Saturday, 28 January 2017

2017 UP Election – BJP Desperately Trying to End its Exile

During Indian general elections, poll strategists, media personnel often satirically refer that Lucknow is major hub in the route of New Delhi. Uttar Pradesh is the home to approximate 200 million voters. This astronomical figure makes this Indian state the most populated subdivision of the world. So, it is the foremost goal of all leading political parties to emerge triumphant in the UP state elections. SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav, Mayawati, protégé of late Kanshi Ram, Rahul Gandhi, scion of Indian national congress and Amit Shah, president of BJP are aware that electoral battle of Lucknow has to be won on any cost in this race for supremacy.



Elections in India are no longer sanctified fests of democracy but a game of show off where all tactics from muscle flexing to saber rattling are embraced heartily. Secularists even accuse Hindu nationalists (BJP) of misusing the name of Lord Rama, playing with religious sentiments and ultimately unsettling communal harmony. All these events have their impact upon UP state elections. But please wait, there is a twist here - the new generation of Indian voters has vehemently raised several topics that were shelved for many years. The most burning topic is development and corruption but appalling condition of poor law and order are also in the list. Narendra Modi, incumbent Prime Minister of India navigated chariot of BJP towards victory and promised to curb corruption, terrorism, hoarding, black money unemployment and accelerate the economy of country. Obviously, the saffron brigade is reminiscent of old memories and extremely desperate to deliver the same repeat performance.



BJP had gate crashed capital New Delhi with bag packed with lucrative promises but it seems that sugarcoated words of Modi have lost their sweetness. The disillusioned voters wait for opportunity and state elections have also blessed arch rivals (BSP, SP, INC) with an opportunity to settle the old scores. Undeniably, demonetization was a brave step but many honest Indians are cursing government for this extreme measure that disturbed people from all walks of life. Unfortunately, electoral battles in Uttar Pradesh are fought on the ground of religion and caste. This evil practice often eclipses other vital topics that ultimately remains shrouded in chaos.



Once again saffron party is about to play its trump card.  Narendra Modi will play an instrumental role in wooing the voters but without a projected or declared CM face this electoral battle would not be easy to win. The recent allegiance of SP and INC apparently unveils their clear cut strategy – to benefit from tapering popularity of BJP and emerge victorious in this semi-final of 2019 general elections.  It is now interesting to watch this tug of war where faction ridden SP/INC is on one end and confident/optimistic NDA on other. Both the camps are vying for power and many exit polls are predicting hung assembly. The final showdown on 11th march will evidently project the actual status of Modi mania and would be prelude to general elections 2019.
                  
                                                   ---Shasvat Gethe

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