Lucknow: Ahead of the upcoming Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, opposition parties are exploring alliance formation to return to power whereas, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is leaving no stone unturned to be in power in the state.
Recently, Akhilesh Kumar led Samajwadi Party (SP) has formally announced its alliance with Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) for the polls. However, the recent meeting of Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi and RLD President Jayant Chaudhary triggered rumours.
Akhilesh who was the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh until the BJP won the assembly election in 2017 is putting his efforts to return his party to power. In a recent interview with the media, the former CM said that he will not contest the assembly polls.
As SP enjoys the support of Yadavs and Muslims and Jats is in favour of RLD, the alliance of the parties may also lead to a social coalition of Muslims and Jats.
BSP-AIMIM alliance rumours
There are rumours that another dominant party of the state, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) which is going to contest for 303 seats is likely to form an alliance with All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) which is eyeing 100 seats.
Although nothing has been officially announced, there are rumours in the political circle that they may go ahead with the alliance. The alliance, if formed, may lead to the consolidation of votes of Muslims and Dalits. There are also rumours that BJP is trying to ensure the alliance of AIMIM and BSP, a local journalist Kalam Khan reported.
AIMIM has been working for the past year to form an alliance with Om Prakash Rajbhar’s Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP) has quietly moved away from Bhagidari Sankalp Morcha (BSM) after he formed an alliance with SP.
Another important member of the Morcha, Azad Samaj Party (Bhim Army) of Chandrashekhar Azad, has also distanced itself.
It seems that AIMIM will either form an alliance with BSP or will contest the elections on its own.
Rajbhar offers ticket to Mukhtar Ansari
In another major development that is taking place in the state politics, Rajbhar, who has recently met mafia don Mukhtar Ansari in Banda jail where the latter is lodged, said, “I have offered a ticket to Mukhtar. It is now up to him to decide whether he wants to contest as an SBSP candidate or as an independent. Either way, I will support him.”
Rajbhar is apparently eyeing Muslim support in Purvanchal region by bringing Mukhtar into his party fold. Mukhtar and his brothers wield considerable influence in eastern Uttar Pradesh district, including Ghazipur, Mau, Azamgarh, Ballia, Deoria, etc.
Where does Congress stand in UP politics?
Congress which is struggling in almost all states has entered into the poll campaign in UP.
Although the party is aiming to emerge as kingmaker in the upcoming elections, the bigger challenge is to save party bastion Rae Bareli.
The BJP, after wresting the Amethi seat in 2019, is now eyeing the Rae Bareli seat. The party has been quietly working on dislodging the Gandhi family from Uttar Pradesh.
Of the total ten Assembly seats in two Lok Sabha constituencies – Amethi and Rae Bareli, six are already with the BJP.
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has decided to embark on a padayatra in various parts of Lucknow on November 11.
The padayatra aims to apprise them about the pledges taken by Congress to improve the life of people in Uttar Pradesh.
BJP leaving no stone unturned
Meanwhile, the ruling party, BJP, is putting all its efforts to be in power in the state.
Recently, Yogi Adityanath has extended the PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana till Holi. The scheme provides free ration to the poorest of the poor families grouped as Antyodaya cardholders.
He also said that in addition to what is promised in the original scheme (5 kg of rice or wheat per person and one kg of dal per household), UP will also provide one litre of cooking oil, one kg each of salt and sugar.