LS polls 2024: History will repeat itself in UP

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Lucknow, March 15 (IANS) It is a popular understanding that the road to Raisina passes through Lucknow.

Uttar Pradesh — which has an area of 93,933 sq mi (243,286 sq km) sends 80 MPs to the Parliament. The state is pivotal when it comes to forming a government at the Centre.

With the 2024 general elections only a few weeks away, has anything changed in the state since the last election? Is UP poised to repeat the history again?

The political scenario is much the same with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s and the BJP’s popularity touching a crescendo and a beleaguered opposition aimlessly trying to wade into the troubled waters.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the polls were held in seven phases, beginning on April 11 and ending on May 19 in UP.

The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) coalition is much the same in 2024 as it was in 2019.

The NDA allies then included Apna Dal and Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party. It has now included the Nishad party as well into its fold.

The major difference is that in 2019, the state witnessed a three-way contest with the Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) combined pitted against the BJP and its allies while the Congress formed the third front in the elections.

The SP-BSP combine was touted as the game changer — mainly on caste arithmetic — but the results proved that the magic was over.

The BSP managed to win ten seats while SP had to remain content with five.

The Congress which had decided to go solo in 2019 saw the debut of Priyanka Gandhi as in charge of east UP while Jyotiraditya Scindia, then in the Congress, was given charge of western UP.

For the optimist, it seemed like a fantastic political premiere but the results proved to be a disastrous anti-climax.

The Congress could win only one seat — Sonia Gandhi retained her Rae Bareli seat — and the then party President Rahul Gandhi suffered a humiliating defeat in Amethi at the hands of BJP’s Smriti Irani.

The BJP returned to power with 62 seats from UP while its ally, Apna Dal won two seats.

In 2024, the ruling BJP has little to worry about in Uttar Pradesh.

The party’s promise of Ram Mandir has been fulfilled while the BJP wave is blowing never before. The Kashi Vishwanath Dham has undergone a major revamp while the Gyanvapi issue is also inching towards a solution. The Krishna Janambhoomi issue is on the same page.

Besides, the BJP with its welfare schemes, has created a massive vote bank that transcends caste and communal lines. The beneficiaries of schemes — mainly free ration — are known as ‘labharthis’ and remain rock solid behind the BJP.

Moreover, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s personal popularity is at an all-time high and his ‘guarantee is now a guarantee of success.’

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has also strengthened the party with his administrative skills.

The opposition, on the other hand, is fragmented and frustrated. The INDIA bloc lacks the adhesive of unity and also seems to be an alliance of half-hearted people.

The Samajwadi Party, which witnessed a resurgence in the 2022 assembly polls, is now facing a revolt in the ranks and dissent over ticket distribution.

The Congress has almost melted away in Uttar Pradesh with its leaders — including the Gandhis — and workers choosing greener pastures.

The Bahujan Samaj Party remains in a state of indecision and lacks political goals.

The Lok Sabha elections in Uttar Pradesh will be a repeat of the 2019 general elections and the BJP will emerge stronger than before while the opposition will be putting up only a token fight.



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