The Uttar Pradesh assembly elections are slated to be held in 2022 but the political turf has started to heat up already. BJP and its state machinery have swung into action and the initiation began with BJP national general secretary (organisation) BL Santhosh on Monday holding one-on-one meetings with ministers and party leaders in Lucknow, followed by a meeting with Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath at his residence.
In a first such development since Yogi Adityanath came to power in Uttar Pradesh in 2017, BJP’s feedback loop is aimed to plug the gaps that are often left open between the party high command and unit level workers. The same organisational level gaps, that cost BJP heavy in West Bengal.
While BJP is gauging each step of its re-election campaign rather carefully, it appears that the lack of resistance from opposition parties in SP and BSP might make the contest a one-way street for Yogi Adityanath.
Ever since former Chief Minister and SP party prince Akhilesh Yadav lost the 2017 assembly elections, he has been embroiled in a civil war. The troubles brewing in his family and the odd fights that have often spilt into the public domain have kept Akhilesh stranded in his backyard. The SP leader has lost touch with his voters and the cascading effects have already set in.
The alliance strategy with the Congress in 2017 and comically, the BSP in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections failed rather spectacularly and the SP’s vote bank appears to have been compromised. It hasn’t helped Akhilesh or his party’s cause that he has been one of the few destructive politicians out there that have sown the seeds of vaccine hesitancy amongst the public.
As for BSP, the party fell out with the voters of UP a long time back. The party got zilch seats in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections and party-supremo immediately went into hibernation. And while people have only started Working from Home after the pandemic struck, a visionary in Mayawati has been doing so for the last seven years.
The party got only 19 seats in the 2017 assembly elections. Courtesy of the unholy alliance with SP, the party managed to go from zero to ten seats in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections by eating Akhilesh’s vote share, but since then, it has all been downhill for Mayawati and her archaic party.
In 2017 Assembly polls, BJP managed to receive a gigantic mandate by securing a 41.4 per cent vote share, which translated to the BJP winning 325 seats in a 403-member state assembly. Nobody had anticipated such a huge wave of Yogi Adityanath in the state and the opposition and detractors were left dumbfounded at the magnitude of the victory.
Fast forward four years, Yogi has become the tallest leader in the country. From developing UP into an industrial state to reducing crime to tackling the first and second wave of the coronavirus pandemic effectively, UP has grown strength to strength with Yogi at the helm.
As reported by TFI, according to an ABP-C Voter survey conducted in March earlier this year, if elections were to held now, BJP would storm into power once again. The BJP is projected to win 289 seats in the 403-seat Uttar Pradesh Assembly in March 2021. Meanwhile, SP is projected to be the second-largest party with 59 seats followed by BSP with 38 seats but not posing any real challenge to the BJP.
BJP can afford to let its guard down and go easy on the election preparations but ‘ruthless’ seems to be the keyword passed along from the party high command. The preparations have begun and despite the sorry situation of the opposition, the BJP does not want to leave any loophole in its electoral preparedness. There is no doubt that Yogi is storming back to power, the only question is, by what margin?