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2012 UP POLL ANALYSIS: Prospects of SP- Congress government brighter in Uttar Pradesh

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By Mohammad Shahid Parvez


Lucknow: With the completion of the fourth phase polling on Sunday Uttar Pradesh has crossed half mark of its poll battle 2012. Now is the time for analysis of the voting trends and making speculations as to who will form the next government in the state. The record turn-out on polling booths had boosted the morale of some parties while some others feel jittery, though all of them put brave to claim that they will win. Thus while the Congress and Samajwadi Party see in the record voting specially by the youth and Muslims, a good omen for themselves the BSP chief and Chief Minister Mayawati has gone even to claim that her party would do better in this election than in 2007 and the BJP leaders see major gains for the saffron party as Kalraj Misra claims ‘BJP will gain in the elections and you will see a revolutionary change in UP.’


Change may be there. But it will certainly not be in favour of the BJP as Misra believes or makes others to believe. The large participation of youth and Muslims in the elections does not augur well for the saffron party. The youth in general do not believe in communal and casteist politics which has always been at the core of BJP ideology. Today’s youth is more concerned about their educational and career prospects than anything else and the government that creates more opportunities for them on these fronts and creates more jobs only can hope to get their vote and support. Unfortunately BJP has nothing to offer them on these fronts. As for Muslims the community has never voted for the party. Then there is BSP which is facing anti-incumbency factor, an undercurrent of which has been seen in all the four phases that may hamper its progress.


The Congress and SP, the two parties which can boast of having two youth icons in Rahul Gandhi and Akhilesh Yadav, respectively who talk of development though at the same time not forgetting the importance of the caste factor in the state. The aggressive campaigning especially by the former has certainly boosted the prospects of the Congress which can hope to improve its tally but not to the extent of forming the government by itself. The Samajwadi Party which claims to get a clear majority is itself skeptical about its claim as is evident from its chief Mulayam Singh Yadav’s statement holding out olive branch to Congress. Mr yadav said that he could support even the Congress to keep BJP at bay if such a situation arises. Yadav though retracted his statement a couple of hours later the disclaimer only strengthened the perception of an SP-Congress post -poll tie-up, a scenario dictated as much by Congress’ Central compulsions as by the possibility of elections throwing up a hung Assembly.


In the first four phases polling was held for 226 seats mainly in eastern and central UP that has been a stronghold of Samajwadi Party except in the last Assembly elections when the party yielded ground to BSP because Muslims deserted it for hobnobbing with Kalyan. However, going by the polling trend this time Yadav’s party appears to be gaining some of its lost ground though Congress is giving it tough fight and may wean away a substantial Muslim and non-Yadav OBC votes from it except perhaps in Azamgarh and Varanasi divisions where Batla House encounter may prove to be its undoing. Although BJP has tried to polarize the OBCs on communal lines on the issue of 4.5 per cent reservation to minorities and the party is banking on its success, how effective will it be in the region is yet to be seen. The remaining 177 constituencies which will go to polls in the remaining three phases mainly fall in western UP and Bundelkhand, considered a stronghold of the Dalit Czarina. However this time Mayawati may face stiff challenge from Congress-LJP alliance.


However going by the trend so far the possibility of a clear majority for any party appears remote. In the fight for top slot between SP and BSP the possibility of the former emerging as the single largest party is strong. In such a situation a SP-Congress coalition government or a SP government with Congress support is a strong possibility. However if the BSP comes out as the largest party it may try to form the government with the BJP support as in the past. However chances of such a situation are bleak.


The trend of high percentage of polling has continued in the all phases so far and is most likely to continue in the remaining three phases. A number of factors from voters’ anger against corrupt system to the foolproof poll arrangements and pleasant weather are attributed to the high turn-out in the polling. There is no two opinion about the people fed up of the corruption in our polity and want desperately to get rid of it. But unfortunately the malaise has gone so deep into our political system that they have no option but to opt for the lesser evil. And here the caste and community factors and local issues like civic amenities and area development play important role in the choice of a candidate. It is generally seen in the past elections in the state that caste and communities vote on more or less on similar pattern to the parties belonging to their respective castes and communities but there is a section which switches loyalty from one to the other party depending on their performance. It is these floating votes that decide the winner. And these votes that are expected to rise due to high turn-out in this election may spring some surprises.


[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]
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2 comments:

  1. Bull Shit, piece of garbage!

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  2. It is sad to see hope masquerading as analysis... an editor has to have a high degree of objectivity, else his opinion / analysis / speculation just rings hollow.

    ReplyDelete