UP Election: A Battle Modi Already Lost

Posted by Ningreikhan Wungkhai in Politics, Society
February 6, 2017

No doubt Prime Minister Modi treats every Indian in an amicable way, but that does not mean that he is watertight. His ways have covered up the reality from the common citizens and made it even more impenetrable to the reality. But, UP is not what he thinks it is. He will have to do a lot more than what he has been doing (campaigning in Uttar Pradesh without fielding a Chief Ministerial candidate) to prepare for the general elections in 2019.

With Akhilesh Yadav on a winning streak, having almost every SP stalwart by his side, it is rather too unlikely for the PM himself to prevail over the ‘indomitable’ poster boy. Uttar Pradesh is the province of Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samajwadi Party, albeit the huge crowding in Modi’s campaign, of late.

Indira Gandhi and Narendra Modi have many similar qualities. But while Indira Gandhi ran her government by using authoritarianism, Modi runs his government by using strong xenophobic nationalism. But this is not how Modi will roll his dice in UP.

In fact, demonetisation has irked almost every common man, especially the poor, as it was alleged by several other political heavyweights like Didi (Mamata Banerjee) and Nitish Kumar.

Even if Modi sees UP slipping away from his clutches – it is not because of his policy against the Machiavellians – it’s simply because Modi did not fit-in in UP. Even though the two warring factions of the Yadav family have been fighting over the ‘Cycle’ symbol – there still is Mayawati, who rides on the confidence of the Dalits, Muslims, and OBC.

Of late, India’s Samajwadi Party, instead of working for social upliftment of the poor, backward and socially weaker sections of society, has been locking horns and volleying series of allegations among their kins to grab power, scarcely wooing the opinion poll.

It’s rather clear that the Yadavs are very confident of winning the Assembly election, but must first bury all hatchets and wash the dirty linens.

In recent months, Mulayam Singh Yadav took an unexpected decision and expelled his son Akhilesh and his loyalist Ram Gopal Yadav from the party for six years; although he later revoked the expulsions, the damage has been done which he cannot repair.

There were several conspiracy theories, of late, which have been doing the rounds in Delhi and Lucknow, and nothing answers why Netaji acted the way he did. What is the cause of hostility between the son and father duo? How could differences over a few seats for upcoming Uttar Pradesh Assembly Elections be so insurmountable that the father had to sack his chief minister son from his own party?

There was a vague speculation that Mulayam Singh Yadav has been creating the hullaballoo on the behest of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), as he has been promised to be made President or Vice President of India. Some psephologists think it is a non-sense theory, but they doubt that the BJP is threatening Mulayam with the CBI’s disproportionate-assets-case against him. However, the bond between the father and son seems unbreakable now, and in a following event, Ram Gopal Yadav anointed Akhilesh as the Chief of SP.

In 2012, Samajwadi Party owned the assembly election with solid backing from Yadavs and the Muslim community, which constitutes 15 per cent and 18 per cent of state’s population respectively. However, presently it seems the Muslims are disappointed with the Akhilesh government because several riots happened during his four-and-a-half year governance.

Meanwhile, Bahujan Samajwadi Party (BSP) is trying to capitalise on Dalit-Muslim votes to target BJP, SP as well as Congress. This poll will be a do or die battle for Mayawati, as her party was decimated in 2014 polls. Will Muslims put their weight behind Mayawati after Samajwadi Party’s family feud? Only time will answer lest the ‘Holy Cow syndrome’ does.

While the Congress has already declared former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit as its chief ministerial candidate for UP elections, the BJP is still assessing the ‘good and bad’ effects of demonetization to counter rival parties. BJP looks for a return to power in UP after its good performance in UP General Elections, 2014.

It is aggressively wooing upper-caste people, some sections of Dalits, and OBCs to come to power on its own.

Now the biggest focus is on the next episode of the Samajwadi party’s first family feud drama. These episodes are not only bringing anxieties for the future of Samajwadi Party but also gravely affecting the functioning of UP government, where the Uttar Pradesh people are the ultimate sufferers.

Will this make Mayawati the knight in shining armour for the people of UP? Because Modi is definitely not the chosen one this time.