oppn parties Will BJP win UP or Will it be a Hung Assembly?

News Snippets

  • Special DG (Training) in CRPF, S N Shrivastava, appointed special commissioner (law & order) in Delhi Police in order to quell the violence. He is also expected to take over as chief of Delhi police once Amulya Patnaik's term ends on February 29
  • Curfew and shoot at sight orders reportedly in force in some areas, but Delhi Police HQ does not issue a notice for the same
  • The Central government has pressed paramilitary forces to control the riots in Delhi
  • Mobs in Delhi target journalists, check them for religious identity and snatch equipment
  • 13 people deal until now in one of the worst spells of violence in Delhi
  • Violence in Delhi shows no signs of abating with fresh areas in the north-eastern part of the capital coming under its grip
  • Delhi High Court says DGCA was wrong in approving the flying ban on stand-up comic Kunal Kamra by airlines other than Indigo for his alleged misbehavior with TV anchor Arnab Goswami aboard an Indigo flight
  • The Bihar assembly passes a resolution to stick to the old NPR form, making it the first NDA state to do so
  • Arms deal for advanced helicopters, worth $3bn, signed with the US, but the trade deal remains elusive
  • Trump says he has a good equation with Pak PM Imran Khan and assures India that Pakistan is working to reduce cross border terrorism
  • Trump once again offers to mediate in the Kashmir issue
  • Trump says it is up to India to decide on the CAA
  • US President Donald Trump says PM Modi wants religious freedom for all
  • US President Donald Trump lands in Ahmedabad, received at the airport by Prime Minister Modi
  • US President Donald Trump to land in India today
Continuing violence in Delhi takes the sheen off the visit by US President Donald Trump
oppn parties
Will BJP win UP or Will it be a Hung Assembly?

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2017-02-22 22:26:28

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
Despite the most acrimonious state election ever, Uttar Pradesh seems to be sending out the message that there will be no clear winner. As of now, the buzz is that voters are equally divided between the BJP and the SP-Congress combine, with the BSP falling behind. This shows that despite washing the dirty family linen in public, Akhilesh Yadav has managed to retain his vote bank to a large extent. It also shows that the BJP and the BSP have failed to take advantage of the ugly feud in the SP.

Has the alliance with the Congress helped the SP? The picture is not clear on that, but the apparent bonhomie between the cadres of the two parties on the field is creating an atmosphere of goodwill for both the parties. Whether this will translate into votes is another matter, but with Akhilesh firmly in saddle and the face of the combine, SP must be confident. Only if the younger Yadav can keep his tongue in control, he has things going good for him. For, double meaning remarks like “donkeys of Gujarat” can boomerang badly. The Congress is not expected to do well even in Amethi and Rae Bareilly, which aptly sums up its position. Rahul Gandhi is not taken seriously anywhere in the state and with Sonia ill and Priyanka just putting in the odd appearance, the party seems on the verge of being wiped out in the state.

On the other hand, despite the high octane campaign and months of strategizing, the BJP is hampered by not having a CM face. There being no frontrunners in the party, the people are confused as to who they are voting for. Modi’s appeal can only be limited in a state election. Further, the Jats in western UP seem to be still alienated despite Amit Shah’s last minute attempts to pacify them. For the BJP, a lot matters in eastern UP and if they cannot repeat their 2014 Lok Sabha in this region, they will not be able to form the government. If it is not able to win UP, Amit Shah’s image will suffer irreparable damage. For, despite planning long and hard with allegedly unlimited funds and huge infrastructure, the loss will be viewed as bad strategy on his part. But he will remain at the helm for as of now, he is the only man in the party whom Modi trusts.

The BSP seems to have thrown in the towel. There is no buzz around the party. Mayawati looks like a spent force, despite her provocative comments against Modi. The party workers are a lost lot. It will at best retain its traditional strongholds and might even lose some vote share. The transformation of the BSP from a ruling party to an also-ran is too stark to be missed. 2017 is going to be the year that will define its future existence. Lack of planning and people contact in the years out of government have been the party’s undoing.

If BJP does not win in UP, its dream of having the Rajya Sabha in control by the 2019 elections will be shattered. This will mean that even at the end of his term, Modi will not be able to push for urgently needed economic reforms, the pillar on which his promise of acche din was based. Having done much to eradicate big ticket corruption and streamline processes, the BJP needs a majority in the Rajya Sabha to complete the rest of its agenda and for this a win in UP, which sends the largest number of MPs to the upper house is necessary. As of now, this seems a distant possibility.