Now that the election Bugle has been sounded by the election commission and the different political parties have jumped into the election fray. By and large there will be multi cornered contests in the UP elections but after all and in the ultimate analysis there will SP versus BJP at ground level and both the contenders to the throne of Lucknow have geared up for the tough contest and have put on their sleeves and readied for elections.
The UP elections are becoming very interesting and significant in the sense that the route to Delhi darbar goes through this populous state and therefore these state assembly elections of 2022 is the semi final for 2024 general elections and therefore all the eyes of political pundits and the general public as well are focused on the UP election struggle and its outcome. Although different political parties are contesting the UP elections like congress BSP, AIMIM, Rajbars party, AAP, RJD and other smaller parties but the main contest is between the ruling BJP and its stiff opponent the SP. In seems, election battle is between Yogi’s BJP and Akhilesh’s SP. Though there are different parties in the election battle but the main contest will be between Yogi and Akhilesh. It will not be an exaggeration to say that the main election battle is between the BJP and SP though it cannot be overlooked that the election battle will in a way be between the BJP versus all others. Thus all the political parties are tightening their belts and are somewhat joining hands to dislodge the mighty BJP from power in the state of UP. But in actual practice the opposition parties is a divided house and as such they cannot face the mighty BJP in the election battle. It is cent per cent true that the opposition cannot fight the BJP severally and the opposition unity is far from truth. In spite of this the BJP is set to fight a stiff election battle with SP and it is premature to predict the outcome of the elections because both the two main contenders to the power are strong enough and in such an environment it is very difficult for the two political parties to assume powers so easily but at the end of the day it is likely that the louts will again bloom in UP because BJP has done a very good job for the common man of the state. There is less anti-incumbency in UP elections and this will in the ultimate analysis favour the return of the BJP to power. Since BJP has a scientific marketing strategy and the party is in a position to market its achievements to the people of UP and thus there is likelihood that BJP may bounce back to power in the elections. But there will be tough fight between the BJP and SP as these two political parties are the contenders to the power in UP as there is direct fight between the BJP and SP and it is to be seen as to which way the wind will blow but indications are that BJP’s lotus will again bloom after these elections. There are many big and small parties in the field but the contest in the elections is between the Yogi’s BJP and Akhilesh SP. Samajwadi party will give a tough fight to BJP but at the end of the day it seems that BJP will again win the elections as it is a cadre based and disciplined party and has its solid vote constituency which will vote in favour of BJP and make it successful in the elections. Both BJP and SP is banking on and resorting to the caste and social engineering to woo voters to their side. Samajwadi Party is appealing to the Dalits, weaker sections and consolidating minorities especially Muslims and is doing utmost to woo these sections of the society to their side. But so far as the Muslim votes is concerned, this time SP is finding it difficult to gain access to Muslim votes as the Assud-ud-Din Owasie’s AIMIM is directly appealing Muslim votes as he is playing the Muslim card in these elections. He is going to field many candidates in these elections and is dividing the Muslim votes and this is going to harm the prospects of the SP as the party will not be in a position to woo Muslim votes en mass and it is a disadvantage to SP. So for as the Dalit and other Schedule caste, schedule tribe and other weaker section votes are concerned, these will be divided because of the appeal of Mayawati’s BSP which appeals to these sections of the society. Since BSP is the party of the Dalits and weaker sections of the society and there is every likelihood that the votes of the Dalits, SCs, STs and other caste combinations will be divided and a bigger chunk of these votes will go in favour of the BSP and this is going to cut a sizable number of the lower caste votes to SP and thus it will dent the vote and support of the weaker sections to the SP. But in spite of this reality and the caste-ridden society, SP is going to get a good number of the votes of the lower castes because of the division of the votes. There is every likelihood that the Muslim votes, Dalit votes and other weaker section votes will be divided and this division of the lower caste and Muslim votes will benefit the BJP in the elections. It is a fact that the vote constituency of the BJP is solid and intact and there is no division of the votes of the BJP and so it is an advantage to the saffron party. BJP is going to the people with its Hindutva agenda and also the development plank and is banking on Modi’s slogan of sabka Sath Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas and Sabka Prayas and this is going to translate into vote in the elections. Thus is BJP going to gain in the vote percentage. BJP is selling its achievements of five years of its rule and anti-incumbency is at its low and this is going to benefit BJP’s poll prospects. The votes of upper castes and Brahamins are with the BJP and they will vote in favor of the party with a difference. The BJP is appealing to the voters that the party and the prime minister has abrogated the controversial article 370 of the constitution and has made the Jammu and Kashmir an integral and inseparable part of India and is asking for votes on this basis. BJP is also seeking votes against achievement of the construction of the grand Ram temple at Ayodha to the prospective voters. Not only this it is selling its many schemes to the people and asking for the votes on the basis of the many schemes launched by the Modi government. Thus is the BJP banking on the pro poor schemes to gain votes in the election. It is asking for votes on the subject of wiping the Gundagardi from the UP as Yogi is asserting day in and day out that the Gunda elements have either left the UP or have been jailed or neutralized and this is no mean achievement. SP is appealing to the weaker sections ,backward classes, Dalits and Muslims and is resorting to social and caste engineering to gain votes. Aklesh Yadav is also promising free electricity to the people of UP up to 300 units and thus is he resorting to the politics of freebies to woo voters. SP has also organized the Brahman conclaves to woo them to their side. Thus, SP does not leave any stone unturned to give a tough fight to BJP. In brief this assembly election is a fight between BJP versus SP in the ultimate analysis.
(The author is a retired Education Officer and Columnist).