Dancing Tune Rings for Modi, Mulayam and Mayawati
The dates have been announced for assembly elections in five states with all eyes of political pundits on the largest state of India, i.e. Uttar Pradesh. After Bihar elections, now Uttar Pradesh is the most important state that is going to poll amid high drama in the Mulayam Singh Yadav family. The family feud has reached its low, thereby exposing the negative impact of politics that is linked to one family. The grand old Congress party championed in post-Independence era the ideology of limiting politics and political thoughts of a party to a particular family. This practice was followed by regional parties and their leaders such as Jayalalithaa, Karunanidhi, Lalu Prasad Yadav, Deve Gowda, who ruled their states in the similar fashion. These political parties play caste and regional in a big way. Once upon a time, the Congress was voted to power totally unopposed on the popularity of Indira Gandhi, even in states, in the absence of regional parties. In Uttar Pradesh, Mulayam and Mayawati were voted to power on the basis of caste-based politics. In Bihar also, Nitish and Lalu Prasad resorted to caste-based politics.
After poll victory in 2014 Lok Sabha elections, under the leadership of Narendra Modi, the BJP has retained power in the name of Modi’s positive image, towering personality and statesmanship, besides Sangh’s well-organised organisational structure at the grassroots level. Now the BJP’s campaign style is totally dependent on Narendra Modi, as the party seeks votes in his name without declaring party’s chief ministerial candidate. In Uttar Pradesh, elections would be fought between the regional titans focussing on caste-based politics and Narendra Modi’s development agenda. But in India sometimes development agenda does not click in elections, as Akhilesh Yadav has taken many initiatives for infrastructure development in his state, but his government has failed thoroughly in implementing law and order in Uttar Pradesh. However, it is noteworthy that the Akhilesh Yadav government has used its machinery at all levels to highlight the government’s initiatives for the poor and the neglected classes. The only major loophole is now the open family feud of the Samajwadi Party, and this may not go well with the public, as the dispute is seemingly unending. Mayawati is shouting from rooftop at Modi for exposing her party in the demonetisation process. It appears as if her dedicated cadres may not support her this time, as she seems to have lost the aura of a charismatic leader for them. To aggravate the matter, many senior leaders have already deserted her on different occasions. Rahul Gandhi has utterly failed at all fronts in Uttar Pradesh to attract voters. His idea to create Dalit agenda has also failed badly, and he is no more a crowd-puller for either youths or Dalit and backward classes. The Congress is in a dilemma whether to have an alliance with the SP or not? It cannot be gainsaid that in recent elections, including that of 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Muslim youths voted for the leadership of Modi. So putting all these factors together, it is quite evident that in UP elections, although caste is a major factor, this time Yadavs, Muslims, Brahmins, Rajputs, Lodhas and all other important castes may go for Modi, instead of supporting the faded regional leaders. We know Modi is a crowd-puller, and given the number of people gathered at the Lucknow Parivartan Rally, one can’t deny the fact that the Modi mantra would again work. What is more, Modi as a Prime Minister, is now an MP from Uttar Pradesh, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, the number second in Modi cabinet, is also an MP from Uttar Pradesh and a former Uttar Pradesh CM. In a nutshell, it can be said that the BJP is leaving no stone unturned in exposing the misrule of the SP government, as Modi’s charisma is completely integral among the general masses, especially after the giant step of demonetisation. But, of course, Uttar Pradesh election would be an indicator for his future image, as many senior economists criticised the demonetisation process, adopted by the Modi government.
In Punjab, the BJP-SAD combine is, of course, facing a rough political situation after completing two successive terms and at the prospects of entry of AAP in Punjab election. The Congress is also an important factor, which is exposing the loopholes in governance. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who had lost MP election from Amritsar, would again be put in test indirectly to try his political nemesis Captain Amrinder Singh. In Uttarakhand, the situation seems to be very much conducive for the BJP, again owing to the good image of Prime Minister Modi. In Goa after Manohar Parrikar’s exit from the state, it is a testing time for the BJP, as the people have to choose between the new leadership in the state and others.
In this election season, the most perturbed leader is West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, who is very much annoyed, as two of her party MPs have been arrested by CBI in chit-fund scam. She is behaving in the same way with the BJP leaders in the state, what she faced during the Left regime. This time, the TMC goons are openly flouting all norms of law and order. Therefore, it’s high time the Governor should report the exact situation of WB to the Centre, as the state BJP leaders have already given representation to him.