LUCKNOW: With grand SP-BSP alliance falling apart in Uttar Pradesh and Congress turning into a non-entity, the upcoming assembly by-polls to 12 vacancies caused by 11 MLAs winning Lok Sabha election and conviction of a BJP MLA in a murder case, would mean different to the different parties.
With BJP, riding high on 2019 Lok Sabha victory, has got into the poll mode yet again, Congress remains undecided to take up another challenge after a worst ever performance in UP, the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), which had teamed up for 2019 battle, have parted ways and set to contest every election separately.
On one hand, the BJP will get the opportunity in the upcoming by-polls to break jinx of defeat which had impacted it in 2018 when the party had succumbed to the combined opposition onslaught in Gorakhpur, Phulpur, Kairana and Noorpur assembly seat, on the other, the maiden entry of BSP will spice up the by-poll arena as the party has changed its earlier instance of not fielding candidates in by-elections. However, SP has regularly been contesting by-polls.
The real challenge stands for the regional satraps to justify their ‘divorce’ before their respective voters whom they had been convincing to unite to defeat the BJP. Now they will go to them seeking votes against each other once again. Notably, Mayawati on Monday made a formal announcement of breaking alliance saying that she would contest all future polls solo. Even more, the BSP chief also stands out losing her USP of not mixing family with the party. “But now with the decision of putting her brother and nephew on senior party position’s after an organisation rejig has shot her into the league of such regional satraps who run their parties as family fiefdom,” says political observer.
“Mayawati’s decision to call off alliance with SP is bound to send across confusing and contrarian signals to the voters who may be look at her as an impulsive and opportunist politician,” says Dalit ideologue SR Darapuri. He adds that the voters disillusioned with the BSP and finding it difficult to digest the pretext on which Mayawati broke alliance with the SP. “She will face the repercussion in by-polls as well,” claims Darapuri.
For SP chief Akhilesh Yadav, the situation seems to be graver and ridiculously tricky. He is now being tagged as the man of failed alliances. “First Congress in 2017 and now BSP, the SP chief has failed to save his alliances and earn allies’ commitment after poll outcome. With three back-to-back poll defeats, Akhilesh faces the charge of going for another failed alliance despite strong reservations from father Mulayam Singh Yadav. “Now with family disintegrated, and alliance with BSP falling apart, the upcoming bypoll may be seen as a referendum on Akhilesh’s leadership qualities and political acumen,” says a political observer.
By-polls to 12 assembly seats have been necessitated as sitting MLAs of Lucknow (Cant), Gangoh (Saharanpur), Iglas (Aligarh), Tundla (Firozabad), Pratapgarh, Govindnagar (Kanpur), Manikpur (Chitrakoot), Zaidpur (Barabanki), Balha (Bahraich), Jalalpur (Ambedkarnagar) and Rampur have been elected as MPs while Hamirpur MLA Ashok Kumar Singh Chandel stands disqualified after his conviction in a nearly 22- year-old murder case.
Barring Jalalpur seat that was with BSP’s Ritesh Pandey and Rampur seat that was with SP’s Azam Khan, the BJP held the rest of 10 assembly seats.