Uttar Pradesh Assembly Elections

Battlefield For Mayawati, Akhilesh, Priyanka And Modi
Santosh Bhartiya
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister was heard saying UP assembly polls are no less than Parliamentary elections. That clearly means who so ever wins in UP elections is definitely going to make the government at centre in 2019. There is no point in disagreeing with Akhilesh’s view in this regard. Especially his supporters share the same thoughts on this issue and they see him as new contender for the Delhi thrown. On the contrary former chief minister of the state Mayawati will be partially in favor of his opinion. Her supporters probably feel it is she who is going to make the government in the State. Concurrently she is going to be in limelight during 2017 assembly elections and 2019 general elections. Congress tried to save its face by getting associated with Samajwadi Party but it is indeed very difficult to predict what kind of victory it is going to achieve in upcoming assembly polls. And hence it puts a question mark on its status at the centre. Meanwhile Bhartiya Janata Party is going to put all its power and resources to win the upcoming elections so that it can come back in the power again in 2019.
Apart from these four fronts there is no other contender seems to be in the battle. Neither in the form of Political Party nor as a coalition. Fourth coalition which was supposed to take shape was of Ajit Singh, Nitish Kumar, Dr Ayub and R. K. Chowdhary. But unfortunately it met the pre-term miscarriage and the people responsible for this belong to them only.
Internal Conflict of Samajwadi Party
If we look at it there are four fronts in Uttar Pradesh. Each one of these has pros and cons. Each one of them is facing internal conflict. First of all let’s talk about Akhilesh Yadav. In last three months relation between him and his father went sour. Tensions peaked which gained limelight not only at the state level but all across the country. Three months of family drama was more interesting than any of the television serials. It had all the ingredients of a daily soap: a step-mother who played a vamp, saas-bahus who added fuel to the fire and uncles who blew their own trumpets. In the nutshell this complete family drama had every element of entertainment which resulted in full TRP during this period. Smartest move by Akhilesh involved the way by which he overpowered his father in Samajwadi Party. Surprisingly he never mentioned it in public. Akhilesh kept appreciating him at public platform and very smartly overthrown Mulayam. ‘Game of Thorns’ not only diluted Mulayam’s image in his party but also resulted in seizure of his rights and powers.

During this hussy fussy happenings Akhilesh’s uncle Prof. Ramgopal Yadav played the vital role of a strategist. In last 15-20 years he used to make strategies for his father. It was famous for him that Mulayam does whatever Ramgopal says. This was due to the responsibility which was given to him by Mulayam himself which called for complete analysis of situation and dealing with public. His Herculean efforts were last seen when he tried to talk with Dev Gowda, Nitish Kumar, Lalu Prasad Yadav, Sharad Yadav, Abhay Chautala and Kamal Murarka to create a new political party. Each one of them agreed to designate Mulayam Singh Yadav as the Chairman of the new party as well as the Chief of its parliamentry board. Even consensus was made on the election symbol and the name of the party was also decided. He was garlanded in front of media and Mulayam even agreed to the new development going in his favor. However the bond of this arranged marriage continued only for one and half months and then they got divorced before Bihar elections. Afterwards Professor Ramgopal Yadav announced that his party is going to contest in these elections on its own. When they came up with the idea of forming a party, Lalu Prasad Yadav and Nitish Kumar asked Mulayam to take the lead. To this Mulayam replied that the process of forming a party will start only after Bihar assembly elections. Unfortunately this gave a negative message to Lalu and Nitish who thought Mulayam is willing to form the party only after considering the assembly election results, which seemed opportunism to them. Consequently they announced their candidates on various seats which went against the strategy of Professor Ramgopal. He thought in case he forms a in alliance with other political entities then the authority could probably go in the hands of other members. As a result he cornered the idea of forming a party for a while. Message which penetrated through the political corridors was entirely different. Ramgopal was blamed that he suspended the formation of new party in the effect of Bhartiya Janta Party. People felt in case this formation would have been successful this party was surely destined to rule in Bihar. Nobody has accurate proof for this aforesaid event. However this conversation passed so strongly through the political corridors that it projected Professor Ramgopal as the main villain of the whole picture. He was even blamed for the preterm divorce between the alliances. The rift became visible only when conflict between Yadav family emerged publically and firstly Shivpal Yadav and then Mulayam Singh Yadav blamed Ramgopal for the breakup. Mulayam Singh even blamed him by saying in order to escape CBI net Ramgopal is acting as an agent to Bhartiya Janata Party and making strategies on its behalf. He called him responsible for the rift in his family. These two statements are the one and only proof for the whole matter.

