Although the Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Congress have changed their tactics somewhat since the last election, the Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party (SP) is trying its luck for the third time in a row with the same formula. Selection
Samajwadi Party (SP)
The SP contested the 2012 UP Assembly elections individually and won a majority. SP founder Mulayam Singh Yadav made a splash by handing over the reins of government to his son Akhilesh Yadav instead of being the chief minister of India’s most populous state, giving back the largest number of legislators – 403 MLAs, 80 Lok Sabha MPs and 31 Rajya Sabha MPs.
After five years of rule, the SP allied with the Congress in the 2017 UP Assembly elections. The alliance of the two parties was being termed as a ‘masterstroke’.
The merger of Akhilesh and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was promoted with a number of slogans, such as “UP K Do Lodke” (UP’s two sons) and “UP Ko Yeh Saath Pasand Hai” (UP likes this organization).
But this alliance could not stop the BJP. The BJP alone has won 312 out of 403 assembly seats and 325 seats with its allies, proving a number of deep political observers and experts wrong.
Undeterred by the results, the SP repeated the test in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. It has entered into a pre-election alliance with the BSP.
In 2019, the “Bua-Bhatija duo” (a combination of Mayawati and Akhilesh’s aunts and nephews, respectively) performed better than in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections when, separately contesting, the SP won five of the 80 seats while the BSP failed to open its account.
However, in 2019, when the number of BSPs reached 10, the five seats of SP remained the same. The two parties split soon after the results were announced.
After two tests, which did not help the SP much, the party decided to contest the 2022 UP state elections again in alliance with smaller parties.
Akhilesh is reportedly in talks with at least three small groups. It has struck a deal with the Om Prakash Rajvar-led Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP) and is in talks with the Jayant Chowdhury-led Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) led by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to defeat the BJP government. The state is headed by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
Akhilesh had met Jayant Chowdhury and AAP Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh in the last few days.
After meeting the RLD chief, Akhilesh tweeted in Hindi: “Towards change, with Jayant Chowdhury.”
Towards change with Shri Jayant Chowdhury GK https://t.co/iwJe8Onuy6Advertisement
– Akhilesh Yadav (yadavakhilesh) 1637665744000
Jayant Chowdhury said on his behalf: “Going forward.”
Steps to raise! https://t.co/NqYFSz4MV1Advertisement
– Jayant Singh (jayantrld) 1637664821000
After his discussion with Sanjay Singh, Akhilesh tweeted: “A meeting, for a change.”
Tagging him, Sanjay Singh replied: “Against dictatorship, of course, a clear call for progress and change.”
Against the dictatorship, of course, and the revolution for change! @ Yadbakhilesh ji, meeting and meaningful chat… https://t.co/u6V1BLtjvtAdvertisement
– Sanjay Singh AAP (anSanjayAzadSln) 1637766600000
The SP has a strong vote bank of Muslim and Yadav (MY). More than 19 per cent of UP’s 25 crore population is Muslim. OBCs make up 41 per cent of the state’s population, while Yadavs make up about 10 per cent of the population.
In 2017, the SBSP allied with the BJP and contested eight seats. It won four and received 0.7 percent of the vote. Later, relations with the BJP broke down.
To attract the Rajvar community, Home Minister Amit Shah founded a state university in Azamgarh on 13 November and named it after the Hindu warrior king and Rajvar icon Maharaja Suheldev.
The RLD, which has a base among the Jats in western UP, did not win any Lok Sabha seats in the 2014 or 2019 Lok Sabha elections. In the 2017 UP Assembly elections, it contested 277 seats but won only one. It seized securities in 266 seats and gained 1.78 per cent of the vote share.
Some believe the RLD could be better off due to farmers ’protests over the three farm laws that are set to be scrapped in the upcoming winter session of parliament starting November 29. The Modi cabinet has approved a bill to repeal the Farm Reform Act. November 24.
The Jats, who are an influential farming community in western UP, initially strongly supported the protests led by farmers in Punjab.
As far as the AAP is concerned, they are trying their luck for the first time in the UP Assembly elections. In September, the party announced that they would be contesting 403 seats. However, the party seems to have changed its mind and is joining hands with the SP-led alliance.
Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP)
Mayawati has reiterated twice this year and made clear the position of the BSP that they will contest the 2022 UP Assembly elections on their own. He said this on his birthday on January 15 and then on June 27.
In fact, the BSP did not contest any UP assembly elections by forming a pre-election alliance with any party.
Of the five states in UP, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur which are set to face elections in February-March next year, the BSP has only allied with the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) in Punjab.
However, in a change of strategy, the BSP formed a pre-election alliance with the SP for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. But soon after the results were announced, the alliance broke up.
The BSP is now back in a single fight in the upcoming UP elections.
The Congress has contested all the recent elections in UP alone. The exception was in 2017 when it was contracted to SP.
But the result of that tie-up is disaster.
Where the BJP won 312 out of a total of 403 seats and got 39.67 per cent of the vote; The SP won 47 seats and received 21.82 percent of the vote; The BSP won 19 seats and got 22.23 percent of the vote; And Congress won only 7 seats and got only 6.25 percent of the vote.
The party is also contesting the UP elections alone next year.