Looming UP Election

ATTENDING BJP’s ‘Jan Vishwas Yatra’ rally in Kasganj on Sunday, Union Home Minister Amit Shah reiterated that the BJP would win more than 300 seats in Uttar Pradesh. He said that the BJP which stood for “sabka saath, sabka vikaas” had brought back law and order to the state. He termed Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party as casteist parties. As the poll dates draw nearer, the ruling BJP has constituted a committee to increase its outreach among the dominant Brahmin community of the state. On Monday, BJP chief JP Nadda held a meeting with members of the newly-constituted committee formed for Brahmin outreach in Uttar Pradesh. Brahmins are among the core bases of the saffron party in India’s most populous state.

The UP election matters a lot for the BJP. A victory in the state will give the party a headstart in the 2024 national elections. So, the BJP is expected to leave no stone unturned to win the state with a bigger margin of victory. Already, prime minister Narendra Modi has been making frequent visits to the state to shore up the party’s support base.

The PM has also seen to it that the withdrawal of the controversial farmers laws  come ahead of the Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, the bastions of farmers protests. So, the decision is seen as political in nature. The farmers constitute a significant vote bank in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab and with this vote bank alienated by the contentious laws, the BJP’s chances of winning looked dimmer.  There are elections in four other states. This is already charging up the political climate in the country. The home minister Amit Shah on November 12 kicked off his party’s preparations for the elections in Uttar Pradesh from Lucknow by addressing organisational functionaries from across the state.

In 2017, the BJP and its allies had won 325 Assembly seats.  Shah asked the state party unit to work towards an even bigger victory.  He said that the SP, the BSP and the Congress together can’t defeat the BJP. An ABP-CVoter poll has already shown that the BJP will return to power in the UP but not without the party losing over 100 seats it won in the last state elections. But till the time elections are held, the caste-based parties like the SP and the BSP are expected to mount a bigger challenge to the BJP. But by withdrawing the farm laws, the BJP seems to have changed the game. The decision could certainly impact the election outcome in the UP and Punjab. But for now we can only wait and watch. There is still a month and a half during which the support for the parties in the fray could be expected to fluctuate. As they say, a week is a long time in politics.

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