Take the pledge to vote

For a better tommorow#AajSawaroApnaKal
  • I agree to receive emails from News18

  • I promise to vote in this year's elections no matter what the odds are.
  • Please check above checkbox.

    SUBMIT

Thank you for
taking the pledge

Vote responsibly as each vote counts
and makes a diffrence

Disclaimer:

Issued in public interest by HDFC Life. HDFC Life Insurance Company Limited (Formerly HDFC Standard Life Insurance Company Limited) (“HDFC Life”). CIN: L65110MH2000PLC128245, IRDAI Reg. No. 101 . The name/letters "HDFC" in the name/logo of the company belongs to Housing Development Finance Corporation Limited ("HDFC Limited") and is used by HDFC Life under an agreement entered into with HDFC Limited. ARN EU/04/19/13618
LIVE TV DownloadNews18 App
News18 English
News18 » Politics
3-min read

Present Tense, Future Uncertain: Mistrust and Mismatch Unravel Mahagathbandhan in UP

The choice of seats and nominees by the Congress alludes that one, the party will contest in UP on its strength and weakness and not just to ensure SP-BSP win and two, the Congress feels the onus of defeating the BJP has to be equally shared by both the BSP and SP.

Sumit Pande | News18.com

Updated:March 15, 2019, 1:08 PM IST
facebookTwitterskypewhatsapp
Present Tense, Future Uncertain: Mistrust and Mismatch Unravel Mahagathbandhan in UP
(From left) File photo of Mayawati, Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi.
Loading...

New Delhi: The Congress’ first two lists of candidates for Uttar Pradesh are indicative of a growing mistrust between the grand old party and the BSP, which may have both pre- and post-poll ramifications in national politics.

The choice of seats and nominees by the Congress alludes that one, the party will contest in UP on its strength and weakness and not just to ensure SP-BSP win and two, the Congress feels the onus of defeating the BJP has to be equally shared by both the BSP and SP.

In political circles, two broad thoughts or theories have been doing the rounds on what could possibly be the best strategy to challenge the BJP’s dominance in UP politics.

Some feel this could be achieved by the Congress and Mahagathbandhan fielding candidates separately to tactically undercut BJP votes. For instance, it suits the Congress if SP-BSP field a non-Muslim candidate in Kanpur, where former Union minister Shri Prakash Jaiswal has won in the past. As a quid-pro-quo, Congress nominating a strong upper-caste candidate in Phulpur or Farrukhabad helps the combine.

The votaries of this theory cite the 2017 assembly polls to posit their stand when the Congress contested only in 100-odd seats in alliance with the SP. The Congress votes in the remaining 300 are said to have shifted to BJP.

The other political thought in the opposition camp is that the BJP has successfully disrupted traditional fault lines in the state’s polity, which were assiduously built through identity politics pursued by SP and BSP. And that the voter at the moment can broadly be grouped into a simple binary of pro vs anti-Modi votes.

In such a situation, a massive mobilisation of anti-BJP votes is needed to challenge the saffron party. And this can happen only if all three parties combine.

“We have to show the BJP and its voters in UP that they are up against a massive mobilisation and it is numerically impossible to beat this combination. This is a psychological message which should have gone,” says a Congress ticket aspirant.

That the Congress was interested in joining the Mahagathbandhan was evident in statements by party leaders till last week. In its first list, Congress spelt out its first preference of seats which it would want to contest as part of the alliance.

Congress’ claim to the seat share in states where it is relatively weak emanates from the party’s belief that as the main opposition party in Parliament and outside, it has created a political capital on real issues against the Modi government.

“When others were frightened to speak, we attacked this government on corruption, its economic performance and other social indicators. We raised Rafale, we raised GST and demonetisation. The others were happy just to slap them on the wrist, that too pro forma,” says a Congress leader.

The pre-condition for the SP-BSP tie-up, some Congress leaders claim, seems to be that the Congress be kept out of the alliance.

The BSP statement on Tuesday ruling out any truck with the Congress in UP and outside dealt the final blow to any possibility of the grand old party joining the combine.

Insiders in BSP have a different explanation for the recent developments. They feel their party is paying back the Congress in the same coin — and with some interest.

“In MP, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, we were told that the Congress vote would not be transferred to BSP. Then what is the possibility of that happening in UP? The Congress won two seats in 2014 and has seven MLAs in the assembly. By that calculation, the BSP has left Amethi and Rae Bareli for the party,” he says.

On Thursday, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s unscheduled visit to Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad was a near-clear indication of the Congress’ intent and efforts in UP. Mayawati, in a press conference last year, had alluded to Azad and his group being a creation of opponents to electorally damage the BSP and the Dalit movement.

The Congress, in its first two lists of candidates for UP, has fielded former MPs and prominent minority names that may directly damage SP-BSP candidates. Some of these candidates have polled more than two lakh votes in the last Lok Sabha elections.

The perfect picture of opposition unity at HD Kumaraswamy’s oath-taking in Bengaluru last year stands shriveled in less than 12 months — especially in UP, which sends 80 MPs to the Lok Sabha.

Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox - subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow News18.com on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what's happening in the world around you – in real time.

Read full article
Loading...
Next Story
Next Story

Also Watch

facebookTwitterskypewhatsapp

Live TV

Countdown To Elections Results
To Assembly Elections 2018 Results