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Not a tsunami, it is a 'Tsu-NaMo' in Uttar Pradesh

Saturday, 17 May 2014 - 1:09pm IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: IANS

Uttar Pradesh stands saffronized. Powered by Narendra Modi, the BJP swept the Lok Sabha election winning a breathtaking 71 of the 80 seats in the state, surpassing 57-seat tally of 1998. The victory was sweeter because its ally Apna Dal got two seats and it also rendered a body blow to the regional satraps, Mulayam Singh Yadav and Mayawati, in the politically crucial state.

The Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), which dominated Uttar Pradesh's politics for more than two decades in the post-Mandal era, suddenly find themselves in political doldrums. The ruling Samajwadi Party has been left with just five seats, down from 21 in 2009. All five seats are held by Mulayam Singh Yadav's family, he himself winning from two places. 

The fact that the Samajwadi Party has fallen from grace within two years of storming the assembly can be seen from the fact that Dimple Yadav, wife of Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, scraped through in Kannauj by 21,500 votes. This too, it seems, happened because Subrat Pathak, the BJP candidate in the constituency, came in late - and also because people wanted 24x7 power supply in the district which only the state government could ensure.

In Badaun too, Vagish Pathak of the BJP gave Samajwadi Party's Dharmendra Yadav a run for his money by polling more than two lakh plus votes. In Firozabad, from where Samajwadi Party general secretary Ram Gopal Yadav's son Akshay Yadav made his political debut, the victory margin is thin. The Samajwadi Party also lost all four state assembly seats which it held: Vishwanathganj, Fatehpur, Unnao Sadar and Rampur Khas. Three of them were lapped up by the BJP alliance.

Now Mulayam Singh Yadav has to give up one of his two seats - Azamgarh or Mainpuri. The defeat of Samajwadi Party candidates even in its strongholds is a matter of grave concern for the two-year-old government of Akhilesh Yadav. Clearly there will be voices of dissent in the party, and some legislators might call for a change of guard in the state. Even Samajwadi Party insiders admit that Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav's tenure has been uninspiring.

The BSP also failed miserably despite trying to tempt voters with its caste matrix. For the first time, it failed to win even one Lok Sabha seat from the state despite contesting in all 80 constituencies. This is a huge setback to the Dalit leader who harboured a desire to one day become the first Dalit prime minister. "The results are a big shocker," admitted Brijesh Pathak, a senior party leader who lost from Unnao, neighbouring Lucknow.

The fact that the BJP breached BSP's captive votebank is a significant development. It signs bad times for Mayawati, who has to wait for three years for the next assembly elections. What has also left BJP critics speechless are the wide margins with which BJP candidates won. The Congress, India's oldest political party, has been decimated. After winning 22 seats in 2009, it is now left with just two seats -- both with the Gandhi family.

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi is maintaining an invincible lead in Amethi over BJP's Smriti Irani but his victory margin has been diminished. Congress president Sonia Gandhi retained the Rae Bareli seat. She won by 3.52 lakh votes, defeating BJP's Ajay Agarwal. All ministers from the state in the Manmohan Singh government lost: Beni Prasad Verma (Gonda), Salman Khurshid (Farukkhabad), Jatin Prasad (Dhaurhara), Pradip Jain Aditya (Jhansi), Sriprakash Jaiswal (Kanpur) and R.P.N. Singh (Kushinagar). BJP insiders say that Modi's close aide Amit Shah has promised to deliver the state to the party in the 2017 assembly polls.

"The Lok Sabha victory is just a precursor to our larger plan for the state," said state BJP president Laxmikant Bajpayi. For now, Uttar Pradesh is safely with the BJP thanks to the Modi tsunami -- or what some say was actually a 'Modi tsu-NaMo!'




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