UP Election Bullet: Everything Making News in the Poll-Bound State
A wrap-up of all election-related developments in Uttar Pradesh.
1. BJP Needs Poll Victory to Choose Its Own President
The BJP will need a near sweep in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections to see an NDA candidate as the next President of India.
Election for a new President is due in July when incumbent Pranab Mukherjee completes his five-year term.
The BJP has an overwhelming majority in the Lok Sabha and also rules 12 states. But that is not enough given the complex mathematics of a presidential election.
The electoral college to pick a President comprises all elected MPs and MLAs. Each vote also has a weightage or value depending on the size of the population he or she represents. MPs have the highest value – 708 – for each vote while the value of an MLA’s vote depends on the population of the state.
Uttar Pradesh, which is the most populous state, has higher weightage than north-eastern states.
Source: Hindustan Times
2. Demonetisation Has Made 90% 'Kangaal': Mayawati
Expressing faith that her party will be victorious in the upcoming elections in Uttar Pradesh, Bahujan Samaj Party surpemo Mayawati said demonetisation is a planned conspiracy led by the ruling Bharaitya Janata Party.
She added that the policy had been put in place for rajnethik swarth or political gains. Speaking on her 61st birthday on Sunday, she said it was a strategic plan to distract from the party's shortcomings that has caused 90 percent of the population to struggle with cash or be kangaal.
3. UP Polls: The Real Contest Is Between Akhilesh and Modi
In the Assembly elections, it looks like the real contest is now between the SP and the BJP – in other words, between Akhilesh Yadav and Narendra Modi.
Various political sources say that the BJP has found a strong footing in this Assembly election, and is in a better position than they were at when they tasted defeat in Bihar in 2015.
Source: Navbharat Times
4. Mayawati to Go for Online Campaigning for UP Polls
Desperate to return to power, BSP chief Mayawati, who had earlier stressed that her supporters did not watch TV, has finally decided to compete with her arch rivals through social sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc.
Interestingly, for the first time, even Non-Resident Indians (NRI) are uploading videos on YouTube to promote Mayawati’s claim to power and to project her as the ‘toughest administrator’ who could deliver a terror-free atmosphere to public, industrialists and businessmen.
Sources had confirmed that the party will launch several posters, videos and slogans through social media sites on her birthday.
Source: Daily Pioneer
5. BJP's Gameplan for UP
The Bharatiya Janata Party has prepared its gameplan for poll-bound Uttar Pradesh. The party seems to have demarcated areas and zones to concentrate its efforts.
The Kairana ‘exodus’ as well as the Muzaffarnagar riots in western UP have become electoral issues. In Purvanchal, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's rhetoric of development finds support, and the poor law and order situation under the incumbent government is bound to be used by the party.
The seats in Gorakhpur and Kashi are being paid special attention. Modi's face, RSS workers' activities on the ground, and the ongoing feud in SP may prove to be in favour of the BJP.
6. Won't Stand Behind Mulayam If SP Splits: Amar Singh
Even as the two factions of the Samajwadi Party fight over the party's symbol, Rajya Sabha MP and the alleged 'outsider' at the core of the dispute, Amar Singh, said he would withdraw his support if the party splits.
Singh will be in London for three months to seek medical treatment. By the time he returns, the matter of the election symbol will be decided, but he said he wouldn't support Mulayam Singh Yadav if the party breaks up.
Singh, on several occasions, has been accused by Akhilesh of causing rifts in the party and influencing his father Mulayam.
Source: Rashtriya Sahara
8. Angry With the BJP, Khaps Play Jat Card in West UP
“Modi tere raj mein, munji gai byaj mein, aur prali gai sharam-lihaz mein (Modi, under your government, all my paddy crop has gone into paying off debts and the hay had to be donated).”
This one liner, painted behind a tractor-trailer chugging towards the Shamli sugar factory with a load of sugarcane, captures the mood among Jat farmers in the Shamli-Kairana-Muzaffarnagar belt of western Uttar Pradesh, which votes in the first phase of the Assembly elections on 11 February.
With payment from sugar factories sluggish, minimum support price for crops stagnant, crop loan debts on the rise and the rabi sowing season impacted by demonetisation, Jat farmers, the dominant votebase in this region, are up in arms against the BJP. So much so, that almost all Khap panchayats here have declared that they will vote to defeat the BJP this time.
Source: Indian Express
9. Hoardings of Priyanka-Dimple Fuel SP, Cong Alliance Speculation
The Akhilesh Yadav faction of the Samajwadi Party seems to be inching closer to sealing a deal with the Congress, even as the Election Commission is yet to decide on the fate of the SP and its ‘cycle’ poll symbol.
While talk of a pre-poll alliance has been raging for some time now, hoardings of Kannauj MP Dimple Yadav, who is Akhilesh's wife, along with Priyanka Gandhi Vadra have come up in Allahabad – further fuelling the speculation.
(Read more on The Quint)
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