UP elections — a curtain-raiser

What's cooking in the northern poll pot?


Atul K Thakur | February 6, 2012

Had Uttar Pradesh been a country, it could have been more populous than most of the 170 countries that exist today, and if by choice, also had it been a democracy, it would have been the fourth-biggest democratic nation. However, it is true that, with its horrific fundamentals indices, this imaginary nation would have been the most terrible democracy of the world. The past two decades of low grade politics has turned India’s most populous and electorally significant state into the centre place of virulent political experiments parties exploiting all social and religious sensibilities. In the wake of post-Mandal commission politics, UP was the first state that became bereft of the development planks by putting aside the state’s mandated unbiased conventional role in statecraft.

With the assembly election impending, it seems clear that that the Bahujan Samaj Party is going to suffer a defeat because of the strong anti-incumbency sentiments that have piled on over the years of misrule and high corruption. The scale of BSP’s loss would depend on the transfer of its traditional support base of SCs and upper castes to Congress. Unfortunately, this would be a completely reactive change — not the type of proactive power shift that happened in Bihar a few years back and brought turnaround in this once sinking state . Bihar showed remarkable faith on governance and progressive policies. In the very beginning of the campaign in Uttar Pradesh, development as the agenda was toned down by the all parties, surprisingly except BJP. Congress has single aim in this present UP assembly election to secure number two position and share the government with SP and RLD. So, it had chosen the most surfacial over-secular agenda to pursue under the aegis of Digvijay Singh, who is not an angel himself by credibility and knows the ideas of secularism only through the dangerous mode of senseless sermons or extended “reservation”!

On the other sides, both SP and BSP have nothing much to offer except announcing the ridiculously moulded promises, better suited to maintain the TRPs of obsessed TV channels rather  controlling the damage done by them in past. By keeping aside itself from any potential coalition with BSP, BJP stands low in this roistering atmosphere but chances are strong for its substantial performance in eastern and central UP. But the present political scene refers to the multiple polarizations where it will be impossible for any single party to secure a comfortable majority. So, both the BSP and BJP will be the victims of their own failures to be in the coalition of any kind. In near future, that may be a setback for these two political parties for not maintaining the closer terms, however in long run, the throne of Lucknow would be equally tough for any political parties that would rely solely on parochial stands.

This time, its early apprehension made SP relatively less affiliated with the criminal politicians, Akhilesh Yadav, the man now in command has displayed his shrewd attitude against the induction of criminals in party, which is even by the political standard deserves some accolade. BSP also has cuts the ticket of more than hundred of its serving MLAs and maintained socially/religiously more balanced consideration in fielding the candidates. Unlike these two, Congress had opened its door for all including for those tainted politicians who were boycotted in the wake of grave charges by two less civil parties. The self claimed representative of farmers from the hinterlands of western UP, RLD has simply maintained its opportunist stand by joining the UPA government at centre for the ministerial berth, which shows the futility of its existence at large!

BJP’s sole misadventure with tainted Baburam Kushwaha deftly tied its hand in decisive hour to look here or there for immediate leadership management…the another big causality knocked it by not continuing its NDA fraternity with the JD (U), which now is fighting on the most of seats and would marginally hamper the chances of BJP at every seat. Seeing the Parliamentary election of 2014, it’s certainly neither good for BJP nor for JD (U) creating such unwarranted distance. Rahul Gandhi’s own political future has greater binding with this election, after falling miserably in Bihar; this is testing time for his leadership in field and party as well. He is well aware the fact, his supreme position in the Congress can persist with our without performing well out of long culture of sycophancy in his family’s favour but it will be hard to lead a government in 2014 without making significant advances in UP election.

Noise, this time is very loud in UP election. Alas, it’s not for a healthy change of power but simply for a change without having any plans for future. Emergence of few more petty political parties is adding its part in overall ongoing bawdism. In the future too, it will be hardly surprising if the State’s revenue will be keep misusing for laptop purchase or other freebees instead building thousands of havocking elephant’s statues or bringing sandals on empty jet for a Dalit icon, asserts herself as the sole champion of depressed voices. Once leading developmental journalist P.Sainath had said, that emergence of Mayawati in UP is the triumph of Indian democracy, he was right in his way but it’s truer, only if the democracy meant to be channelized by the single arbitrary voice? Election result of UP will set the course of our belief, how we will see our democracy, secularism, idea of social justice and most importantly citizenship through the eyes of politicians who only knows playing politics, nothing more or less!



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