BJP is eyeing Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand as next electoral targets.

 

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi may take some major political decisions in June if the second wave of coronavirus weakens. PM Modi’s priority will be to salvage the image of his government which has been dented in this corona onslaught. Questions are being raised on the silence of PM Modi and Union Home minister Amit Shah. In the second wave of the corona crisis, neither PM Modi said anything substantial nor did Shah make his presence felt. The BJP social media team is under attack from opponents. A weak opposition is at the same time what comes to the relief of the Modi government.

The real challenge for BJP will be elections to be held after nine months. Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Punjab will be going to polls early next year. BJP will have to toil for retaining UP and Uttarakhand. Many believe that the UP Assembly polls will be the semi final for PM Modi ahead of 2024 Lok Sabha elections, as Uttar Pradesh is a crucial state and plays an important role in Lok Sabha polls. With the health system performing badly and people feeling upset with the entire arrangement amid the corona crisis, the going seems to be tough for BJP.

The government’s weak strategy to deal with the second wave of corona and West Bengal elections despite outbreak of pandemic are the two major reasons for people’s anger. The Modi government was targeted over “mismanagement in containing the corona pandemic and in the vaccination drive”. Apparently, in utter confusion, the government is waiting for the corona wave to weaken. Experts believe that by June, the situation may improve. If that happens, PM Modi may make major changes in his team in June, particularly in the election-bound states such as UP.

PM Modi is aware that all is not well in UP BJP and government. CM Yogi Adityanath is trying to tackle dissent in his own party. With this in view, PM Modi may shift some leaders from UP to take over significant responsibility at the Centre. It is clear that the BJP will fight elections in UP under Yogi’s leadership. BJP will try to benefit from the multi-angular contest in UP. Samajwadi Party, BSP, Congress and AAP will be fighting the elections in UP. Unlike Bengal, the Opposition is not going to be united in UP.

Observers, however, see SP as a main rival of BJP as of now. But SP chief Akhilesh Yadav could not create as much impact in UP as his father Mulayam Singh Yadav did. SP could not do anything substantial on the issues of price rise or farmers. Akhilesh Yadav will be contesting elections on his own for the first time. Earlier, Mulayam played a significant role when Akhilesh had become Chief Minister. Akhilesh is banking on the politics of caste and Muslims. There is a dearth of reliable and experienced leaders in Samajwadi Party as well. Some leaders are in jail and the family is not united as well. Mulayam is now quite old and unwell. So, all eyes will be set on how Akhilesh is able to post a challenge to the BJP.

Meanwhile, after corona, PM Modi’s focus will be UP. BJP will play the Hindutva card on the basis of Ram Mandir in UP to counter caste politics of SP and other parties. “Strong law and order will also be another issue” that the BJP will use in the polls. Congress is likely to contest on all seats in UP. BSP is not what it used to be.  Corona is also going to be a big issue. So, the Modi government’s decision to contain corona in the next few days will have a direct political impact in UP.

The second tough state for BJP will be Uttarakhand where an Assam like situation can be seen.

Tirath Singh Rawat may have been made CM in Uttarakhand, but what has set tongues wagging there is how a former Congress leader Himanta Biswa Sarma was given Assam charge. Half of the ministers are former Congress leaders in Uttarakhand. Satpal Maharaj has had chief ministerial ambitions for a long time now. Uttarakhand continues to be a tough challenge for BJP. BJP may not project a CM face in Uttarakhand, similar to Assam and Bengal. If Congress projects its chief ministerial candidate, then it may give a fight to BJP. Otherwise, the AAP is there to spring some surprises by opening its doors to significant leaders from other parties.