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22 January 2012

UP POLLS ANALYSIS: BJP struggles to save itself from annihilation in Uttar Pradesh

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By Mohammad Shahid Parvez

Lucknow: Desperate to hold on the slipping political ground in Uttar Pradesh and finding the issues of Ram Mandir and Ram Rajya failing to click, the BJP, claiming to be a party with difference, has sought the help of corrupts and discards of the ruling BSP to save itself from annihilation in the state which is said to be its cradle. The party which tried to encash on the Anna’s anti-corruption movement and whose senior leader L.K. Advani undertook anti-corruption yatra across the country welcomed the tainted leaders into its fold even before its Mahayatri’s sweats from yatra had dried up.

The party leadership welcomed former state minister Babu Singh Kushwaha, charged with involvement in NRHM embezzlement, and Badshah Singh and Daddan Misra,indicted by the state Lok Ayukta for corruption, into the party throwing principles and ideology to the winds. Not only the Opposition cried foul but the party faced a revolt like situation from within. With Yogi Aditya Nath, Uma Bharati and Maneka Gandhi, besides the party patron RSS registering their protests, the party went on the damage control mode and suspended the membership of Kushwaha for the time being. However the damage was done. The saffron party stands exposed with its credibility as a party of principles eroded.The move also caste its shadow on the Anna movement who has now distanced himself from BJP or at least tries to give that impression.

But the BJP leadership,with an eye on backward votes, ignored all this.The party which organised Muslim convention in Lucknow recently to send a message to the community that the party was concerned with their welfare, however leaves no opportunity to demonstrate its Muslim hatred. Gadkari says' Polarisation can not be avoided if parties offer reservation to a particular community or religion (Muslims)...Minority reservation will lead to the partition of the country and Muslim appeasement will become an issue too hot to handle.' It is this Muslim hatred that the party is opposing the 4.5 per cent quota to minorities and trying to encash on it by pitting backward communities against the Congress government's move.And the party leaders feel that Kushwaha can be of great help in this endeavour.It was perhaps this 'practical wisdom'that the senior party leader Yashwant Sinha talked of, that prompted the induction of Kushwaha into the saffron party.It is also because of the same 'practical wisdom'that the party has decided to take the services of the BSP discard to campaign for the party despite suspending his membership. The party will try to convince the backward communities, and about 4 per cent Kushwaha voters, through the tainted leader that the 4.5 per cent quota given by the Congress to minorities will harm their interests which only the saffron party could safeguard.

Although the party president Nitin Gadkari says that the Kushwaha chapter is now stands closed after the suspension of his membership the RSS and Yogi Aditya Nath are not convinced.While the Sangh has appealed to people not to vote for tainted leaders, the Yogi, when asked by a national daily as to what was wrong if Kushwaha an OBC face, could fetch enough backward votes for the party in Bundelkhand region, shot back'What was wrong with Uma Bharati then? Kushwaha is not a bigger name than Uma...She could have got more votes for the party than Kushwaha could even in Bundelkhand region.At that time the state leadership,including Katiyar was against her coming to U.P. and see how she is being sidelined.'The Yogi reminded the party leadership "Boe ped babool ka to aam kahan se khae' (You reap what you sow). Although Gadkari denies any infighting in the state party the Yogi's statement is an indication of the resentment and infighting in the party that has deepened further following the Kushwaha episode.

To what extent Kushwaha will be usefull for the saffron party in fetchig the backward votes only time will tell. But given the fact that Kushwaha has never been a mass leader their appears some truth in the Yogis argument that Uma Bharti can get more backward votes than Kushwaha even in Bundelkhand. And looking at the resentment in the party over the issue any campaign by the BSP discards in favour of the party may prove to be counterproductive for it and do more harm than good.

[Mohammad Shahid Parvez is former News Editor, National Herald, Lucknow. He is associated with IndianMuslimObserver.com as Bureau Chief (Uttar Pradesh). He can be contacted at mshahidparvez@gmail.com]

1 comment:

  1. BJP will win 100-120 seats. Muslim votes will be split as usual resulting in marginalization of their voting power in UP.