It’s the election season with 5 States going for polls but Uttar Pradesh over-shadowed all others. The electorate of India’s most populous state will vote for the 403 seats of the Uttar Pradesh assembly during this month of February. The polls will be carried out in seven phases. They will prove vital in deciding the future of national politics due to 1/6th of the total population of the country residing in the State. These polls will be a greater portent in national politics. A win in this poll will be a morale booster for the Congress while a poor performance will add to its woes ahead of the country’s General Elections. Briefly, it will prove to be a semi-final for the parties aspiring to win the general elections.
I am not a professional psephologist, or a very experienced political commentator to predict the polls. But I will try to discuss them to the best of my abilities.
Presently, the Mayawati led-Bahujan Samajwadi Party has absolute majority in the Vidhan Sabha with its 219 MLAs followed by the Mulayam Singh’s Samajwadi party’s 88 seats. The National Opposition Bhartiya Janta party has its 48 MLAs while the Centre ruling Congress has an ‘insignificant’ 20. Lalu Prasad Yadav’s Rashtriya Lok Dal has 10 while a lone member from the Rashtriya Swabhiman Party with 9 other independent MLAs.
A ruling BSP, led by Mayawati is facing a splintered but an aggressive opposition. However. most of the experts expect a split verdict with greatest possibility of formation of a coalition government. Moreover, Ambednagar, The Chief Minister’s personally adopted district which is supposed to be ‘Mayawati’s Amethi’ has been largely neglected in terms of development. But, she has made desperate attempts recently to improve her image by kicking-out the tainted Ministers.
The National Congress party general secretary and the Gandhi-Scion, Rahul Gandhi is campaigning in full swing travelling through villages, living with the villagers to understand the threshold issues.
The Samajwadi Party is considered as the biggest challenger to the Mayawati with potential to emerge victorious in case of a splintered vote. This prediction has been accentuated by the tremendous and encouraging response to SP’s State President Akhilesh Yadav’s Kranti Rath Yatra. Akhilesh Yadav happens to be the son of the party supremo Mulayam Singh, who started his Yatra on 3rd January which covered 25 districts of the State. Many surveys by various media agencies have shown SP emerging victorious.
The BJP will try to woo the Hindu voters of the State, trying to win them with the Ayodha Ram Mandir issue, & also accusing scandal-hit Congress of corruption. They have also opposed the quota for the backward Muslims. The BJP, whose national growth coincided with its spread in Uttar Pradesh from the 1980s, has unleashed all its leaders in the State.
Though, many experts have admitted to Mayawati’s cemented dalit vote base as ever, but a win again on her own will be a miracle in itself.
The BJP has ruled out any possibility of a post-poll alliance; thus the only uncertainty remains about chances of a SP-Congress alliance. In this case, there is a greater possibility of a SP led coalition government being formed in the State.
Overall, it seems to be a major contest between the ruling Mayawati led-BSP and the mighty Akhilesh Yadav’s SP with Backward Muslim quota being a major election issue. It would be interesting to see if the people of UP vote for change with Akhilesh Yadav’s aggressive, young and dynamic leadership playing its magic.