Uttar Pradesh would be one of the most keenly observed states ahead of 2019 general elections. The state contributed significantly in ensuring landslide victory of the BJP in 2014 general elections. The BJP and its allies won 73 of the 80 Lok Sabha seats in the state. Parties like Congress, Samajwadi Party (SP), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) suffered a great debacle. Their great fall continued in the state assembly elections as well. The BJP got unexpected overwhelming majority in 2017 UP state assembly elections. In 403 seats Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly, the BJP won whopping 325 seats.
In order to stop the BJP to repeat 2014 and 2017 like episode again, the two principal opposition parties of Uttar Pradesh- SP and BSP- formed a grand alliance. They strongly believe that through this they can thwart the rising tide of the BJP in the state. Initially, the grand-coalition displayed signs of success and delivered promising results by winning the seats of Gorakhpur and Phulpur in the By-polls and by extending support to RLD candidate on crucial Kairana seat in By-polls. However, larger picture and the future of alliance look gloomy. The anti-BJP grand alliance that was supposed to corner the BJP from all sides, prevent the division of the “secular” vote and ultimately defeat the BJP in a “Modi v the rest” contest seems to be heading towards a huge flop.
Recently, in what can serve as a bolt from the blue for the PM aspirations of ex-CM Akhilesh Yadav and his new found ally Mayawati, his own uncle, and influential figure in Samajwadi Party, Shivpal Yadav, has come to play spoilsport again. Distressed by the negligence towards the old faction by Akhilesh Yadav, he announced his own ‘Secular Morcha’, Shivpal has decided to give a befitting reply to the current Samajwadi Party supremo for going astray from his roots. It is important to note that Akhilesh has been the face of the party for the last 6 years, but it is Shivpal Yahav who has the cadres and the organizational strength. So his exit would make the party weaker. Shivpal is a good crowd puller and enjoys a good reputation among the old loyalists of the party. He has also asked old loyalists of the SP to join his newly formed ‘Secular Morcha’. If it happens then it could seriously harm the Akhilesh Yadav’s Mahagathbandhan prospect. Some serious questions would surface like which faction will join the Mahagathbandhan? And how many seats the Mahagathbandhan would allocate for only half of SP’s strength?
Secondly, according to media reports, Mayawati is ignoring Akhilesh and has also stopped meeting with him. One more striking thing to note is that from past few days she has stopped speaking against the BJP. She has not launched any attack against the BJP on Rafale issue. Her party has also denied any possibility of coalition with Congress in upcoming Madhya Pradesh assembly elections. According to political experts and media reports, the BJP is playing ‘good cop-bad-cop’ with her behind the scenes, sending out feelers and advancing an old corruption case at the same time. She might back off from Mahagathbandhan, sooner or later.
Third, SP-BSP cadre level problems: SP-BSP coalition may look viable at the leadership level but at the cadre level, it is a formula for disaster. They lack a Nitish Kumar like figure to ensure vote transfer like it happened in Bihar. And it’s an open secret that all is not well between Dalits and Yadavs. There exists a traditional rivalry between both the communities and hence a seamless vote transfer in 2019 is just a remote possibility and chances of huge cross voting are very high.
Fourth, SP and BSP said they will not be able to accommodate more than two seats to the Congress party that too in the Gandhi borough of Raebareli and Amethi.
And lastly Yogi’s Hindutva image has united the Hindus like never before, he is considered as the tallest Hindu icon in the country and hence UP is likely to repeat a 2014 like unity in 2019 also which cuts across caste barriers and unite all the Hindus under one saffron umbrella.
For more details: Here is why BJP will repeat 2014 performance in 2019 General Elections in Uttar Pradesh