Who will win UP polls, why: This book can help you figure it out

Veteran journalist Abhigyan Prakash’s ‘From Lucknow to Lutyens’ tells a fascinating story of India’s political bellwether state

GN Bureau | March 7, 2022


#journalism   #politics   #Uttar Pradesh   #elections  
A scene from one of home minister Amit Shah`s election rallies in Uttar Pradesh (Photo courtesy: bjp.org)
A scene from one of home minister Amit Shah`s election rallies in Uttar Pradesh (Photo courtesy: bjp.org)

From Lucknow to Lutyens: The Power and Plight of Uttar Pradesh
By Abhigyan Prakash
HarperCollins, 272 pages, Rs 599

With the final phase of voting on Monday, UP elections conclude and with it – in the parlance of journalism – the most important event since 2019 and before 2024. Actually, every assembly election in Uttar Pradesh is considered the most important political event between two Lok Sabha elections.

A disproportionate number of India’s prime minister have come from that state, though the influence it wields on national political discourse is certainly not disproportionate to the number of MPs it sends to the Lok Sabha.  In any case, with a population that would make it the fifth most populated in the world if it were a country, UP elections should seen as an event of global importance.

But deciphering the undercurrents, who is winning where why, is a complicated exercise. It might be somewhat obvious for the people of the state, who must have been tirelessly discussing the fate of this or that party for months now. It is not obvious for outsiders. Understanding UP could be very much rocket science. There are castes and communities and their implicit party preferences. The numbers might be static but their political leanings can never be the same – otherwise every poll would throw up broadly the same results.

And caste cannot be the sole factor. There are roti-kapada-makan issues, not to mention the BSP – bijli, sadak, pani. This time, law and order is as much an issue as the role of religion in public sphere. The public health infrastructure might be point on the mind of the voter, amid the pandemic.  
 
More importantly, an issue cannot be seen in the present light alone; there is always a back story. Abhigyan Prakash, a veteran TV journalist, in his ‘From Lucknow to Lutyens’ narrates that overarching back story of the state. His question is less related to the immediateness of elections, and more to the long-term conundrum: How come a state with so much political heft has consistently failed, right since independence, to achieve its potential in economic and developmental terms?

Still, when we all sit before the TV sets and computer screens on March 10, this book could be a very helpful resource in making sense of it all.

Comments

 

Other News

Lost in Transmission: Why calls ‘drop’, what can be done about it

Random call drops across cellular networks has been a major nuisance for consumers. Despite the advent of technologies like 4G, 5G and users upgrading their phones, they continue face the same old problem of call drops. Earlier, with 2G, calling was the primary service from the mobile telephony firms, howe

India’s Semiconductor Mission takes giant leap

The union cabinet on Thursday approved the establishment of three semiconductor units under ‘Development of Semiconductors and Display Manufacturing Ecosystems in India’. Involving a total investment of nearly Rs 1.26 lakh crore, the three units  -- two in Gujarat, one in Assam – wil

Mumbai Airport: Less congestion, fewer delays, says MoCA

Mumbai is one of busiest airports in India, handling a large volume of domestic and international flights including military, non-scheduled and general aviation flights. Mumbai`s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) has two intersecting runways which cannot be operated

“900 tenders worth Rs 150 crore?” For ward-level works: BMC

BrihanMumbai municipal corporation is floating nearly 900 tenders worth of Rs 150 crore in the next 10 days, but that is only for ward-level civic works, the BMC clarified on Monday, reacting to reports in a section of media.    “Since there are 25 wards in BMC, it involves m

Elections 2024: Banks, post offices to chip in for voter education

In a first-of-its-kind initiative, Election Commission of India (ECI) on Monday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with two prominent organisations, the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) and the Department of Posts (DoP), to amplify its voter outreach and awareness efforts ahead of the forthcom

Charming tales of the Snakeman’s early years

Snakes, Drugs and Rock ’N’ Roll: My Early Years By Romulus Whitaker with Janaki Lenin HarperCollins, 400 pages, Rs 699

Visionary Talk: Amitabh Gupta, Pune Police Commissioner with Kailashnath Adhikari, MD, Governance Now


Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook Twitter Google Plus Linkedin Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter