Despite BJP and Congress wriggling under pressure to wrest the fort of UP into their domain, it was Akhilesh Yadav who stole the show as ever, ending the term of five years with a break from his father Mulayam Singh Yadav staging a rebellion that has taken away the wrong-doings of his past administration.
Though his five-year term as UP Chief Minister was not very impressive with no breakthrough in alleviation of poverty or modernization of urban life, all that he could vouch for is that he’s come out clean finally from the decades-old wranglings of family and feudal politics. He can target and foray into the youth vote appealing them more than others.
On the rural front, Akhilesh can use the demonetisation to his advantage as many BJP political icons have already sought to make use of it as their own. Once Akhilesh Yadav projects the woes of the poor in getting cash especially during the sowing or marriage season, he is likely to score over BJP’s plank in the state assembly elections. Here more than his speeches, the pain suffered by the poor due to badly implemented demonetisation will result in a vote for Akhilesh Yadav.
On one side, he may have to fight the BJP’s ambitious plan to encroach into his trusted constituencies and on the other, he has to play accommodative politics with the Congress. If Rahul Gandhi wields his power over UP strategy, then it is likely that both Congress’s Rahul Gandhi and Akhilesh Yadav would share the same stage and aim at winning the combined vote of the poor, the minority groups and also their own constituencies.
On the other side, Mayawati of Bahujan Samaj Party is knocking at the door of he UP voter with an appeal to allow her return to the helm of affairs in the state. However, for reasons not clear, BSP may have to go it alone in the elections and it remains to be seen whether she may stage back similar victory as done ten years ago all alone.
For BJP, the state elections will turn sour despite the recent victory in Assam and their revolutionary move to ban notes in the name of black money. What PM Modi tried in a gigantic manner was undone by the country’s poor infrastructure. So, the entire demonetisation drama has turned into a bad move ahead of UP politics.
Instead of bringing out the black money, the demonetisation move has helped the rich and feudal lords to turn their money white in lesser than expected period, thanks to the country’s poor bankers who were easily corrupted into changing the notes. The availability of money bags for UP elections may be slightly less this time but the move clealy failed to make a dent as anticipated by Modi.
Secondly, the cash crunch in villages and rural areas was shockingly acute that no urban leader could rescue them from suffering and cursing the man behind it. The question is no such move can be fool-proof but any such move can trigger anger among the sufferers. Depending on the memory of suffering among the voters, the fate of BJP will be decided in UP elections this time. Despite BJP’s huge trusted social media managers, the UP voter is not living on laptops but on village yield.
Thirdly, Akhilesh Yadav has virtually staged a coup in UP politics and emerged as a winner over his father. His move projected already to the masses that his father is beset with wrong companions and that he’s come out of the past baggage. It is here that Akhilesh may score over all others as the voter wants to give him a chance afresh and test his youthful commitment to make the state better.
Finally, the fight will be between Akhilesh Yadav and BJP with BSP playing the key role in dividing the vote bank. Here, Congress may come handy for him to counter the split vote. So, sharing the stage with Rahul Gandhi may become a necessity for him now than ever before.