RLD has broken the backbone of Indi alliance in Uttar Pradesh by giving indications of a counterattack.

The scale of politics in Uttar Pradesh seems to be leaning towards the Bharatiya Janata Party. The condition of UP is such that except BJP, no party seems serious about the Lok Sabha elections. Leaders of opposition parties are getting trapped in the chessboard laid by BJP. The situation is that elections are round the corner, but Congress and BSP are missing from the electoral field. Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav has remained confined to the politics of taunting, away from the ground reality. There seem to be cracks in the Indie alliance. That is why Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) leader Jayant Chaudhary is also seen staying away from Indi. The condition of RLD’s confidence is that instead of the seven seats it got from SP under the agreement, the four seats it got from BJP are more attractive. Although no statement has come from Jayant Choudhary and BJP regarding this, but both the parties have not denied these reports. Yes, Samajwadi Party is definitely clarifying that the alliance between it and RLD is unbreakable. Bharatiya Janata Party has offered 4 Lok Sabha seats to Rashtriya Lok Dal. These include the names of Kairana, Mathura, Baghpat and Amroha. Rashtriya Lok Dal was among the 28 parties of the Indi alliance which was ready to defeat BJP in the Lok Sabha elections, but before the elections could even be announced, RLD chief Jayant Choudhary made a reversal. Rashtriya Lok Dal, which is contesting the 2022 assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh along with the Samajwadi Party, may also break ties with the Samajwadi Party before the Lok Sabha elections in Uttar Pradesh.

A senior leader of RLD informed that the alliance of RLD and BJP is almost finalized. In any case, BJP is giving four to five seats to RLD. However, we have a demand for seven seats. Party’s national president Jayant Chaudhary’s meeting with BJP leaders is continuing. In this regard, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav said that Jayant Chaudhary is a very educated leader. Keeping in mind the prosperity of the state and the interests of the farmers, he will not go with BJP. Meanwhile, Samajwadi Party state president Naresh Uttam Patel termed these news as complete rumors and said that the relationship between SP and RLD is unbreakable. Overall, on one hand the BJP i.e. NDA alliance is continuously getting stronger in the state, while on the other hand the Indi alliance has almost completely disintegrated. At present, SP and Congress seem to be standing together, but this unity seems to be intact only till the time Congress is not opening its mouth for seats. SP has offered 11 seats to Congress. If RLD separates from Indi, Congress may get one or two more seats in Western UP. But it will not be easy for Congress to win even on so many seats because Congress has not yet started preparations for the elections in UP.

If we go to the bottom of why the Indi alliance is disintegrating in UP, then the biggest culprit appears to be Rahul Gandhi. However, the role of SP chief Akhilesh Yadav also does not seem meaningful. The way Akhilesh was adamant in keeping BSP away from the Indi alliance was also not right in any way. First of all let’s talk about Rahul Gandhi. There was a time when Congress used to speak loudly in UP, it was with the help of UP that Congress came to power at the Centre. UP used to be the electoral stronghold of the Gandhi family. In districts like Amethi, Rae Bareli, Sultanpur, no one could even give competition to Congress, but now everything has changed. Congress strategist and Gandhi family member Rahul Gandhi has left UP. After the crushing defeat from Amethi in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Rahul did not look back towards UP.

Priyanka Gandhi had entered the politics of Uttar Pradesh in the year 2018. Earlier he had limited himself to only Amethi and Rae Bareli. In January 2019, he was made in-charge of Eastern UP. But after the departure of Jyotiraditya Scindia, in-charge of Western UP, Priyanka Gandhi was made in-charge of the entire state in September 2020. After assuming full responsibility, Priyanka Gandhi emerged as the aggressive face of the party. She met the families of those who lost their lives when Union Minister Ajay Mishra Teni’s car collided with it in Lakhimur Kheri. He also targeted the Yogi Adityanath government of the state. Ajay Kumar Lallu, who was the Congress state president at that time, was seen as Priyanka Gandhi’s choice. But Priyanka Gandhi’s campaign of ‘I am a girl, I can fight in the year 2022’ failed to attract voters towards the party in the assembly elections. The Congress was reduced to just two seats in the 403-seat assembly, the party’s worst-ever performance in the state. Now Priyanka has left UP. In place of Priyanka Gandhi, Avinash Pandey was made in-charge of Uttar Pradesh. Former Rajya Sabha MP Avinash Pandey was till now in-charge of Jharkhand. On the plight of Congress, a senior leader of the party says that the party has lost its support base in UP because we kept losing our big faces in the last few years. Those who stayed here also maintained distance from everyday issues, but all these changes will be successful only when Congress, along with strengthening the organization in UP, also raises its voice vocally for the problems related to the people. But this has not happened yet.

Samajwadi Party also cannot be forgiven. The party which emerged from the mass movement is no longer seen fighting on the streets. Akhilesh Yadav keeps making headlines with his statements, but his distance from the voters is a major obstacle in the way of SP’s progress. SP’s politics of Muslim appeasement also seems to be weighing heavily on SP. Especially the way SP maintained distance from the Pran Pratistha program in Ayodhya, even the backward and Dalit voters of SP are not liking it because Ram is associated with the faith of all Hindus. First SP distanced itself from Ram Lalla’s Pran Pratistha program. Then when the congratulatory message for the Pran Pratistha program was passed in the UP Legislative Assembly, here too SP was seen standing in opposition. Now, when the Yogi government made a program for the MLAs of all parties to have the darshan of Ram Lalla on February 11, the SP distanced itself from that too. It seems that SP is wary of Ram Lalla along with BJP. Till date Akhilesh has not gone to Ayodhya to see Ramlala. The level of SP’s opposition is such that its party MLAs have started making absurd demands of taking Ram Lalla on a tour to Dhanipur in Ayodhya, where the mosque is to be built, while the work has not even started there. For the politics of Muslim appeasement, the SP chief has turned towards Swami Prasad Maurya, who is continuously speaking derogatory language for Hindu deities.

The bottom line is that the Indi alliance without BSP in UP seems to be on ventilator at this time. From the situation that is visible, it is certain that there does not appear to be any major challenge for BJP in UP. If RLD keeps distance from Indi alliance, it will create a big problem for SP in Western UP. Anyway, SP has become almost leaderless in West UP. If RLD leader Chaudhary Jayant Singh walks away from the Indi alliance, then SP-Congress will be the only two parties left in the alliance. In such a situation, the situation for the alliance could be worse than the 2017 assembly elections because RLD, which was then standing with SP-Congress, now seems to be going apart.

-Ajay Kumar

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