Akhilesh Yadav has reached out to BSP Supremo Mayawati with an aim to form a 'grand alliance' in Uttar Pradesh based on the Bihar model. Meanwhile, even West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee has tried to be a mediator between the two.
Exit polls ahead of the actual election results have predicted a hung Assembly in Uttar Pradesh, with BJP leading the numbers. While the Uttar Pradesh Assembly election was a big litmus test for PM Narendra Modi’s BJP, Akhilesh Yadav put a lot at stake with his audacious political coup against Mulayam Singh Yadav, added to the Congress alliance. After the exit polls, Yadav reportedly has reached out to BSP Supremo Mayawati with an aim to form a ‘grand alliance’ based on the Bihar model. Meanwhile, even West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee tried to be the mediator between the two, which essentially means how much these parties want to keep BJP out of the state. But as it appears, it is too late to act, and probably too little, as well.
Akhilesh’s failure to get re-elected would be disastrous, not only for him but other national parties too. BJP, if it wins the UP elections, is not likely to show any mercy. There is a lot riding on these ongoing elections, especially because Uttar Pradesh is the biggest state in India and the biggest party BJP has not won here for the last 14 years. On March 11, we will either have one winner or many winners and losers. But Akhilesh’s grand alliance bid will be very different from Bihar. Narendra Modi took a massive decision when he announced the government’s plan to demonetise high value currencies in the country. While this move gathered applause and criticism alike, its execution was generally not favoured. Yet, the gamble did not effect PM Modi’s popularity as such, and according to the exit polls, it is an indication where the public sentiment lies. This is additional to the loss in popularity of Samajwadi Party because of familial tussle as well as the surprising decision to give Congress a whopping 105 seats to contest for.
Meanwhile, Mayawati contested the elections all alone, cornered from both the SP-Congress alliance and the BJP. She expected BSP to have the last laugh, with the expectations that she still enjoys the support of minorities in the state. Four-time CM of UP, also popularly known as Behenji, has been equivocal against current CM Akhilesh Yadav and PM Modi. When she had lost the 2012 assembly elections, she had resigned from her leader post in the party. But then, she was elected by acclamation to a seat in the Rajya Sabha.
While Congress-Samajwadi Party has been playing the development card, Mayawati’s party has been banking on Dalit Muslim votes. But it is the BJP who seems to have made the most of a polarised world. And if it wins the UP elections, it will move to West Bengal, and that is what scares Mamata Banerjee the most. With CPI(M) almost getting faded out in the state, Banerjee is apprehensive on how BJP is slowly become a major opposition force. Yet, Banerjee appears to be pretty late in jumping into the action. She did too little to curb BJP in UP, and all she can do now is concentrate on governance in West Bengal. Banerjee, earlier wanted to contest the Punjab elections as well as support Akhilesh Yadav in UP, but due to lack of interest she became noticeably silent. The last assembly elections in the state happened in 2016 and BJP has a lot of time to increase its presence, and with the Lok Sabha elections scheduled in 2019, the popularity lies in BJP’s side now. Dear, Mamata Banerjee, your actions in UP are probably too late now.