Uttar Pradesh assmebly polls is scheduled for early 2017. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is in confusion over who would be its chief ministerial candidate and whether at all to announce one. After performing poorly in Delhi and Bihar assembly elections, BJP cannot afford to lose this one.
It was Uttar Pradesh, which sent 71 BJP MP’s to Lok Sabha in 2014 Lok Sabha elections, making Narendra Modi the prime minsiter. BJP sweeped the elections easily. However it is not so easy now.
In 2014, there was huge Modi wave. With literally no opposition, BJP sweeped the election. However assembly elections is a different ball game. As we saw,BJP had won all the 7 seats in Delhi for Lok Sabha. However in assembly elections in Delhi, Aravind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party thrashed BJP and won the elections with 67 seats, whereas BJP got only 3.
BJP knows the situation right now. They should project a candidate who is accepted universally in all parts of the state.
So who are the BJP chief minsiterial aspirants? Here is a list:
Rajnath Singh: Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who was the UP CM from 2000 to 2002 is said to be the popular choice among party wokers in UP. However Rajanth Singh has not shown any interest in it and prefers to work as Home Minsiter.
Varun Gandhi: Sultanpur Member of Parliament Varun Gandhi is one of the biggest contender for CM’s post. The cousin of Rahul Gandhi has become extremely popular among youths in state. His pro-Hindutva image and aggresion may make him the best bet. His posters have been pasted all around the state, showing his popularity. If Priyanka Gandhi enters the fray, he will surely be the best bet.
Smriti Irani: According to some sources, Smriti Irani may also enter the fray. Smrithi has proved her credentials by giving Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi a tough fight in his pocket borough Amethi in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. She is known for no-nonsense attitude, which may help the party.
Yogi Adityanath: The controversial MP is known for his anti-Muslims rants. His pro-Hindu image may work wonders for BJP. However his CM candidature may affect BJP in long run.
These are some of the names which are coming in media from past few weeks. However the sad part for BJP is they do not have a strong local leader. All the aspirants are from national level politics. BJP has a tough job ahead in UP. The mixed response to Modi’s demonetisation is also adding to it’s tension.
The infighting in Samajwadi Party has given chances for BJP. A recent poll conducted by a news channel showed that BJP will win with easy majority. However we cannot believe the exit poll. We all know that exit poll had predicted BJP to win Delhi easily and we know what happened!
Congress and SP faction led by Akilesh are all set to form an allaince. This may spell trouble for BJP, as if there is no coalition, there would have been split in votes.
In the last two years, the BJP has faced defeats whenever not faced with Congress as its principal adversary and when its opponents had a credible and popular chief ministerial face. This was true in Delhi as well as Bihar.
The BJP is buoyed by the victory in Assam and has the opportunity to take a risk in Uttar Pradesh by projecting a CM candidate that might not win this time but could serve the party well in the years to come.