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Clash of the political commodores

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The Election Commissioner Mr. Nasim Zaidi came out announcing the dates for the elections in five states (Uttar Pradesh, Manipur, Goa, Punjab and Uttarkhand). Latest developments in UP indicate a good show for BJP and BSP. With BJP gaining popularity due to the SP feud. With Rita Bahugana’s exit from The Congress Party will substantially lower The Congress Party’s vote share among the top brass of the society (Brahimns). Dalit Leader and BSP Supremo Mayawati has successfully garnered enough support from the lower sections of the society.

The demography of UP is something like this. Being the most populated state it has the most varied demographic patterns. OBCs form 41% of the population, comprising of the Yadavs (8%), Kushwaha (4%), the Lodhis, Jats and Kurmis forming a small part of the population. Muslims play an important role (almost 19%). The upper caste includes Brahmins (12%), Thakurs(8%) and a few minor castes. But Monday’s landmark Supreme Court judgement deeming vote seeking in the name of religion, race, language or caste has overshadowed the electoral power of most parties. BSP Supremmo Mayawati has released the candidate list for 401 constituencies, mainly consisting of Muslims, Dalits and few low caste players. Seemingly, a BJP leader has also moved the Election Commission from getting BSP debarred from the elections for playing caste politics. But the success of the issue remains faded. The election is all set to be held from Feb 11 to March 8 2017, in 7 phases. The government has successfully announced the Budget on Feb 1, this may have a positive impact on the people and provide BJP an edge over the other parties. Since the BJP does not have a clear CM candidate for the UP elections, it has been a devious problem for the UP BJP. Lately it seems that the SP feud is all getting reversed. With truce beginning to sprout out from the two SP leaders Mulayum and Akhilesh. Yadavs and muslims have always been loyal to the Samajwadi Party. But the candidate list announced by BSP may also attract the muslim community. The Dalits have overwhelmingly supported BSP in in the 2007 elections. But sky rocketing corruption and building of elephant statues all around the state during here tenure has caught the glimpse of the weaker sections.

BJP will probably try to get its vote share from the Brahmin community and a good share from the lower communities too. The Thakurs have supported the BJP for a considerable duration. BJP had a marvelously fruitful show in the 2014 Lok Sabha Elections winning 71 seats out of the total 80 seats. This was mainly attributed to the Modi wave which was formed right before the election. But will it be able to repeat the same? Not possible. BJP has its own limitations. It had garnered 42% vote share during the 2014 elections. But now it will be considered a cock and a bull story if someone says BJP will win 350+ seats in UP assembly elections.

BJP should soon think of an alternative to replace Modi’s image for garnering votes and must get strong leaders in its crew. If NoteBandi has made people believe that Modi has fought corruption, probably it would be of help to BJP. But if the people are not really satisfied, it remains a dark gloomy cloud. I would like to end my article by saying that UP has a diverse population with diverse political leaders and communities. It is nearly impossible to create opinion polls based on a few answers who represent the 7th largest country (if UP had been a separate country) in the world. But finally it will be the litmus test for Demonetisation and the Modi Government.

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