With the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) starting its Dalit-Brahmin conventions from May 4 and the Samajwadi Party planning to hold weekly party meets for the Lok Sabha polls, the two formidable political players of the state have outpaced the national parties, the Congress and the BJP, in the run-up to the elections.
The SP and the BSP, which are vying against each other to occupy maximum political space in the state in the parliamentary polls, have finalised most of their candidates, with the former already declaring 71 names out of total 80 constituencies, and the latter deciding 38 candidates. Moving a step ahead, the BSP has asked their candidates to start campaigning in their respective political territories.
Meanwhile, the Congress and BJP camps are silent with hardly any election-related activity as both seem to be waiting for the outcome of the Karnataka polls to formulate their plans.
In fact, the BJP is the most disarrayed with the organisational structure and the functionaries yet to be worked out in more than 50 districts. Similarly, the Congress is also struggling hard to stand up on its feet. About eight months back, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi had introduced and implemented the zonal system and divided the state into 10 zones headed by MPs and ministers.
The zonal heads were supposed to submit their reports to the UPCC chief Nirmal Khatri in February for the overhauling of the party apparatus. Now, in May, still no action has been taken on their reports and in many districts, the party remains headless and organisation defunct. Khatri has not been able to make any impact and even his press statements are a rarity.
The BSP will kickstart its campaigns under the leadership of party general secretary Satish Chand Mishra with its first Brahmin-Dalit convention in Khalilabad, which is expected to be a grand success so that the Brahmins regroup under the BSP banner again. Khalilabad in the eastern UP was won by the BSP Brahmin candidate Kushal Tewari in 2009. The BSP has already announced 18 Brahmin candidates and is expected to give a total 22 seats to this caste which would be higher than the party’s 2009 tally.
The command of the Lok Sabha polls in the Samajwadi Party is in the hands of party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, who, during the Lucknow stay, would remain occupied with the meetings with the party workers and the functionaries. So serious is “Netaji” for the election preparations that he would not mind sitting at the party’s headquarters for the whole day amidst the workers to ask them to prepare for the booth-level management and associate public with the Samajwadi Party.