The way Uttar Pradesh (UP) politics has transpired in the past few weeks and keeping in view the 2017 state assembly elections, political pundits sarcastically have labelled it to be the most watched and followed political event after the Presidential elections in the United States of America (USA).
The infighting in the Samajwadi Party (SP), has compelled all the participants however big or small they might be to make certain changes in their election strategy.
Now, the BJP knows that Muslim vote share in UP has always played a vital role in the UP assembly elections as much as 40 percent of the Lok Sabha constituencies. The BJP also predicts that neither SP nor BSP can get a clear majority without securing significant share of the Muslim votes.
The initial strategy of the BJP’s was to divide dalit votes in order to hurt the BSP and to split OBC votes to cut down SP’s prospects. A division in Muslim votes would then help the BJP immensely.
But the concurrent power tussle within the SP seems to have flooded the BJP’s initial plan. “The ongoing family power tussle in the SP might drive the Muslims to Mayawati to en masse Family issues can split the cadre. Our understanding is that the Muslims are still divided area wise. But a deep divide in the SP can make them turn to Mayawati,” said a senior BJP leader. He added that Muslim votes can also be split if Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi is able to influence the community significantly.
In order to play down BSP’s influence BJP has also poached some of its leaders and have maintained that SP is its prime opposition in the state. The BJP also suspects that in all likelihood Akhilesh Yadav could emerge stronger than what it is now.
“The situation is being watched very closely by the BJP”, said a senior official.