Elections are not just about politicians. They're about people and issues. And what will really drive their vote.
Catch is, therefore, starting a 'People of UP' series, which will capture what different impact groups across the state are feeling. This is true insight on the Uttar Pradesh election: Up-close and hyper-personal.
Raees Khan, as his name suggests, is a Muslim businessman from the Mantola area of Agra. He runs a factory that makes leather footwear. Raees is voting for the BJP in the upcoming Vidhan Sabha elections.
"So what if I am a Muslim, religion is my choice. I don't vote on the basis of religion. I feel Narendra Modi is doing a good job in the country and I would want him to come to Uttar Pradesh as well."
Doing it right?
On asking him about the BJP's communal politics, Raees said, "The country is voting for him repeatedly because he is doing a lot for the improvement of the nation especially the economy. We should support him."
He believes that BJP is the only party in the country that does not believe in nepotism.
"In other parties, sons follow fathers into politics, whether they're capable or not. BJP is the only party that does not follow these antics."
He feels that Uttar Pradesh has been oscillating between the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and that it's time for a change.
"Akhilesh has done some job work in his past term but Modiji will do even better," Raees said.
Religion a non-issue?
As for the safety of his community under BJP rule, Raees said that it is a 'non-issue'.
"Muslims continued to live in Gujarat after the riots and the Muslim businessmen of Gujarat have done very well under Modi government. I want the same thing to happen here."
People should not vote the basis of religion or caste said Raees - "If there is a good candidate, one should vote for him, no matter the religion."
Edited by Jhinuk Sen