UP polls: People's mandate to decide who will sit on throne

By Onkareshwar Pandey

Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India], Mar. 10 (ANI): As the results for the Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh come out on March 11, speculations have failed to decide whether the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) would occupy the chair of power or the state would succumb to a political stalemate leading to the President's rule.

With none of the exit polls confirming a clear majority for any party, the suspense will be over by tomorrow when the electorate of 140 million, in a population of over 200 million will give their mandate to elect 403 legislators after over two months of gruelling high-voltage campaigning through the state, where political parties contested in the seven-phased, three-cornered battle.

The major contenders - the Samajwadi Party-Congress alliance, the BJP and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) - left no stone unturned to woo voters.

The entire nation is eagerly waiting for the final poll results, which not only will script a new chapter for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Rahul Gandhi and Mayawati, but for the Indian politics as well. It will be a kind of mandate by the people on demonetisation and other programmes and policies introduced by the BJP Government at the Centre, if it manages to come to power in the state after a long gap of 15 years.

If the BJP gets the majority, it will surely say that the demonetisation, instead of being PM Modi's monumental hubris that Opposition parties were hoping for and campaigned vigorously against, has actually turned out to be advantageous for the party.

If the exit polls data proves true tomorrow, which does often indicate the mood in a state, one can safely say that people did not like the much-hyped slogan "UP ko Ye Saath Pasand hai" of the SP-Congress alliance and liked the slogan of "Sabka Saath-Sabka Vikas" of the BJP to write a new chapter in the political history of UP and the political observers might also see a clear polarisation of Hindu votes in the state in support of the BJP, which didn't give even a single ticket to any Muslim candidate in the entire state.

According to the Exit Polls, the BJP looks fighting fit in 2017, but, the fact remains that in 2014, when it swept the state on an appeal from Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, the Samajwadi Party and BSP polled 19.77 percent and 22.35 percent of the votes respectively.

This year's polls will also decide whether the four-time chief minister of Uttar Pradesh BSP supremo Mayawati continues to enjoy the support of Dalits and minorities. It will become clear that the Dalit-Muslim combination didn't take place and electorate of state voted going above the cast, creed and religion, if she doesn't get good numbers. In 2014 Parliamentary elections, Mayawati had failed to open her account in the Lok Sabha and Mulayam Singh Yadav won four family seats.

This year also, Mayawati, who has contested the Assembly elections alone, has been cornering both the BJP and the SP-Congress alliance so far in the hope of ensuring that the elephant has the last laugh in this politically vital state, might have to rethink her strategy in a case of fractured mandate.

The talks of alignment and realignment are also going on in the state keeping all options open to form the government in the state.

Just before the final results, the Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, used the relation of Bua-Bhatija (nephew-aunt), the same address he used to take a dig on the BSP supremo, has said that although he believes that the Samajwadi Party and Congress combine has got the support of majority in UP, but in case need be (read to keep BJP out of power) we are open to ally with the BSP, which was immediately rejected by Mayawati.

Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh had dropped a large hint that his alliance is ready for a mahagathbandhan to keep BJP out.

"Akhilesh never named BSP or Mayawti, our aim is to keep communal powers out of Power," said SP leader Naresh Agrawal, though.

Meanwhile, amid highly uncertain and speculative political scenario, Congress President Sonia Gandhi has gone abroad for a routine check-up and will not be in the country when results of the crucial assembly elections to five states come in on March 11. (ANI)