Image sorce: youthcorner.in
All signs point that the Uttar Pradesh elections will be held in February, so the time is not far when battle in the biggest Indian state election will kickoff to choose a new chief minister.
Rita Bahuguna, a long term Congress confidante recently joined BJP, the party at the Center, before the Uttar Pradesh Vidhan Sabha elections. It showed that the power shift in the upcoming elections has taken a toll on all major party candidates who have aligned with BJP as the party is betting big on winning the elections and proclaims that they will form the government in UP in 2017.
The incumbent Samajwadi Party(SP) claims that there is no match to Akhilesh Yadav in Uttar Pradesh and the BJP as well as the Congress do not have any strong candidate for the Chief Ministership. This, they say, is clear enough through the constant poaching that the BJP is doing in the state. About Congress, SP spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia said, “Congress is a non player in the state of Uttar Pradesh, with no leaders at all.”
What cannot be ignored is the family war going on in the incumbent Samajwadi Party, which is evident from the tussle between Akhilesh Yada and rejoined long term party associate Amar Singh. Akhilesh and his uncle Shivpal Yadav are too at loggerheads at the distribution of ticket to the candidates.
Political analyst Neerja Chowdhury said in a debate that Akhilesh Yadav has a positive image in the state, but the ongoing conflict in the family has sent divisive signals to the people of Uttar Pradesh. She also said that Rita Bahuguna has been responsible for Congress in the State and so is responsible for the current fiasco of Congress in UP. Rita’s move from Congress has also sent a message that the Congress has little chance to recover in the foreseeable future.
To the fact that BJP hasn’t yet declared any chief ministerial candidate in Uttar Pradesh portrays the lack of a strong people’s leader in the party. To this Sudhansu Trivedi said that historically, the BJP projecting a leader in the state has not always received benefits, thus it is the leaders who decide to declare a leader and when to do so.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh is a leader who has leverage in the state, yet BJP has refrained from projecting him as the Chief Minister, yet.
Overall, BJP hasn’t yet shown its cards and there is no visible mandate for any particular party. The election war in Uttar Pradesh will be a test for all political parties and especially for BJP.