New Delhi: The road to New Delhi passes through Lucknow. The simple equation being that Uttar Pradesh being the state with the largest no. of seats becomes the kingmaker in centre. That fact may have changed in recent years since the Congress won more seats in Andhra and Maharashtra than in UP during the last two Loksabha elections.
Yet, UP remains the powerhouse of Indian politics. However, the Congress appears to have been unable to grab the attention of UP voters this elections. It will take some time to figure out how and why Mulayam Singh’s Samajwadi Party has surged ahead in Uttar Pradesh and the relegated and rejected BJP is staging a comeback in the 403-strong assembly but winning Manipur is not going to be the consolation for the UPA.
According to the trends available for almost all the 403 seats at 10.40 am, SP is leading in 149 seats, BJP in 59, BSP in coming second with lead in 87 seats and the Congress would have recovered from the early morning shock with now leading in 47 seats.
Congress led from the front by Rahul Gandhi tried hard in this election to revive its fortune in this election but things seems to have gone awry for Congress. Though compared to last assembly elections in 2007 when Congress contested 357 and won 22 seats, this is definitely a recovery but recovery indeed.
The most shocking situation appears to be for Mayawati’s BSP. BSP broke record in 2007 winning 206 of the 403 seats. It was a grand success in a state which for nearly two decades had never voted a party to majority.
But UP had something else in mind this time. Election analyst will tell you that heavy voting is a sign of anti-incumbency. And UP unlike earlier elections went out against Mayawati in all the 7 phases. The voting percentage averaged 59.17 per cent which is a record in entire electoral politics of the state.
So what happened to Mayawati’s social engineering formula that brought her in power? What went wrong with Mayawati’s Brahmin and upper caster voters? What wrong did Mayawati do the UP?
Little peak inside and you start getting the clue. A slow growth rate, significant if not increasing crime rate, inconsistent anti-development image and too much harping on politically sensitive issues…all cost the Dalit leader (i.e. what Mayawati claims to be) the well knitted victory.
UP could have done a Bihar if Mayawati would have been more mature in ruling her own people. At a time when economic development and opportunities are the most important things that a voter wants, Maywati kept getting attention for all the wrong reasons: the most important being the statues.
UP results would also be a litmus test for Rahul Gandhi, who criss-crossed the state, addressing more than 200 rallies for more than three months but it’s a bigger failure for Mayawati. BJP can be given the credited for siding with right issues having no stake anyways and that might reflect in their tally this time. In 2007 elections BJP got 51 seats.
Mayawati not only failed herself but she failed us all who believed that electoral politics can be the basis for a harmonious caste free society.