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Looking beyond: UP battle for Vikas Vs Casteist Samajwadi

Nirendra Dev

Nirendra DevJan 15, 2022, 08:14 PM IST

Looking beyond: UP battle for Vikas Vs Casteist Samajwadi
The Modi-Yogi duo double engine has only strengthened the faith of voters and the resolve of the BJP workers and sympathizers in the development and protection of Hindu rights (Photo Credit: News 18)

By fielding Yogi from his traditional Gorakhpur seat, the message from BJP is clear that Yogi Adityanath does not need a particular seat to prove his Hindutva leanings, and he is the Chief Minister of the entire state and all communities.

 

New Delhi: Caste considerations have been a hard fact of political life in Uttar Pradesh. But it has been blatant in recent decades with patronage from parties such as Samajwadi, BSP and also Congress to a great extent. All have been shown their places electorally and repeatedly, but none seemed to have learned any lesson. 

The Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party is back again with the same game and is now trying to win over some disgruntled leaders from a few caste groups in particular. Swami Prasad Maurya and Dharam Singh Saini are two such leaders. The media spin is on the expected line as if the sky has fallen and something extraordinary things have happened.

Five years back, such hype was generated when Akhilesh Yadav decided to ally with Rahul Gandhi's Congress. In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Akhilesh tried yet another experiment and allied with the BSP of former Chief Minister Mayawati. In both instances, Akhilesh Yadav's game plans failed if not boomeranged, and the electorate showed confidence in Narendra Modi and the BJP.

In the 2019 parliamentary polls, the BJP and its ally Apna Dal (S) won 64 of the 80 Lok Sabha seats, proving all arithmetic of the SP-BSP 'Mahagatbandhan' in Uttar Pradesh wrong. SP and BSP won only 15. In 2017 assembly polls, Congress won only seven, while SP could win 47. The BSP could win 19, the saffron party's tally was 312, and the vote share was 39.67 per cent. 

Having said these, one thing is clear, Modi, BJP and later Yogi Adityanath have brought inclusive development (Sabka Vikas) and uplift of hitherto neglected segments at the centre stage of UP's electoral politics. 

The BJP on Saturday announced Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath as its candidate from Gorakhpur Urban. The message being the saffron party continues to take eastern Uttar Pradesh much seriously, and for it, what matters more is the politics of inclusive development.

"Fielding Yogi from Ayodhya would have given a boost to BJP's campaign in Awadh region, but unnecessary media hype would be there about the Hindutva card or so. The message from BJP is clear that Yogi Adityanath does not need a particular seat to prove his Hindutva leanings. And that he is the Chief Minister of the entire state and all communities," said a former Union Minister and in the know of things in BJP's strategy making.  

The Modi-Yogi duo double engine has only strengthened the faith of voters and the resolve of the BJP workers and sympathizers in the development and protection of Hindu rights.

The so-called secular forces have been busy appeasing Muslims and repeatedly hurling abuses on Hindus and Hindu culture. It is only during elections they remember to visit temples. But the people have treated them electorally as they deserved. Congress lost touch with UP practically in 1989 itself, and others did it later.

There is another twist in the tale. They do not say as much, but the 'sickular' forces are already experiencing the impact caused by the entry of AIMIM into the political arena. Asaduddin Owaisi has demonstrated how he can harm secular parties in states like Maharashtra and Bihar. In Uttar Pradesh, AIMIM impact could be more severe as the Hyderabad-based party had initially proposed Uttar Pradesh as its major target area of political expansion.

The road to power in New Delhi is most often via Uttar Pradesh, India's most populous state.

Things have just begun with the initial phases of ticket distribution. But with regard to Owaisi, he is a threat to self-styled and self-seeking secular forces as this Hyderabad Member of Parliament is in great demand in hubs and pockets of UP where Muslims see him as a new messiah.

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