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UP, hottest battlefield

UP, hottest battlefield
As the dates of Lok Sabha election are approaching, Uttar Pradesh seems to have become the hottest battlefield. On one side, the BJP is projecting itself far ahead in the race while on the  other hand, self-claimed secular parties are also claiming the same. Though it’s a tough task to predict who will get how much seat share in the 80-Lok Sabha seats state, one thing is sure about the results that the degree of win and loss will be marginal.

Despite the fact that the BJP has lost its hold in the state, several senior leaders are in race for the party ticket as they believe that the Modi wave may bring victory for them. That’s the only reason why senior leaders are also being found engaged in inter-party allegation and counter-allegations. It has also become clear that those who will not get tickets, this party will create ruckus either by accusing the senior leader in Delhi or jump on to another political camp.

The Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav has already denied any possibility of alliance with any party. He said all secular parties will get united post elections. Apart from this his party has also decided not to field candidates from Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi’s Rae Bareili and Amethi seats respectively. The socialist party-led government in Uttar Pradesh is also facing the public rage after Muzaffarnagar riots.

On the other hand, BSP chief Mayawati has also declared to field candidates for all 80 seats and the party is facing it tough to polarise Muslim votes. The veteran leader Mayawati is repeatedly emphasising  that she is the only leader who can stop the Modi wave and urging people to support her in this task. But as the voters have become more aware of the post-poll alliances, Mayawati’s alliance with the BJP after elections is still under suspicion. The BSP has already formed government at the Uttar Pradesh thrice with BJP’s support.

The Congress and the Ajit Singh-led Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) are already at the Centre. The Congress, which had won 22 Lok Sabha seats out of 80 seats of the state in the 2009 general elections, is having a tough time now as there is clear public outrage in the state against UPA. The party is focusing more on Jat majority area of western UP as the UPA government has offered the community a gift of reservation in the central government schemes by granting the OBC status.

After BJP, Congress and BSP, Aam Aadmi Party has also taken the centrestage in the state politics by fielding their maximum candidates in UP. As the Arvind Kejriwal-led party has emerged after an anti-corruption campaign, though every party is on their radar, BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi is facing more severe blows from merely a year-old party. Besides, all these self-claimed secular parties, JD(U) and Left parties are also trying their luck in Uttar Pradesh. In a battle of secular image, the division of Muslim votes is clear and it’s going to help the BJP.

In the last Lok Sabha elections in 2009, the Congress and the Samajwadi Party had contested independently, while BJP had joined hand with RLD and despite this BJP failed to increase its seat share in the state. It had remained limited to only 10 seats and Ajit Singh’s party gained due to alliance which brought him five seats. Now, the BJP is claiming that the Jat community will support them as they are completely annoyed with the Akhilesh government and the Congress at the Centre. The effort was also seen in Modi’s Agra rally when the party had felicitated some of Jat leaders on stage. Sensing this, the Congress also tried to woo the Jat voters by offering OBC status. Will this help the Congress? Elections results will clear the picture.

Political pundits are not even ready to take the AAP easy. Both BJP’s face Modi and AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal are leaving no stone unturned in addressing youths’ issues and the young voters are also reciprocating to them by turning out in big numbers in their political rallies. It’s crystal clear that AAP’s presence in the battle of ballot will cause damage to BJP’s ‘power dreams’. Above all, dissent in BJP’s home is also sending out a negative message among the masses.

Samajwadi Party had managed to clinch 23, Congress 21 and the then ruling party BSP 20 seats in the last Lok Sabha elections in 2009. The caste factor is still as much vital as it was earlier and the clear battle is between the Samajwadi Party and the BJP. The anti-Congress wave has already eliminated the Sonia Gandhi-led party from the contest. While people may not endow trust on BSP as  the party has always been a changing mind.

With the Lok Sabha election results on 16 May, things will get cleared whether BJP would touch the 57-seat mark as the milestone being created by Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led party. The war was waged between the popular A B Vajpayee and Sonia Gandhi. But things have changed now. Despite the Modi wave, BJP’s president Rajnath Singh is not sure of his victory from Ghaziabad seat while other senior leaders are also looking for tickets from safer seats.
Ashu Saxena

Ashu Saxena

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