Observers believe that Congress may go for an alliance with SP at some later stage.

 

New Delhi: Politics over the farmers’ issues may set new political equations in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh. AICC general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s aggressive strategy on the farmers’ issues is being seen as part of this.

Needless to say, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s recent aggressive posturing on the issues concerning the farming community has rekindled hopes among the Congress leaders and workers. The way Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is taking things forward flamboyantly is indicative of the fact that the Congress is pinning hopes on backward communities and farmers. At the same time, Congress is eyeing women voters by announcing to give 40% of the tickets to female candidates. But the party’s main focus is on farmers and the backward community.

Undoubtedly, farmers’ role is quite important in UP politics, with the voters from this community being in a position to queer the pitch of many. So, the farmers’ agitation, which has been going on for a long time now, has given the Opposition a big political weapon against the Modi government. Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has, no doubt, tried to take a lead on that issue as well. It is difficult to say if the Congress will be strong enough to be in power, but it will be a great achievement if Priyanka Gandhi Vadra succeeds in increasing the vote share of the party in UP elections. What makes this task look difficult for Congress is that Samajwadi Party and Rashtriya Lok Dal will also try to woo the farmers. The BJP will also spare no effort to reach out to this section.

At the same time, BJP MP Varun Gandhi has also come out in open supporting the farmers. This has led to several political interpretations. However, Varun Gandhi has not spoken anything against the party line. But the farmers are hopeful of something positive after Varun Gandhi’s stand. He is the only big BJP leader who has spoken so candidly in support of farmers. Varun Gandhi has a good standing in the politics of UP. He is emerging as a significant sympathizer of farmers. One should not wonder if UP sees significant changes in the political spectrum as elections draw nearer. There is no denying that the BJP will drop many sitting MLAs during ticket allocation, who will then quit the party. As of now, Congress’ strategy is to go it alone in UP. But the observers believe that the grand old party may go for an alliance with SP at some later stage.

As Priyanka Gandhi Vadra wants Congress to be given a good number of seats if alliance talks take place in future, she has already put in place an aggressive electoral strategy to increase bargaining power.  Farmers’ issues will be the priority.

Apart from that, the party will try its level best to woo backwards, Dalits, youth and women. Congress knows that it has a shortage of leaders in UP. With this in view, Congress is trying to project itself as a force to reckon with, so as to create a pressure on SP. Strategists believe that in view of the aggressive campaign of the Congress, SP leadership may see it as a significant player to be in a position to dent its vote bank. Then, Congress will try to have a direct or friendly poll pact with SP. If things go its way the alliance will happen, otherwise Congress will fight all the seats on its own in a bid to create an atmosphere for 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

What is also to be seen is the formation of new parties before UP elections. The Congress may also hold talks with them. What is a reality now is that Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has been able to recharge the Congress to some extent in UP. But it is difficult to predict whether the party will manage to get an increased number of votes in the polls.