Uttar Pradesh election: An election in India’s most populous state pits Covid-19 anger in opposition to Hindu nationalism

Uttar Pradesh election: An election in India's most populous state pits Covid-19 anger against Hindu nationalism

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The social worker said he didn’t wear a mask or gloves as he gave funeral rites for more than 200 Covid victims on the banks of the sacred River Sarayu in northern Uttar Pradesh state — it wouldn’t have been what God wanted, he said.

“Those months were really devastating,” he added.

But he doesn’t blame the state’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for the Covid outbreak that many say was worsened by a slow government response — and it didn’t cost the party his vote in the state elections, which reports results on March 10.

Despite the Covid crisis, experts say Adityanath has religion on his side — he’s pushing a Hindu-first agenda in a state with an 80% Hindu population. And that appeals to people like Mishra.

The social worker doesn’t hold the government responsible for Covid deaths — he blames lower-level officials who he says didn’t follow government policy. He says he’s voting for Adiyanath in this election for a very simple reason.

“They’re constructing the Ram Temple in…

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