The Income Tax raids on perfume traders in UP have given BJP the awaited opportunity to corner the Samajwadi Party, which is likely to face a financial crunch ahead of the polls.


New Delhi: With the BJP’s electoral strategy to cash in on PM Narendra Modi’s popularity in UP and Uttarakhand making an impact like 2017, the issues of unemployment, inflation and farmers’ problems that the opposition was so keen to raise seem to have disappeared. Moreover, the saffron party has started using Hindutva and corruption as key electoral issues in the two states.
Meanwhile, the raids on perfume traders in UP have given BJP the much-awaited opportunity to corner the Samajwadi Party (SP). As a result, the main rival SP appears to have fallen into the political trap of BJP.
At the same time, PM Modi in an election rally spoke candidly about ‘corruption’ of the Congress regime in Uttarakhand in what was understood to be a veiled attack on former Chief Minister Harish Rawat.
Observers believe that the BJP is trying to convert the Uttarakhand poll into the ‘Modi versus Rawat’ battle. The local issues of the hill state seem to have disappeared, as the saffron party was keen to divert the attention from local issues. As per BJP’s plan, Hindutva, corruption, and law and order are the issues which are dominating the public discourse now instead of the local ones, that leaves Congress out of its trump cards.
The political scene has changed after the end of the farmers’ stir. The opposition is now on the backfoot. Several announcements of schemes by Prime Minister Modi have helped the BJP consolidate its position all the more. The saffron party managed to push the Hindutva agenda in a bigger way after the programmes of PM Modi at Varanasi. By launching and inaugurating many projects, Modi gave the message that his government believes in action.
The BJP is working on a two-fold strategy. First, the Prime Minister talks about development and growth; and in the second, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath refers to the issues that could strengthen BJP’s agenda Hindutva. Recently, Yogi was quite vocal about Ram Mandir, Kashi and Mathura in the rallies. He also highlighted his achievements such as the situation of law and order— needless to say, which has improved in UP.
Meanwhile, the Income Tax raids on perfume traders gave BJP a big political weapon to target SP. However, SP leader Akhilesh Yadav accuses BJP of using central agencies for political purposes ahead of elections. Analysts believe that the development is denting the image of the Samajwadi Party. With this in view, the political parties may find it difficult to take financial help from the business community. As a result, the election campaign of such parties may be affected due to the paucity of funds. Similar raids during the Lok Sabha elections had badly impacted the financial health of political parties in the past.
The ruling BJP wants to corner the opposition on corruption issues. What the saffron party is highlighting is that there is not a single allegation of corruption against the Yogi government, while the governments of other parties are facing grave issues. Hence Hindutva and corruption are the two major issues that the BJP wants to cash in on. The issues may benefit the party in UP and Uttarakhand.
Similarly, a divided opposition is also in the interest of the BJP. Apart from this, the crisis of opposition leaders is also beneficial for the BJP. SP chief Akhilesh is the only substantial face in the main rival outfit. Similarly, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi is struggling all alone. Sonia Gandhi does not go to election rallies, and Rahul has gone abroad amid electioneering, and the BSP chief Mayawati is nowhere to be seen. On the other side, the BJP has an army of charismatic leaders such as PM Modi, Amit Shah, and Yogi.