Race For The PM’s Chair On in UP : Who Will Win?

race-for-the-pms-chair-on-iAfter the 2014 Lok Sabha election, Uttar Pradesh (UP) could once again enter the mainstream of central politics. This means the road of power to the Centre might well pass through Uttar Pradesh yet again. There are strong chances too that after a long period, the country might once again get a Prime Minister from Uttar Pradesh. After Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s exit from the Prime Ministership, the State has been longing to get another opportunity to have someone from the UP at the helm. For the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, at least four to five candidates can be seen vying for the post. Amongst these, two big leaders are already considering themselves to be the chief contenders for the post of the Prime Minister while another two are taking steps forward like underdogs. There is also discussion that one particular strong contender for the Prime Minister’s post might leave his own State and stand from UP to enhance his prospects in the race for Delhi. It is a matter of luck for the people of UP that it tops the list of States from which the chances of finding the next Prime Minister of the country are the strongest. Apart from this, it is also good news for the State that the heads of the four major parties will vie for power in the State with all their might and strength.
The RA-M factor is likely to play a decisive role in Uttar Pradesh during the coming Lok Sabha elections. ‘RA’ stands for Rahul Gandhi and Rajnath Singh while ‘M’ stands for Mulayam Singh Yadav and Mayawati. These four leaders would not only be hoping to take their political party over the line with their political skills, but will also be hoping to reach new levels in politics for themselves. These four politicians are regarded as the most prominent contenders for the post of the Prime Minister. Rahul Gandhi and Mulayam Singh Yadav are laying claim for the post of Prime Minister in the form of announcements, while on the other hand Mayawati and her team believe that the next Prime Minister of the country would be a Dalit. The desire of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati to become the next Prime Minister is not a secret, but she does not reveal her strategies till the right moment. Her politics cannot be read or understood by anyone. So the political pundits would probably not make the mistake of undermining the chances of Mayawati to become the next Prime Minister of the country. The political equation could also be in favour of Mayawati. However Mayawati will try her level best to create obstacles and hindrances in the path of her strong opponent Mulayam Singh Yadav. For her career to prosper, it is important to create obstacles for Mulayam Singh Yadav. Rajnath Singh in the recent past has been saying he is not in the race for the post of the Prime Minister, but Rajnath Singh also knows political circumstances could create any sort of situation.
However the leaders of the Janata Dal United (JD-U), a major ally of the BJP, have, from the very beginning, been against the name of Narendra Modi for the Prime Minister’s post. It also should be taken into consideration that the JD-U does not have any problem with Rajnath Singh or any other member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The Shiv Sena, keeping Balasaheb Thackeray’s preference in mind, is demanding that Sushma Swaraj be projected as the next Prime Minister. Under these circumstances Rajnath Singh could also come out to be the winner. And if we include the name of Sonia Gandhi who has been playing the role of a Kingmaker for the last two elections, it could be said that the entire political spectrum of the country will converge in UP.

The RA-M factor is likely to play a decisive role in Uttar Pradesh during the coming Lok Sabha elections. ‘RA’ stands for Rahul Gandhi and Rajnath Singh while ‘M’ stands for Mulayam Singh Yadav and Mayawati. These four leaders would not only be hoping to take their political party over the line with their political skills, but will also be hoping to reach new levels in politics for themselves. These four politicians are regarded as the most prominent contenders for the post of the Prime Minister.

