Saturday, May 23, 2009

Who'll gain from political gambles & games in UP?

Phase IV has laid bare the various gambles and games of political parties in UP. Underlying the claims, counter claims and various caste combinations of the political parties, one this is clear, voters are a dejected lot. Who wins need to be seen?

CJ: Arindam Roy, 7 May 2009 Views:516 Comments:0

IN THE fourth phase of polling, 18 constituencies in western and central Uttar Pradesh will decide the fate of many stalwarts in state and national politics. Several heads might roll. This phase needs to be watched closely.

Political pundits feel that Maulana Mulayam Singh’s gamble is calculated. He is not robbing Peter to pay Paul. He has embraced Kalyan Singh (a convict in Babri Masjid demolition) to add the Lodh votes to his Muslim-Yadav vote bank. And even if a section of the Muslims were to desert him, he would be more than compensated by the Lodh votes.

Political observers argue that the Samajwadi Party (SP) think tank, Janeshwar Mishra, adoring called Chhote Lohia, in all probability might have reasoned that just as Mayawati’s Dalit voters did not let her down, despite her shift from ‘Bahujan’ to ‘Sarvajan’, the Muslims too would not desert SP.

On Thursday (May 7), Yadav raised the decibel that whichever combine (read party / alliance) sacks the Mayawati government in UP, would get his support (he spoke a la Jayalalitha, who raised a similar demand about removing the DMK government in Tamil Nadu). The reason is simple. He wants to fish in troubled waters. Strangely, the SP is already laying down the pre-condition for support.

This follows Rahul Gandhi’s appreciating Nitish Kumar, Chandrababu Naidu and the Left. Both these leaders kept their options open it seemed. Poll arithmetic has become more important than electoral chemistry. This is perhaps what the 15th Lok Sabha elections would be remembered for.

Meanwhile, Congress sources claim that the voters are tired of the petty politics of Yadav and Mayawati. They now want stability. The Muslims and the backwards were promised the moon by the SP. If anyone gained it was Yadav and some select leaders of his party. They also add that the people had rejected the SP because it had become synonymous with gundaraj because of its alleged closeness to goons and mafias. BSP is not much different. This time the so-called Dalit party has fielded several criminals. That is the reason why the people want to reject BSP too. The gainer would naturally be the Congress party, as BJP is a spent force in the state.

BJP, on its part, is also stating similar arguments in its favour and is blaming the Congress for the various ills in the Centre and Mayawati for her ‘bad company’ in the state.

A lesser player, Ajit Singh, with his Jat vote bank too needs to be watched carefully. It’s to be seen if the BJP would gain from the Jats, who have quite a percentage in these 18 constituencies.

It may be added that in the last Lok Sabha elections (2004), SP gained the maximum of nine seats, while both Congress and BJP won three seats each. Ajit Singh’s Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) won two seats, while BSP barely managed one seat.

The game plan of Yadav is to increase his seat tally in this belt, which is his home turf. Congress too is eyeing this part of UP, hoping that the tipple effect of Delhi would pay off favourably. BSP has to increase its seat tally, if it has to score over Yadav.

Phase IV has laid bare the various gambles and games of political parties in UP. Underlying the claims, counter claims and various caste combinations of the political parties, one this is clear, the voters are a dejected lot in UP. They want a change but are not sure which way the wind will blow, going by the buzz in the state.

In Mainpuri, Yadav is at an advantage. Ajit’s fate hangs in Bhagpat, while Ghaziabad is a prestige issue for the BJP president Rajnath Singh.

The 18 constituencies where polling is on are: Mainpuri, Bhagpat, Ghaziabad, Kairana, Muzaffarnagar, Meerut, Gautam Budddha Nagar, Bulandshahr, Aligarh, Hathras, Mathura, Agra, Fatehpur Sikri, Firozabad, Etah, Farukkhabad, Etawah and Kannauj.


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