With less than six months to go in the most crucial state of Uttar Pradesh, the BJP is still not able to set the narrative. From the picture so far, we can surely conclude a few things.
- The ruling Samajwadi party is headed for a rout with none of the sections of the society barring the Yadavs and a few Muslims voting for it.
- BSP looks to gather most of the Jatav votes and may garner a large chunk of Muslim and other SC votes.
- With an Uppercaste face for the post of CM, the Congress wants to repeat the performance it showed in Bihar. Get a few seats, disturb the BJP vote share and join a coalition (read BSP) and cry aloud that the Modi wave is over and they will get back to power in 2019 in a 2004 like scenario.
This brings us to the question of the BJP s plans .Well, what is the frontrunner doing at this moment?
The BJP can very well secure 170 seats with its strength right now but what must it do to push the tally by a further 50-60 seats to get a decent majority?
The BJP s biggest headache so far has been finding a CM face with a state wide appeal. Given that the state has a population that can make it the eighth most populous country in the world, it is no surprise. Barring one man, one family type parties, it is going to be a huge, difficult task.
We already have rumors that Yogi Adityanath and Varun Gandhi are bargaining hard for the CM post.
The Modi Shah duo will definitely not succumb to any arm twisting or manipulative tactics but they are not in a position to name someone yet.
Rajnath Singh seems to be a very good bet for the BJP but he will not be willing to give up the No.2 position he currently enjoys at the Centre.
Kalyan Singh would have been a masterstroke but at 84 years of age, he will not be welcome to the young voters and the opposition will target Modi for doing away with the unofficial retirement age of 75.
Smriti Iranis name brings mixed reactions and emotions. She is an outsider and the fact that she was replaced from the HRD ministry will wean away any advantage she brings to the table. My personal opinion is that she shouldn’t be made CM so that she can tame Rahul in Amethi come 2019 LS election.
Coming to Yogiji , he can be a good bet. He comes from the eastern part of the state, where the party organisation is slightly weak. His candidature will give a fillip to the party performance overall. He is from a backward caste, is relatively young, and a man who won despite BJP s total annihilation during the 2009 Lok Sabha elections.
One thing that might go against him is the fact that he hasn’t given any concrete development plans for the state that is in massive need of jobs, development and thrust.
Given that the BJP s campaign will seriously focus on development and vikaas for all, this might be a handicap to Yogi.
The BJP needs to remember that the current trend of the voters is to rally behind a credible face whom they believe will be a solution to their problems. The voters are well aware that the Centre cannot provide everything and hence they need a trustworthy face at their state capital.
Going without a CM face could be a very perilous ride that may even put brakes to the reelection bid in 2019.
At this point it is safe to assume that though the bjp is the frontrunner in this election, it has to pull up its socks and get a move ahead. The enemy is stronger and wiser than 2014.
A CM face by Dussehra or Deepavali would ring alarms in the hearts the opponents. Four months would be good enough to go for the kill.
Anoop Srinivas Bhat CH