Promising ‘free stuff’ to voters and pursuing other populist policies remains the mainstay for the political parties like Kejriwal led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Samajwadi Party (SP). Given the current political situation in the state, speculations are already afoot that the two parties might come together for Uttar Pradesh’s next assembly polls.
Media reports suggest that AAP leader Sanjay Singh recently held meeting with SP president and former Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav at the latter’s place, setting off the buzz of a pre-poll alliance. Speculations are that SP might follow AAP’s footprints to announce its manifesto on the issues of free electricity, pension and employment, for the 2022 polls.
Undoubtedly, AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal’s socialist policies helped him secure the Chief Ministerial post in Delhi’s previous elections. In Punjab as well, he has already announced to provide free electricity, if the party is voted to power in the upcoming elections. For Akhilesh Yadav, announcing freebies seems to be the only thing that could help his fading political career. As per speculations, SP’s manifesto for the 2022 elections might be glutted with the hardcore socialist policies, freebies in particular, to lure as many voters as possible, to their side.
Taking a leaf out of AAP’s playbook, SP could announce free electricity of up to 300 units for poor families, and 1,500 monthly pensions to women heads of the BPL families. The party will also promise 10 lakh jobs for the youth. “Free electricity scheme is likely to figure in the manifesto along with pension for women and jobs for youth,” said a senior leader, collecting the feedback from the party workers on the manifesto.
As per a Business standard report, SP leaders are perusing the manifestos of all those parties which have defeated BJP in the elections of late, including Delhi’s AAP and West Bengal’s TMC. Recently held block panchayat chief polls and panchayat chief elections in Uttar Pradesh suggest that chances for Samajvadi Party to ouster CM Yogi Adityanath’s government in the assembly elections are really grim. For Akhilesh Yadav to secure majority in the assembly, he could seek partnership with other political parties as well, in particular AAP, to rein in Yogi’s electoral juggernaut. Even if an alliance is not formed before the polls, SP has already started ‘AAPifying’ itself with the announcement of scores of hardcore socialist policies in sight.
However, the road to power doesn’t necessarily goes through the manifesto, and thus, despite taking a clue from AAP’s freebies-loaded manifesto that lead to its victory in Delhi assembly polls, SP could witness yet another drubbing at the hands of Yogi-led Bhartiya Janata Party. The reason: People of Uttar Pradesh have simply rejected the idea of socialism that was quite discernible in the 2017 assembly elections. The ruling Samajwadi Party had promised pressure cooker, food grains for the poor and ghee and milk for students besides expanding pension benefits under different schemes to one crore people. Resultantly, the party got displaced from the power at the hands of BJP bagging just 47 seats out of 298 contested.
By following AAP’s footprints to embody Party’s electoral strategy this election, Akhilesh Yadav is all set to invite more woes for his already grim political career. Considering the catastrophic fate that party received in the last assembly polls, the outcome is going to get much worse this time owing to party’s populism glutted agenda.