BJP in Crisis in UP

The political undercurr-  ents are changing rapidly and unpredictably in the huge state of Uttar Pradesh (UP) where Assembly elections are round the corner. The stakes are high for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) that is in power in not just the state, but also at the centre—the impact of the UP Assembly election could be felt in the 2024 general elections. The BJP is clearly worried at the moment.

The political churning in the recent past, which shall continue in the days to come, and the spate of high-profile resignations from the BJP government and party, has left the hardliners in the BJP-RSS and Sangh Parivar rather disturbed and shaky. Weeks before the final countdown to the UP Assembly polls, the odds are heavily pitched against the BJP, despite its huge and expensive ad-blitz, and its branding itself with a misnomer: ‘Uttam Pradesh’. A misnomer, because UP and Bihar are still listed as the worst states in all Human Development Index (HDI) indicators, and the situation has got even more worse under the fanatic, divisive, polarising and tyrannical regime of Yogi Adityanath.

Besides, the dead bodies floating on the Ganga during the second wave of the pandemic, and the dead bodies hurriedly buried near the shores of the river, along with a total collapse of the health infrastructure, has not been forgotten by the people of UP. The wounds are still simmering, despite the ad campaign glorifying Yogi and his government. Three top ministers hailing from Other Backward Classes (OBC) have resigned from Yogi’s cabinet, including heavyweight Swami Prasad Maurya. Along with them several MLAs too have chosen to quit. Almost all of them have joined the Samajwadi Party (SP). Days before the elections, this is real bad news for the party in power, and, clearly, its 80-20 communal politics and Muslim-bashing on the sly, with Yogi emerging as another extreme Hindutva icon to replace Narendra Modi, is neither selling, nor jelling on the ground.

The BJP is so predictable when it is on a weak wicket, that it becomes blatantly brazen and transparent. There is no iota of complexity or nuance. So Yogi’s first declaration after the announcement of the polls, while it seemed a clear violation of the model code of conduct, was that 80 per cent people of UP will vote for him while the 20 per cent will go elsewhere. For all concerned, the implied message is as bad as that of ‘kabristan and shamshan ghat’ earlier.

If this is not the deliberate division of the legitimate citizenship and voting rights of the electorate on religious grounds, and if this is not a violation of the model code of conduct, then what is? And why has the Election Commission (EC), yet again, chosen to stay mum?

More so, Western UP has reiterated yet again that it will vote unanimously against the BJP this time. With the farmers’ very angry and disgusted at the BJP’s arrogance, and with Modi and Yogi having completely alienated them, they are out to teach Modi and Yogi a lesson this time. Significantly, the farmers are also very angry because they have not been paid crores reportedly overdue for the sugarcane sold to the sugar factories in the region, and because of the betrayal of the Modi government on the promise of Minimum Support Price (MSP). The lockdown and pandemic has made their economic situation much more tougher, and, clearly, they are nursing their wounds. This will all get translated now, as the election season heats up, despite the pandemic and the third wave.


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Vol 54, No. 32, Feb 6 - 12, 2022