Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s entry in Uttar Pradesh to upset BSP, SP poll math
Signaling one of the most awaited political debuts in recent times, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Monday took the plunge as the party’s general secretary in-charge of Western Uttar Pradesh in the presence her brother, Congress party president Rahul Gandhi and Jyotiraditya Scindia, who has been given the charge of Eastern UP.
While her entry has enthused Congress workers, analysts believe she has upset the poll arithmetic of all the parties in the fray –particularly, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), and the Samajwadi Party (SP), who are vying for the same turf.
Sources in the BJP’s state unit claim Gandhi Vadra will greatly upset calculations of secular parties. They believe that the fragmenting the 19.4% Muslim vote bank will go a long way to help the BJP sail through. Congress, SP and BSP are all claimants of the Muslim vote bank. “We have got minuscule section of Muslim votes in the last polls. They have alternated between the Congress, BSP and SP. Priyanka’s entry will only confuse them further,” said a state BJP leader on condition of anonymity. He claimed that the new arithmetic will lead them to give a stiff fight on more than 70 seats.
On the other hand, the BSP and the SP contend that her entry will harm the BJP alone. The Dalits, including the Jatavs and non-Jatavs, who account for 14% and 8% respectively, have mostly alternated between the BSP and the BJP. The OBCs, which include the Yadavs, Lodhis, Kurmis, Mauryas and other castes, account for over 41% of the state’s voters, have voted alternately for the SP and the BJP. All these castes have BJP as second preference.
Political observers believe that the key of victory ultimately lies in the state’s upper castes — Brahmins, Rajputs, Vaishyas, Bhumihars and Tyagis — a vote block that both the BJP and the Congress are vying for. They account for 20 per cent and a rising anger against the Yogi Adityanath government could signal a turnover towards the Congress, provided it chooses its candidates carefully.
Congress party spokesperson Akhilesh Pratap Singh, who had worked alongside Priyanka in Rae Bareilly, said that a Congress revival is on the cards. “We will garner a major chunk of votes because Congress is a party of all communities, and doesn’t rely on a single caste,” he said.
The 25-km-long road show, started from the airport and winded through town via Charbagh, Hussainganj, Barlington Chowk, Odeon Cinema, Hazratganj, and then on to Raj Bhawan, to end at the Congress office. The party pulled out all the stops to ensure that the rally was a massive success.
Gandhi welcomed the two and said that their efforts will bear fruit only when the party forms government in the state’s assembly elections. “I have sent them here because it is in Uttar Pradesh that the Congress party started, and it cannot remain weak here. Of course, the Lok Sabha elections are in front of us, and we should register a good performance here. But, in the Assembly polls, the Congress will have to form the government here,” Gandhi said when the roadshow culminated at the party’s state office.
Courtesy : DNA