Understanding the contest

What happens now will have an impact on what will happen in future
Understanding the contest
Kaushambi: Police personnel remove the hoardings of political leaders and government schemes after the Election Commission declared the schedule for the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections 2022, in Kaushambi on Sunday. UP Assembly polls will take place in seven phases from 10 February to 7th March.ANI

Who is losing the ground, and who is gaining? The answer to this question may not be easy, but for the sake of making an assessment and to arrive at a possible conclusion, We have to analyse the voter data available with us right now. UP like any other Indian state has an overwhelming Hindu population. While as 20% of its population is Muslim.

That is the highest number as far as other Indian states are concerned. The Hindus are upper, middle and lower castes. The upper caste are under 20%, lower caste/Dalits are also slightly less than 20%. While as middle caste (Yadavs/OBCs) are around 40% of its total population.

Upper caste are mainly BJP supporters, middle caste (Yadavs/other backward classes) by and large are siding with the Samajwadi Party, and BSP has a broad base amongst the schedule caste/Dalits.

If Smajwadi party, BSP, Congress and the Muslim voters, so to say, join their hands, BJP’s defeat would be imminent. But in politics, for more than one reason, it is not always possible to forge any such wishful alliances. As every party and their leaders have their own personal political ambitions and interests.

Let us take for instance BSP. It, instead of joining hands with the SP to ensure a possible BJP defeat, has chosen to lie low in order to pave way for its supporters to side with the BJP. As the majority of the low caste aligned with it do not want to be dominated by the middle castes / OBCs if they come to power.

Congress, because of best possible efforts of Priyanka has been able to create some dent, and SP could have taken advantage of it. But it chose to maintain a distance from it for the reason it may have to make a sacrifice when it comes to pursuing of its own national agenda.

This inter se bickering amongst various opposition parties and factions has given BJP a visible edge over its nearest rival SP in the next assembly elections. But despite all this, chances of breaking this tide are good if the Muslim voters en block cast their votes in favour of the Samajwadi Party, for the reason of its clear cut secular credentials. Because of this scare, and prospect of a possible defeat in the UP, BJP on its part is taking no chances at all. So it has decided to take its policy of polarisation and nationalism to its new heights to pursue this goal.

Apart from the UP, assembly elections are taking place in the state of Utrakhand, Goa, Manipur, Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh. BJP is not in power in all the Indian states although as of now it is firmly in power at the centre. Therefore losing of assembly elections in two or three states more, may not be a big deal for it. But as far as the state of UP is concerned it is not the same thing; it is for sure going to affect it in the long run. After all it has got 430 assembly and 80 parliamentary constituencies, that is the highest number of seats as far any other state is concerned.

It is therefore bound to have larger effect and far reaching consequences on the parliamentary elections scheduled to be held in two years from now that is in the year 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

However, the problem with the opposition parties, other than the Congress where the leadership role stands once and for all assigned, is that every non BJP chief Minster in the country is in hurry to take the next step; that is to occupy the post of the Prime Minster and settle for nothing short of it.

Unless that trend is not stopped, and some kind of arrangement or consensus is not reached amongst them, the dream of a next non-BJP government at the centre cannot be a reality.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.

The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.

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