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Of 2017 elections and political parties

The clock of the countdown started ticking with the announcement of Election dates.

The moment that the major Political Parties have been waiting so far has come with the declaration of the election dates for five major states of North India. The fact that the forthcoming election holds significance for each parties for their own reason makes it more interesting.

It was on Wednesday that the Election Commission declared the poll dates for the five states that would be up for the ‘voting season’. Incidentally, these states – Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur are considered to be big players in their respective forms. It is because of this that the political parties have tightened their belts to prepare themselves for the D Day.

The elections in these states will be deciding factor for the political parties each in their own way. The major players Modi (with BJP), Rahul Gandhi (with congress), Mulayam Singh Yadav and his prodigal son Akhilesh Yadev (with Samajwadi Party), Arvind Kejriwal (with AAP),  Badals (Shiromani Akali Dal), Mamata Banerjee (All India Trinamool Congress ) etc. will be playing up for the grabs the seats of these states.

The election battle will be especially bitter and interesting in UP as there is more or less an adage that the one who wins UP wins India. After all, UP is the largest stated of India and has influenced (and governed) the Indian politics since the beginning.

For Modi and BJP these elections will be definitely a fire test as these are the first elections that India is facing after his bold move of demonetization. The Prime Minister had demonetized the banknotes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 last September with the promise of tackling black money and corruption. Very quickly as the country faced the acute cash crunch and its economy took to tumble the promises of Modi too saw the changes.

From battling the black money to supporting the terrorism, we saw an array of new goals; some succeeded, some didn’t. When the assured 50 days too passed and the chaos prevailed, India saw many of his supports turning against him. The latest among the ‘so called turn coats’ had been the RBI itself, that ‘confessed’ that demonetization had been too hasty a decision.

Now, although BJP had succeeded in winning the by – elections in states of Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, one has to note that it was before the new wave of discontent that has swept the country along with the chilly winds of winter. With elections merely a month away, Mr Modi has tried to salvage this situation by announce few plans as ‘new year gift’ on 31December. But only these elections will tell where the thoughts of 1.21 billion Indians lie. These elections will be kind of the forecast for the General elections that India will be facing in 2019.

For Congress these elections are equally crucial, if not more. The party that used to rule the roosters of India once-upon-a-time, has now shrunk to merely within two states. Although still considered to be one of the seminal Opposition Party, the loss of their turf has not less been humiliating. Although Sheila Dixit will be face of UP elections on the behalf of congress, these state polls are important for the Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi.

Mr Gandhi had almost the post of president of the party within his grip last year when it was taken away (again) with his mother Sonia Gandhi retaining it. Although no explanation was given for this retention, anyone who knows an iota of India politics will know that it was taken keeping in mind the UP elections. It is a well-known fact that although the party members will deny publically, very little of them have confident of him alone winning the elections. This fact had been further fortified when there was a ‘rumor’ that the party had tried to rope in his sister Priyanka for campaigning for him. But with the former flatly refusing it the Vice President was left to fend for himself.

The forthcoming elections will be a kind of barometer of the public perception regarding him and his eligibility for the seat, although I doubt anybody but him will be ‘gracing’ that seat eventually. The situation is pretty much the same in the rest of the states. As the party itself struggles to regain its old glory and turfs, these elections will play crucial role in it.

As for Arvind Kejriwal and his AAP these elections will be an opportunity to enter into other states’ majority. As of now, although the party has the activities and workers in India’s almost all the states, it seldom has the majority. Mr Kejriwal himself has managed to stir quite a bit of sensations for past several years. And now the time has come for his party to gain the majority in other states too.

The party had been trying to break into the tight political circles of Punjab and Goa for a while now. But it has met with more or less good success. With BJP trapped in the ‘web’ of demonetization and Congress growing weak at national level, it has good opportunity. For all we know the people may elect AAP just to get rid of the former two. Who knows? And so Kejriwal has been plugging all the points to see that his party barges into these political turfs.

Then we have the (in)famous Yadav feud going on in Uttar Pradesh. The Samajwadi Party is undoubtedly considered to be the strongest political party in the state. It was because of this that even though Narendra Modi had won Varanasi and India, BJP could not win the majority of UP. But since last three months the country has been on the edge of their seats with on now, off now relation between the father son duo – Mulayam Singh Yadav and Akhilesh Yadev.

For past three months the Akhilesh has been rebelling against his father in regards of party’s way of working including giving the power to his uncle Shiv Pal Yadav. The matters have taken many ugly turns till the son ousted the father and proclaimed himself as the president. But not to be out done the father too have declared that he is still the Chief of the party.

As the nation is watching the MPs and MLAs of the party along with their party workers are scrambling anxiously to take the sides. These development will obviously effect the impending election, only nobody knows how. It is also evident that the other parties such as BSP, BJP, Congress etc. will take advantage of this shift in power and apparent ‘instability’ in coming elections.

The elections of February-March will not only set the stage of these major parties in 2019 but will run as a preview for impending election of Gujarat and Rajasthan that will be facing the polls in the later half of the year.  But meanwhile, these election promise interesting year for the political pundits and anxious ones of the parties.


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Of 2017 elections and political parties


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