UP Assembly Election 2022: Why The Cycle Has Suddenly Become A Buzzword For Polls

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The cycle has suddenly become Chief Minister the big talking point in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections.

While Yogi Adityanath and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have used the humble mode of transport as a means to attack the Samajwadi Party, the Opposition has used it too to accuse the BJP of being anti-poor.

So, what’s the story here? Let’s find out.

Cycle — SP symbol

We all know that the bicycle is the symbol for the Samajwadi Party, which was found in 1992 by Mulayam Singh Yadav.

Ahead of the UP elections in 1993, the SP was allotted the bicycle symbol by the Election Commission.

According to a report in the Indian Express, the SP chose the cycle symbol because it was the vehicle of farmers, the poor, labourers, and the middle class, and riding a bicycle was cheaper and good for health as well.

Over the years, the cycle intrinsically became a part of the SP’s campaigning and today there is an undeniable link between the two.

In fact, in the early days of the party, Mulayam Singh Yadav and his brother Shivpal Singh would frequently ride bicycles and meet people on their two-wheels.

During the 2012 elections, which the SP won with an absolute majority, Akhilesh Yadav carried out a number of cycle yatras across the state.

Not just that, he also gave interviews to journalists while riding his bike.

Modi’s cycle taunt

However, the buzz around the cycle came about when Narendra Modi linked the Samajwadi Party’s bicycle election symbol to the Ahmedabad serial blasts in 2008 that killed 56 people and for which 38 people were recently sentenced to death.

Addressing a public meeting in Hardoi on Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi accused the SP of being soft on terror and linked its election symbol, the bicycle, to those used to plant some of the bombs in the 2008 blasts.

In his address, he said,

“Lekin inhone kya kiya… Yahan Samajwadi Party ka joh chunav symbol hai na, unka chunav ka nishan hai na, toh shuru mein jo bomb dhamake hue woh saare ke saare unhone bomb cycle par rakhe hue thhe.

Cycle par bomb rakhe hue thhe… aur jahan log sabzi wagairah kharidne ke liye aate hain, wahan cycle park karke chale gaye thhe, aur ek samay chaaron taraf yeh cyclon par rakhe hue bomb dhamake phute (What did they do?

The Samajwadi Party’s election symbol here, it is their election symbol.

In the blasts that occurred first, bombs were planted on bicycles and these bicycles were parked at places where people come to buy vegetables, etc.

These bombs planted on bicycles bombs went off simultaneously).”

Main hairan hun yeh cycle ko unhone kyun pasand kiya (I am surprised why they preferred the bicycle),” Modi said.

Yogi’s cycle taunt

Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath followed in the prime minister’s footsteps and attacked the SP, calling the Akhilesh Yadav-led party a ‘punctured cycle’.

On 21 February, in a Rae Bareli rally, Yogi Adityanath said that the people of UP had to choose between “puncture-waali cycle” or “bullet train development”, news agency ANI reported.

“You want bullet train development or ‘puncture-wali cycle’ in the state?

Yogi in state and Modi at Centre will bring bullet train-like development here,” he told the gathering.

He also accused the previous SP government of withdrawing cases against those involved in acts of terror.

Opposition hits back

The cycle jibes didn’t go down well with the Opposition.

SP chief Akhilesh Yadav hit back at Modi for his speech in Hardoi.

Taking to Twitter, he wrote, “Our cycle connects farms with farmers and lays the foundation for their prosperity.

Our cycle breaks through social bounds and drops daughters to school.

“Our cycle remains unaffected by inflation, it runs at its own pace.

A cycle is the aeroplane of the common people, it is the pride of rural India, to insult a cycle is to insult the entire nation.”

Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal also chimed in, saying that the decision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to link the blasts with the cycle was an attack on the poor.

Speaking in Lucknow, the Delhi chief minister on Monday was quoted by news agency PTI as saying, “Yesterday, I heard the prime minister came (to the state) and said all those who rode cycles in the country were terrorists.

This is a ‘chhot’ (attack) on all the poor who ride bicycles”.

The prime minister is calling all the poor ‘terrorists’, Kejriwal said.

Congress’ Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also slammed the prime minister, saying he should talk only on relevant issues.

Priyanka further alleged that Modi was making such accusations only because of state Assembly polls.

She hit back at the BJP government and questioned the leaders on issue of unemployment in Uttar Pradesh.

“Even he knows that it’s not true. He is saying all this only because of polls.

Why is there unemployment in UP when many government posts are lying vacant?

He should talk only on relevant issues,” Priyanka Gandhi Vadra was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

We don’t know what will happen next, but come 10 March, it will become clear if Modi’s bicycle remark hurt the BJP or pedalled the party to victory.


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Ritu Singh seasoned news hunter with ink in veins and truth as a compass. Cuts through spin, exposes hidden agendas, decodes power plays. Unwavering voice for accountability, amplifying unheard stories. A watchdog who sleeps with one eye open, keeping democracy on its toes

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