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Go Solo or Forge Alliance? A Look at Political Equations in Run-Up to UP Assembly Polls

File photo of BSP chief Mayawati (left) and SP chief Akhilesh Yadav (right)

File photo of BSP chief Mayawati (left) and SP chief Akhilesh Yadav (right)

On many forums, SP Chief and former chief minister Akhilesh Yadav said that he will not forge any alliance with any big political party but will ally with the smaller parties in the state.

With the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly elections less than a year away, parties have started looking for new political equations. At least two important parties: Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party, have made their agendas clear on how they will contest the 2022 state assembly elections.

The Samajwadi Party (SP) was the first to announce that it will be contesting the state assembly elections. On many forums, SP Chief and former chief minister Akhilesh Yadav said that he will not forge any alliance with any big political party but will ally with the smaller parties in the state. Meanwhile, BSP chief Mayawati has recently reiterated that her party will not forge any electrical alliance. The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has kept its cards close to the chest over alliances for 2022 state assembly polls.

Has the ruling BJP made up its mind to contest the elections alone? This is likely possible as the parties with which the BJP fought elections in 2017 have either left the alliance or exited discussions. Those who are with the BJP are just for the sake of the name. One such alliance in 2017 was with Om Prakash Rajbhar’s party Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party and Anupriya Patel’s Apna Dal. Rajbhar parted ways from the saffron party and has been vocal against the BJP since then. With the Apna Dal having no special significance, Anupriya Patel did not even get a place in the Modi government’s second term.

The Director of Govind Ballabh Pant Institute of Social Sciences (Prayagraj), Badrinarayan, said, “These small parties based on ethnic groups are losing their existence. Communities have started to feel that such leaders’ interest is to take advantage of being in power. On the other hand, the BJP has also made inroads into such ethnic groups in the past years. Leaders of some ethnic groups have been given very high status in the party.”

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It is obvious that when a political party has created such leaders within its own organization, they will need the clutches. Many leaders from the backward classes have got a big position in the government.

On the other hand, SP Chief Akhilesh Yadav has been trying to bring together smaller parties for contesting the assembly elections. Only time can tell which small political parties will be in the fray with him in 2022. Meanwhile, Chandrashekhar Azad of Bhim Army, Om Prakash Rajbhar, Akhilesh Yadav’s uncle Shivpal Yadav of PSPL, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi and leaders of Aam Aadmi Party have been quite active on the ground lately. Of these, Akhilesh Yadav is expected to forge alliances with political groups that suit his party.