INDIA bloc working as a well-oiled machinery, getting people’s support: Laliteshpati Tripathi | India News – Times of India


Trinamool Congress’s lone candidate in UP, Laliteshpati Tripathi, who is contesting from Bhadohi as INDIA bloc pick, is confident of his victory. Talking to Shailvee Sharda, he spoke about the challenges and poll prospects. Excerpts:
What is your biggest challenge as a lone candidate of TMC in UP?
When we started out two-and-a-half months ago, the common suggestion was that I should contest on Samajwadi Party’s symbol, but I kept reinforcing and the challenge of people not knowing my party’s symbol was eventually won over.We were careful about the selection of words that connected with the people to describe the symbol as ‘phool’ (flower) is normally used by the BJP in the Hindi belt. We used ‘Do daali aur chhe patti wala phool’ to help voters recall the symbol.
What made you pick Bhadohi over Mirzapur where you have a stronger base?
Mirzapur was my first choice and I have a personal connection with that seat. But I accepted the decision of the leadership. Bhadohi is also not new to me because of my familial association. Bhadohi was one of the safest seats that SP could offer to TMC. Soon, I realised that most constituencies are the same and the strategy to reach out to voters should be tweaked according to hyperlocal needs. We did extensive visits to establish connections with voters.
How well has the alliance worked for you?
I am an INDIA bloc candidate and have all the support from members of constituent parties. Though it took some time for the alliance dharma to trickle down but when it did, it worked like well-oiled machinery. AAP, which has a small presence in this region, started working on its own. Akhilesh Yadav’s rally pulled people from neighbouring constituencies as well.
TMC and Congress aren’t on great terms in West Bengal. Did you draw flak on this account?
Initially, there was some hesitation, but when instructions came from the high command, problems were ironed out.
Is Mamata Banerjee keeping an eye on your election, or are you by yourself?
We send regular updates and get questions/suggestions and feedback from her end. She also sent TMC MP Nadim-ul-Haque as her emissary, and recently, Rajya Sabha member Sushmita Dev also camped here. She also sent a couple of MLAs to oversee activities.
Any direct interaction with Mamata Banerjee on election?
Yes. We planned a mega rally but then we realised that the sixth phase was crucial for the party in West Bengal, and she was more needed there.
What are your poll promises?
I have kept Nyay Patra and Samajwadi Party manifesto as the base and picked up points from them besides listing out local issues like a university in the district, need for a better system to facilitate carpet export and promote skill development opportunities.
How well are you placed in the constituency?
If we keep Akhilesh Yadav’s rally as a reference point, as compared to 2019 or 2022 elections, people are listening more carefully to what the INDIA bloc leaders are saying. During campaigning, I realised that the alliance manifesto has percolated with more clarity than Modiji’s guarantee. In fact, people of this constituency are fighting elections as they feel that the double engine has failed them on various fronts. The BJP is not sure of its candidate for the seat. Three different candidates have contested on the BJP ticket since 2014. People want to give a chance to someone other than the BJP candidate.


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