Battleground Uttar Pradesh: All you need to know

by Wednesday, January 4th, 2017

Lucknow, Jan 4: Uttar Pradesh, the state with highest number of assembly constituencies will to assembly polls in seven phases.

Uttar Pradesh will vote in a seven-phase election for its 403 seats on 11, 15, 19, 23 and 27 February, and 4 and 8 March.

Akhilesh_Mayawati_Rahul

The political potboiler in Uttar Pradesh always remain full of action, emotional drama and dialogues akin to any Bollywood thriller. This year is no different. The state has garnered the nation’s attention, thanks to Uncle-niece (chacha-bhatija) drama playing out in full media glare.

The major parties in fray are Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party, Bharatiya Janata Party and Congress.

A look at political parties, their strategies and key challenges for them:

1. Samajwadi Party (SP)

The Yadav family skirmishes between UP CM Akhilesh Yadav, SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav and Shivpal Yadav has kept the people hooked to the political drama in the state.

Challenges

– Poor public image, performance of Akhilesh ministers
– Infighting in party means windfall for other parties

Strategy

– Akhilesh wants to make development, the poll plank for UP poll
– SP feud crafted by the party to give Akhilesh a makeover, feel political observers
– Also stitching alliances with smaller parties on cards

2. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)

BJP campaign is being spearheaded by none other than the Prime Minister himself and the party has been boasting of mammoth crowd at his rallies, an indication of what is likely to come in polls.

Challenges

–  Demonetisation is a big issue, how voters react to notebandi yet to be seen
–  Lack of CM face

Strategy

–  BJP chief Amit Shah’s election management skills and rejuvenated cadre a big plus for the party
–  Holding rallies, public meetings to highlight failures of Akhilesh government
– Expanding party’s support base and winning support of backward classes

3. Congress

In 2016, party Vice-President Rahul Gandhi covered about 3,500 km across the state while strategist Prashant Kishore tried to broker an alliance with SP but the result on ground is yet to be seen.

Challenges

–  No leading face in the state, state unit marked by intense factionalism
– Weak organisational skills and failure to strike connect with people

Strategy

–  Series of rallies and road shows to strike a chord with electorate
–  Party already has a CM face, wants to announce candidate in advance

4. Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP)

Mayawati-led party suffered many blows in the run-up to Assembly elections as many well-known leader switched their alliance to other parties including BJP. It will be an acid test for BSP, this year.

Challenges

–  To keep its core vote bank of Dalits united
–  Faces tough contest from surging BJP and ruling Samajwadi Party

Strategy

–  Give tickets to upper castes, Dalits and Brahmins to form a winning combination
–  Mayawati has been holding regular press conferences to take on rival parties




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