Manmohan Vaidya who is associated with Rashtriya Swayam Sewak Sangh (RSS) and off course with Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) has very cleverly indicated that he is against reservation as it creates divide. This statement is not delivered unknowingly rather he deliberately kept his views in front of common people. It reflects the ideology of Bhartiya Janata Party which strongly favors common civil code. Once got implemented this code will end article 370. Simultaneously it is against the appeasement of Muslims. They are firm of their victory in Uttar Pradesh due to majority of Hindus in the state. In case of major victory they are surely going to implement their policies across the country. This is probably the reason why Akhilesh called UP elections as 2019 general elections. Neither Mayawati nor Congress, BJP spoke against his statement. Let’s see who gets exposed in these elections and who remains unnoticed.

Quite possible that Akhilesh’s move of sidelining his father could remain unaccepted by the rural votes of the Uttar Pradesh. Voters aging over 50 years are seemingly against his decision of sidelining his father in his own party. However remaining 50 percent involves young voters who sympathize with Akhilesh and want him as their leader. These youngsters are supporting Akhilesh. For him one of the biggest issues which can creep up during the state assembly elections is how he insulted and overpowered his father in only five years of rule. He is even blamed for bringing bad name to Samajwadi Party to which his father has given 40 precious years of his life.

The second challenge which Akhilesh Yadav is all set to face is the last statement of Mulayam Singh Yadav in which he said his son is anti-Muslim. He stated that during the last five year rule under his son’s leadership he advised him for the well being of the rural population and upliftment of the Muslims but Akhilesh ignored all his instructions. Mulayam’s statement against his son is surely going to be used by Bhartiya Janata Party and Bahujan Samajwadi party. Apart from these two hindrances there is no other obstacle in the path of Akhilesh in upcoming assembly polls. The only hurdle on his way to CM’s chair is the quality of the developmental work done by his government. Whatever development he has undertaken for the rural people is all set to decide his fate in upcoming elections. When he became the Chief Minister it lighted the ray of hope for the young politician. It was thought his way to ruling is going to set an impression for the young generation. On the other hand, Bhartiya Janata Party has neither a young Chief Minister nor young Party chief. On top of that party lacks young CM face in any of the assembly elections. If Akhilesh fails to harness mileage from this factor then this will a sort of disaster for him. Simultaneously this will put a question mark on the leadership of the young leaders. And hence will kick start a debate on the management and leadership of the young generation in the country.

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Positive Angle of BSP
When it comes on to Mayawati I am compelled to say first of all she has provided tickets to all probable candidates. Her party remains untouched with the internal conflict which goes in her favor. In last few months two prominent leaders left her party which includes Swami Prasad Maurya and RK Chowdhary. Maurya was earlier promised for 30 seats by Bhartiya Janata Party but ultimately he could make only 3. Whereas R.K. Chowdhary was offered ticket by the party but that did not fuel any conflict or debates in Behanji’s party. Candidates fielded by Mayawati were so strong that even her rivals were not able to move them a bit. The most admiring side of her personality remains her calm and composed attitude for last five years. She remained silent for last five years. Neither gave any statements against Akhilesh’s government nor underlined SP’s flaw. She used to speak once in a while that too in a composed manner. She tried to avoid the campaign mode during her speeches. Quietly provided more seats to the Muslim candidates. With elections nearing she started addressing the Muslim community. Mayawati strategically messaged them that if they will support Bahujan Samajwadi Party barring BJP in the state can become possible. These lines in her campaign are attracting Muslim voters towards her. To whom Muslim community should vote, It can’t be said. Alliance of Samajwadi Party and Congress will result in roadblocks while deciding on upliftment of the Muslim community. However Muslim factor has become very prominent in UP elections. That means if Muslim community joins hands with BSP as was quoted by Mayawati then it can go against the interest of BJP and last but not the least against Akhilesh’s Samajwadi Party.

