

Coming down heavily on political rivals for poor development of the state, he said, "Five years of SP government, five years of BSP government and 50 years of Congress rule are responsible for the abysmal condition of Uttar Pradesh".

That vote saw BJP win 42 percent of the vote and pick up 71 of the state's 80 seats, helping the Hindu nationalist party secure a strong nationwide mandate in the 543-member lower house of parliament.

Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, in Pilibhit, said Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party was restricted to "Mann ki baat" [talking about what they think] while the Samajwadi Party spoke of "kaam ki baat" [talking about work], ANI reported. With its third list out, BJP, like Congress, has named candidates for all 60 assembly seats. Most analysts feel the race is wide open and the contest could be close. Across towns and villages, by 9 a.m. there were long lines at schools and colleges that had been converted into polling locations.

- Free homes to poor. "We want a government that can get rid of corruption", said one young man.

Twenty-five-year-old Suman, who arrived with her two young children simply says she will vote for "the flower", meaning the lotus symbol of the BJP, and finds it hard to elaborate beyond that.

Asked about the Congress leader's remarks, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said, "Everybody behaves as per his standards and BJP does not expect anything better from the Congress leader".

Voting will be staggered over several weeks, with results out on March 11, and pollsters put the BJP neck and neck with Yadav's Samajwadi Party and Congress.

  • Carolyn Briggs