Face masks acquire a political hue in UP
Updated Jun 15, 2020
While the BJP has already started the trend by holding virtual rallies, the Samajwadi Party (SP) in Uttar Pradesh has started distributing face masks with its election symbol, the bicycle, printed on them.
Former minister and general secretary of the Samajwadi Party, Arvind Singh Gope, has distributed over 5,000 face masks with the party's symbol, bicycle, printed on them in his constituency Barabanki.
He said that in two months, lakhs of SP workers had fanned out in various districts of the state to distribute food grains, masks and sanitizers among the migrants.
"Not only SP workers, but our national president Akhilesh Yadav and his wife Dimple have also reaching out to migrants," Gope said.
He emphasized that the idea of printing the SP symbol on the face masks was not driven by the idea of election campaigning.
"We just wanted the people to know that it is the SP which is providing them with necessary safety equipment," he said.
Gope further said that the ruling BJP had been blaming the opposition for not playing a constructive role in the corona crisis.
"Now when they see people wearing our masks, they will know how the SP has worked for the people without shouting about it from rooftops," he added.
The Congress is also planning to use the hand symbol on face masks.
A senior party functionary said that the initial consignment of one lakh face masks, sent by Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, for distribution in Uttar Pradesh comprised plain masks.
"We have now suggested that masks should have the Congress symbol printed on them. When the next consignment comes, we may have masks with the 'hand' symbol printed on them," said a Congress leader.
The BSP is also enthused with the idea of distribution blue masks with the elephant symbol printed on it but party president Mayawati has not even said a word on distributing face masks.
"I do not think the party will start mask distribution but aspiring candidates who want to contest on a BSP ticket in the 2022 Assembly polls, may start distributing blue face masks to register their presence among voters," said a senior BSP legislator.
The BJP is also said to be planning a similar exercise in Uttar Pradesh.