Priyanka Is Only Hope For Congress
Congress is gasping in Uttar Pradesh. Party moved ahead on the directives of Rahul Gandhi for the last five years. It protested against Akhilesh Yadav government at many occasions. Few months ago party organized Khaat yatra which was the part of agitations against the policies of Samajwadi Rule. But all of a sudden in between, Rahul Gandhi started appreciating Akhilesh Yadav. The motive behind his U-turn might be due to his willingness to go for an alliance with SP. Rahul Gandhi was mugged that if he agrees for alliance with Akhilesh, Muslims of the state will not go with Mayawati. That means Congress along with Samajwadi Party can capture 300 assembly seats in the state. This was also announced by Akhilesh as well. This unplanned move harmed Congress. The strategy was followed for the last five years was molded all of sudden. Initial stand of party would have paved for the 400 Congress candidates in the assembly elections which in return would have increased its base in the state. However, all its plans failed by the last minute U-turn. Party’s strategist Prashant Kishore too followed this line from the beginning. He also organized a rally for Rahul Gandhi stating that whoever candidate brings more supporters in rally and proves majority will be considered eligible for the tickets. As a result the first rally of Rahul Gandhi which was organized in Lucknow proved successful. Crowd came from all 400 assembly seats. Amid announcement of his coalition with Akhilesh Yadav’s party workers who were leaving no stone unturned for increasing party’s base in the state became disappointed and had quit themselves from the campaigning. The game has become very interesting now. It has to be seen now out of the 105 seats how many goes in Rahul’s favor. According to an estimate of Delhi’s former Chief Minister Sheila Dixit Congress can emerge victorious in 70 seats. As per the estimates of independent analyst Congress can hardly win 45 to 50 seats. Whereas third front of political analyst feels coalition between Samajwadi Party and Congress will prove more beneficial for the later. With this last moment shift Samajwadi is set to lose few of its seats. There is no concrete base of this logic at the moment. Yet the mixed views about the Akhilesh’s treatment to his father and family can cause damage to his party. On the contrary the alliance will prove boon for Congress in the state. We have one of such example in West Bengal where seats of Congress has rose while supporting left parties suffered huge loss. Interestingly Congress did not have any supporters in the state before that. By fielding Priyanka Gandhi for the campaigning process the ailing party took the smartest move. She will be campaigning with Dimple Yadav while they are jointly going to address 6 to 8 gatherings. Priyanka Gandhi has her own ways of connecting with people. People also love to attend her gatherings. Priyanka’s elections campaigning will surely bring younger generation in her favor which will benefit Congress in return. Upto some extent this can result in reduction of young supporters of Akhilesh Yadav. Congress’s position in results is all set to showcase its topography at the centre in 2019 general elections as well as its inheritance. Deciding its succession will also become easier after the elections results that whether Priyanka or Rahul is going to be the face of Congress. This will help the party in deciding its successor. I feel if Sheila’s evaluation turns out correct then Priyanka Gandhi will become the face of Party in Delhi. Whereas if the party wraps up in merely with 45-50 seats then Rahul will continue to be at the centre. Congress has played a big bet by fielding Priyanka in UP assembly polls. This has proved encouraging for the party workers. They feel Priyanka’s presence in the state will make them win the battle.

