The Uttar Pradesh election could be the most crucial election this year for all the concerned parties, a now or never kind of situation.
With the assembly election dates announced, the model code of conduct will be enforced with immediate effect. With each person calling the other names in a no-bar match and the Prime Minister taking central stage ,the coverage of the campaigning will spice up the news like never before.
For the BJP it is a litmus test. The PM said they are in a 14 year “vanavas” and it looks like they will have a longer vanavaas. Their position in U.P inspite of everything (the BJP’s star campaigner Modi and the muscle power of RSS) is still not secure. The effects of demonetization, many BJP workers are afraid may negatively influence their prospects.
The Samajwadi party is in the midst of a deep rift between the father Mulayam Singh Yadav and his son and present Chief Minister, Akhilesh Yadav. It is threatening to tear the party apart and its symbol and the party’s prospects will suffer as a result.
The BSP led by Mayawati will stand to gain a stronger support base in Uttar Pradesh thanks to the surrounding chaos.
As far as the Congress is concerned it is still too early to say anything but the fact remains that it is still not recovered from its 2014 general election loss. This was the traditional base of Congress with Nehru winning any number of times from Allahabad. Now the base stands erodes.
However the irony is that only yesterday the Supreme court said in its judgement that elections should not be fought in the basis of caste and religion. How else will it be fought in U.P or for that matter any other state?