New Delhi: Though the Congress in Uttar Pradesh has embarked on a poll campaign banking on “empowering women” and has been talking about issues like price rise, alleged mis-governance, and corruption, analysts say that dethroning the BJP in UP under the leadership of Yogi Adityanath will be an uphill task for any political party.
In the last UP elections (2017), all the strong erstwhile regional parties were decimated, with the Congress being able to manage only seven seats. Analysts say that this time, there is no real contestant who can harm the BJP’s prospects in UP. A senior BJP leader told The Sunday Guardian, “We are under the super leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.” Priyanka Singh, an Assistant professor at DAV Post graduate College in Varanasi, told The Sunday Guardian: “UP is dominated by regional parties, but when there is the same party at the Centre and the state, it becomes smooth to function and move forward. In 2017, there was a landmark change and that change was that BJP got the majority of seats which may continue in the coming elections as well.” She added: “The Congress in UP is digging its own grave as it has no strong leadership.”
However, Kuldeep, a senior journalist in UP, told The Sunday Guardian: “It may not be an easy election for the BJP. As far as Congress is concerned, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is targeting women voters.” He also said that the Samajwadi Party has a “deep impact” in the rural areas of Uttar Pradesh. “There will be a surprise factor though, as everybody will be looking for the performance of the BSP on the caste politics front,” he said.
Ajay Kumar Lallu, president UPCC, told The Sunday Guardian: “It is clear that we will make an alliance with the poor farmer and the common man. We have been talking with many small groups and we will do an alliance with small groups.” Lallu added: “The UP government has lost its confidence and they have been unable to fulfill their promises. Iss bar Uttar Pradesh me badlaav ki andhi hai jiska naam Priyanka Gandhi hai” (there are winds of change in UP and its name is Priyanka Gandhi). Lallu said, “Congress has worked a lot on organization; Today, we have 840 block presidents, 8236 nyai panchayat presidents, 60000 gram sabha units. People in large numbers participated in recent Congress rallies. UP has given a chance to every party, whether it be BSP, SP or BJP, and now it’s the turn of the Congress to form the government.”
According to analysts, there had been visibly less on-ground strategy used by the Congress to woo voters in the past, and it is to be seen how the Congress performs this time with some “on-ground changes”. Priyanka Singh said that at present, there are some factors that may help the Opposition parties. “The government in UP was responsible for many people dying at the height of the Covid pandemic and the same BJP government is responsible for the country-wide rise in fuel prices; it will have an impact on BJP’s vote bank. UP politics is also guided by factors like caste and class,” she said. It is to be seen how the caste and class factors play out for the Congress in the upcoming UP Assembly polls.