BJP Has Resources But Lacks Face
As a ruling party at the centre, Bhartiya Janata Party has funds; organization and it consists of strategist like Rashtriya Swayam Sewak Sangh (RSS). They can campaign in rural areas and bring the air in favor of BJP. However party lacks Chief Minister face in the state.
There have been rumors inside the party that Railways Minister of State Manoj Sinha can be probable Chief Minister Face for BJP in the state. Second name in consideration is of Tourism Minister Mahesh Sharma. Third name in limelight is Home Minister Rajnath Singh who is least interested in becoming the Chief Minister. On the other hand Yogi Adityanath has ambitions to capture Chief Minister’s chair, however Bhartiya Janata Party does not want him to portray as CM candidate. If BJP keeps him away from the election campaign or asks him to wait a bit for CM’s chair, that can prove fatal for the Party. In that situation his organization Hindu Raksha Vahini can withdraw its support. A big no no from BJP to this step as Hindu Raksha Vahini has strong hold in 20-22 districts of eastern UP. If this organization withdraws its support situation will become bleak for BJP in these areas. The party has provided six motor cycles for campaigning in each and every assembly. Twelve full time party workers have been deployed so that they can access each and every village of the constituency. This makes a total of 2400 motorbikes and after adding the total daily expenses of party workers this becomes a huge number. This is the only party in UP elections which is providing such a huge resources for upcoming polls. Party is once again raising the Ram Mandir issue and for campaigning for this purpose it has formed small groups. Bhartiya Janata Party seems least worried for Muslim votes. Once again it is upto polarizations and is aware of the fact that RSS will help in this task. What seems different in this elections is it has provided tickets to every single person who has left any of the prominent party whether it is congress, SP of BSP. That clearly shows RSS is losing its grip on Bhartiya Janata Pary as it is following Congress’s strategy for gaining margins. The weaknesses of BJP has creeped up in various occasions. First example is of RK Chowdhary who left BSP but neither joined BJP nor became member of NDA. In spite of that he was provided ticket by the party. The reason behind this move is assumed to be the MP Kaushal Kumar who has strong grip in Passi community. For countering him BJP needed somebody who can get the Passi votes and RK Chowdhary fulfills the requirement. Chowdhary and Kishore share a cold bond, however BJP didn’t feel hesitated in providing ticket for assembly to Kishore’s wife. On the other hand Chowdhary was given ticket without being included in the party. These instances showcase weaknesses of Bhartiya Janata Party. Narayan Dutt Tiwari whose political career is on the verge of completion was lured by the party just to capture the Brahmin votes of the hilly region. Tiwari too wanted to insert his son into to politics world so he reached BJP president Amit Shah’s residence. He was overwhelmed by the welcome move from the ruling party at the centre. As a result he instinctively stated that today is the times of ruling politics. Gone were the days of ideological politics. He is correct to some extent. This is probably the reason every party is fighting for Power either by hook or crook. The wish of thrown leads to a state for people with crores and carats. Poor and common man remains neglected.

What About Muslims
The 15-20 days ongoing negotiations between Akhilesh Yadav and Congress have created a problematic situation for western UP. Forgetting the atrocities of Jats Muslims of this region decided to support SP Congress coalition so that Bhartiya Janata Party can be barred from coming in power. And hence Jats and Muslims were about to vote for Akhilesh and Priyanka Gandhi. However Akhilesh strategically clogged chief of National Lok Dal from getting into the coalition which made the Jat furious. Initially there have been few rounds of talk between Samajwadi Party and National Lok Dal for coming up together in assembly elections. Afterwards SP stated that if Lok Dal is willing for the alliance then Congress has to offer the seats. Not only this Samajwadi Party fielded its candidates from where Lok Dal was supposed to field its candidates in constituencies like Chhaprauli and Baghpat. Ajeet Singh along with the Jat community felt insulted with Akhilesh’s attitude. Ignoring Ajeet Singh in upcoming election can prove costly for Akhish Yadav in western UP. In this region Mayawati and Muslim alliance is the biggest hurdle in front of BJP coalition.

