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Balloon of Hindutva Punctured in UP
5/9/2019 11:18:52 PM
Omkar Dattatray

Cultural nationalism and HIndutva is the poll plank in 2019 general elections along with other issues like farmers issues, security of the nation and the developmental issues but Hindutva as a poll plank could not get a centre stage in UP poll politics. The high known of Hindutva is waning in U.P and it no longer is dominant poll issue in U.P. In fact, Hindutva could not crop up as a poll issue in U.P which has an important role in the formation of the central government. UP has 80 parliamentary seats in its kitty and therefore U.P is the real king makers in Indian politics. As such all political parties attach high importance to this largest state of India. In 2014 Lok Sabha elections BJP had got 70 parliamentary seats, SP had 5 seats and Congress only 2 seats while the ally of BJP Apan Dal had 2 seats. But this time whole poll arithmetic will be changed and SP, BSP, RLD and Congress will get substantial votes and there is every possibility that these parties will get enough seats in the elections and the Hindutva plank of BJP does not seem to make any difference and impact upon the poll outcomes as this issue does not continue to impress voters of Uttar Pradesh any more. In fact, the Hindutva balloon of BJP has punctured thanks to the alliance of SP-BSP-RLD, it being the alliance and meeting of Muslims, Dalits and Jats. The gathabandhan of SP-BSP-RLD is a formidable challenge to BJP along with the congress which also have some strongholds in UP. Thus alliance of SP-BSP-RLD is giving sleepless nights to the poll managers of BJP as this new social engineering and experiment is likely to influence the poll outcome in UP and it is likely to overturn the applecart of BJP in 2019 Lok Sabha elections. While BJP banks on nationalism, security of nation, Hindutva plank, farmer's issues and developmental narrative, the SP-BSP-RLD gathbandhan banks on social justice and social engineering as well as minority appeasement. BJP has to make a tight rope walk in this election because on one side BJP has to fight formidable SP-BSP-RLD combine and on the other side it has to take on its rival congress in a big way. Therefore, this election is no easy for BJP. It seems that realizing its week position and its tough fight in U.P due to the alliance SP-BSP-RLD of Ajit Singh, the party is looking towards south to make good its losses which it may suffer in its once stronghold of UP which is the gate way to Delhi darbar. Therefore, BJP this time giving is its top attention to Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Odhisa and other southern states. BJP faces tough battle in UP. If the 2014 voting trends are taken into consideration and if the votes of the SP and BSP are added up, then BJP would be behind in Bahraich and other constituencies in UP. In UP this time it is BJP Vs SP-BSP-RLD on the one hand and on the other Congress. BSP is shorn of any popular agenda of its own this year and thus has the party allied with its arch rival SP. The SP-BSP-RLD is a big headace for BJP as the three parties vote share will be combined and these parties are giving tough battle to Saffron Party notwithstanding its HIndutva agenda and nationalism. The only thing that this new gathbandhan of SP-BSP-RLD is that this alliance has to convince the voters that they are on the same page. Earlier Chiefs of the Samajwadi Party-Bahujan Samaj party-Rashtriya Lok Dal combine threw down the gauntlet to the ruling BJP in Deoband in Western UP. While the BJP or for that matter NDA in 2014 had 73 seats and the state is central to the PM Modi's reelection bid but the political landscape in U.P has changed significantly in the interim period and so has the social engineering and caste politics of SP-BSP-RLD and its espousal of social justice. SP-BSP-RLD faces litmus test in BJP bastion West U.P. Ms. Mayawati is an icon of Dalit empowerment and since 1990s has often been deft in building social alliance around her core vote. Mr. Yadav is the inheritor of the rump of socialist (Lohiate) politics in Hindi belt which has been reduced to a pure a caste based entity around the SPs Yadav support. Both could be characterized as a social justice politics. But the accent and rhetoric of their respective politics are dissimilar. By joining hands with RLD which has a JAT base in western U.P and reaching out to Muslims forcefully, the two parties are seeking to draw votes with a show of win-ability. Whatever it is, stark reality and the bitter truth about U.P politics and voting is that the Saffron party Hindutva plank does not and cannot stand before the formidable alliance of SP-BSP-RLD combine and BJP will have to pay a heavy price this time in the form of not sending required number of members to new Lok Sabha from U.P. the high known of Hindutva has waned and its place has been occupied by pressing issues of the day and thus there is fight between SP-BSP-RLD and Congress Vs BJP and now it is to be seen as to how will the elections settle the dust and seal the fortunes of the contenders in this 2019 election dangal. Nothing precisely can be said about the election outcomes at this moment as the mood of Indian voters is most unpredictable and it can change so quickly.
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