However, while the leaders of many political parties are taking their stand in UP, State politics is raising many ifs and buts. Member of Parliament from Amethi, Rahul Gandhi, becoming the Vice President of the Congress and the contender for the post of the Prime Minister of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA), and Rajnath Singh becoming the President of the BJP have increased the responsibility of the leaders of both the parties. On one hand Rahul Gandhi and Rajnath Singh would have the responsibility of strengthening the party while on the other hand they would also have the responsibility of paying attention to their own constituencies. After the announcement of Rahul Gandhi to be the contender for the post of the Prime Minister, the Congressmen of Uttar Pradesh are jubilant at the news. But the question is : will Rahul Gandhi be capable of rejuvenating the Congress in UP, considering the way he failed in the 2012 Legislative Assembly elections. To strengthen the State Congress, Rahul Gandhi had divided the party into seven zones in the State and had appointed zonal Presidents. The zonal Presidents were also given the right to select officials of their choice for their own areas, but this strategy did not yield success. Neither does Rahul Gandhi seem to have any control on the groupism in UP. His advice is heard by Congressman from one ear only to go out through the other ear. It was due to this groupism that Rita Bahuguna Joshi was sidelined. The sort of combativeness which Rita had shown against the BSP Government was not taken into account by the Congress High Command. After Rita moved away the Congress in UP seems to have come to a full stop.
Rejuvenating the BJP in UP is also a challenge for the newly elected National President of BJP, Rajnath Singh. There is no shortage of leaders in the State BJP, but all of them have become the kings of words. The power to struggle on undaunted is absent in the BJP leaders. Senior leader Uma Bharti recently showed leaders their image in the country. She stated in Lucknow that whatever had happened inside the party during the 2012 Legislative Assembly election was the main reason behind the current situation of the party. Due to the failure of the BJP, power went into the hands of the Samajwadi Party. The announcement of Rajnath Singh as the President of BJP has ignited a ray of hope for change in the State BJP. The first challenge before Rajnath Singh is to bring about changes in the State BJP, but with the presence of senior leaders in the present team this is unlikely to be a cake walk for him. If Rajnath Singh brings in new faces without making prior changes in the faces of the State BJP, then he might be accused of favouritism. However, he also understands the importance of leaders like Kalyan Singh, and Rajnath Singh would surely try to keep him in his team. Rajnath Singh had played a vital role in the return of Kalyan Singh to the party. It is quite obvious that Rajnath Singh would like to see Kalyan Singh in the lead role at the national level. Discussions are also doing the rounds that Rajnath Singh might take up the issue of reservation of Dalits and backwards in order to improve the position of the BJP in the State. And for this he will have to give a position to a Dalit or a backward in his team. It is worth mentioning that Rajnath during his tenure as the Chief Minister of the State had started the politics of dividing the backwards into three categories (backward, more backward, most backward) and Dalits into two categories (Dalits, Mahadalits). He had apportioned their reservation on the basis of their backwardness. It was a different matter that his cabinet colleague Ashok Yadav had brought a stay order from the court against this at that point of time, as a result of which Rajnath Singh’s formula could not achieve success. Rajnath Singh wants to apply this formula once again in 2014.
The Lok Sabha elections will also be a challenge for the President of the BSP, Mayawati. She is touring the country to create a favourable environment for her party, but she has the highest expectation from her own State of Uttar Pradesh. However, the recent decision of the Supreme Court (SC) against Mayawati is proving to be a big blow. In the Taj corridor scandal of 17 crore rupees, the SC has given a go-ahead to conduct an investigation against former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Mayawati. The Supreme Court was acting on a plea seeking prosecution of former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati for the Rs 17 crore Taj Corridor scam case without sanction of the Governor. This has increased the problems for Mayawati and they may keep increasing for her in coming times. Besides, investigations on charges of corruption are going on against many of her Ministers and bureaucrats, and this too has become a problem for her, even though the former Chief Minister is leaving no stone unturned to make up for the losses during the Legislative Assembly elections.
SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav is preparing to continue the pleasant run of the 2012 Legislative Assembly elections in the Lok Sabha elections as well. The SP is preparing to knock out the BSP in the Lok Sabha election as successfully as it did during the 2012 Legislative Assembly elections. Both these parties have declared their candidates for the post of the Prime Minister. Both the SP and the BSP are ready to give a tough fight right from Parliament to the streets.
The SP is citing the achievements of its Government with assurances of continuing the good showing while the BSP is inclined towards going to the public on the issue of ‘Jungleraj’ during the tenure of the SP Government. Even though the performance of the non SP parties was not satisfactory during the Legislative Assembly elections, all the parties are very excited about the Lok Sabha elections. Each and every leader of SP is working on the principle of making Mulayam Singh Yadav the next Prime Minister. The BJP, however has said it is a joke that Mulayam Singh Yadav is even thinking of becoming the Prime Minister of the country. But apart from the SP, all the other parties are continuing to believe that they might not win too many seats but the key to making the Government would be in their hands.
After the formation of the SP Government in the State, Mulayam Singh Yadav has been continuously providing the officials, Ministers in the Government and his functionaries with the mantra of success for the Lok Sabha election. A large portion of his time is spent meeting leaders and the functionaries at the SP headquarters. He is constantly keeping a watch on the work of the State Government, but the SP Government is not being able to live up to the expectations of the people. Whether the bureaucrats or the Ministers are responsible for this doesn’t really matter. The biggest problem before Mulayam Singh Yadav and Mayawati is that their image has become like that of puppets of the Congress. The people understand that both these parties are going to be in the ambit of the Congress party. Giving votes to these two parties would mean strengthening the Congress because of whom the country is in dire straits today.
Whichever party makes the Government, the main role would be played by the voters of the State of Uttar Pradesh. And the road to power in Delhi is very likely to go through Uttar Pradesh. Among the candidates Rahul Gandhi would contest from Amethi, Mulayam Singh Yadav from Mainpuri, Rajnath Singh from Gautam Buddha Nagar or Lucknow and Sonia Gandhi from Rae Bareli. It cannot be said with assurance from which constituency BSP chief Mayawati would contest the Lok Sabha elections. However Bijnor and Akbarpur seem to be secure constituencies for her as she has won the Lok Sabha elections from both these places in the past. But it has been her ‘quality’ that during the elections she creates a favourable wind for her party, the BSP, but does not contest the election herself. She takes a decision only later after taking a good look at the situation.


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