Despite the BJP spokespersons trying to present victory in Chandigarh municipal body polls as some kind of a positive mandate for Centre’s demonetisation policy, the party leadership is edgy about its fallout in the upcoming polls especially in Uttar Pradesh.
The aggressive advocacy of the demonetisation policy by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while on the tour of Uttar Pradesh earlier this week and equally aggressive counter of it by Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi clearly show that the two parties realize the catalyst role the issue is going to play in the polls, which are schedule for March.
According to well-placed sources in the BJP, the party has been jolted by the grassroots feedback, obtained through trusted survey agencies, which has indicated a downslide in the ratings. Post-surgical strike inside Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir, the party indicated an upswing in its fortunes hoping to get upward of 148 seats in the 403 member of House.
However, the survey carried out by the party internally after a month of the demonetisation move, showed that their number came down by more than 20 seats. What worried them, however, was that the seats which the party saw as change from winning to losing were going into the account of the Samajwadi Party. If Mayawati (the Bahujan Samaj Party) and the BJP were to get 125 seats each and Samajwadi Party managed to cross 100, as the BJP sources indicate towards the current trends, the possibility of Akhilesh Yadav once again forming the government becomes much fairer than any time before as the smaller parties including the Congress are more likely to go with Akhilesh Yadav than anybody else.
The fast changing political trends in the state is getting increasingly visible in the way major political players are delaying the list of their candidates or replacing them. The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), which took the lead over its rivals in finalising candidates for all 403 assembly seats in UP, has already replaced 115 aspirants. The Samajwadi Party has stopped at 175 seats and would probably announce remaining names after examining chances of an alliance with the Congress and other smaller parties.
The Congress has made it amply clear that it would wait for some time before announcing its candidate. The BJP on the other hand, which claims that it’s facing a problem of the plenty, will announce its candidates only after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rally on January 2.
“By then we would know pretty well, how much the effect of demonetisation is going to affect our health and to counter its ill effects, if any,” said the party leader.