JDU’s Nitish Kumar Organized eight successful rallies in Uttar Pradesh. He successfully address those who neither belonged to Bhartiya Janata Party and Congress nor Mayawati and Samajwadi Party. Nitish tried to lit the ray hope in them and made them feel via him they can play vital role in the upcoming elections. Uttar Pradesh’s Kurmi community has never been into the power. These people stood by Nitish and gave a strong message that if JDU fields its candidates or enters into coalition they’ll make him win the battle. Neither Mayawati nor Akhilesh gave importance to Nitish. Samajwadi party sent message to Nitish via some of its well wishers sitting in Delhi that if wants to contest in two seats then can enter into coalition. This was the master stroke of Professor Ramgopal who was offered five seats by JDU while Bihar assembly polls. If Nitish would have proved effective in 20-25 seats in Uttar Pradesh. Ultimately he decided to stay away from the State assembly elections so that the secular votes won’t divide. Nitish withdrawal has proved beneficial for Bhartiya Janata Party. Kurmi community has always been with Bhartiya Janata Party. Now as Nitish is not fielding his candidates in Uttar Pradesh that clearly means Kurmis are going to support Bhartiya Janata Party. As a result this will prove a great loss for Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav. In a nutshell Nitish and Lalu has no role to play in UP elections. Lalu had already announced to maintain distance from the assembly polls. Likewise Nitish is also following the statement of not dividing secular votes of and hence not fielding his candidates in the State polls. With this it can be guaged that UP assembly polls not going in anybody’s court but surely Bhartiya Janata party, Samajwadi Party and Mayawati is going to suffer the huge loss. Congress is going to get the most benefit. In this case who gets the thrown this will be decided only when the polls get over. At a glance we find only two fronts in Uttar Pradesh. The first one is of Mayawati and the second one can be Bhartiya Janata Party or Akhilesh Yadav. Let’s see who wins the battle.

Muslim Community Of The State
Minorities of the state find themselves trapped. No work for their upliftment has been seen on grounds for last five years. Election Manifesto of political parties this time too ignored their development. 90 percent of the promises which came up in manifesto belongs to the last assembly elections which remained unfulfilled. Only two are new. One of these is coming up of Haj House in Varanasi. Even Mayawati also avoided to announce specifically for the Muslim community. However she had given most tickets to the Muslim candidates and also appealed them to help her in blocking Bharatiya Janata Party in the state. Mayawati is familiar of Achilles heel of the Muslim community and hence using anti-hinduism sentiment to stop Bhartiya Janata Party in state.

What if Hung Assembly
What will happen if the situation of hung assembly creeps in Uttar Pradesh? In first condition Bhartiya Janata Party can tie up with Samajwadi Party and form the government. Whereas in other situation they can go with Mayawati and form coalition. In that situation Bhartiya Janata Party will first see who is agreeing to all its conditions. We have yet not seen any ideological clashes in Uttar Pradesh between different parties. A bit of ideological orientation has been noticed in Bhartiya Janata Party. Recently Manmohan Vaidya who is associated with Rashtriya Swayam Sewak Sangh (RSS) and off course with Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) has very cleverly indicated that he is against reservation as it creates divide. This statement is not delivered unknowingly rather he deliberately kept his views in front of common people. It reflects the ideology of Bhartiya Janata Party which strongly favors common civil code. Once got implemented this code will end article 370. Simultaneously it is against the appeasement of Muslims. They are firm of their victory in Uttar Pradesh due to majority of Hindus in the state. In case of major victory they are surely going to implement their policies across the country. This is probably the reason why Akhilesh called UP elections as 2019 general elections. Neither Mayawati nor Congress, BJP spoke against his statement. Let’s see who gets exposed in these elections and who remains unnoticed. Not only for politician but this is no less than an examination for voters too. He has to measure the weight of political statements and choose accordingly. Akhilesh was absolutely correct when he said Uttar Pradesh assembly elections a very significant for deciding the fate of various political parties in the 2019 general elections.

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