UP Assembly polls set to be expensive

Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections are going to be an “expensive affair” with the ruling Bahujan Samaj Party already starting resource mobilisation on a large scale. The Congress, too, is not lagging behind.

For the Congress, this could be a historic electoral battle after the West Bengal Assembly polls which could set the tone for the general elections. Moreover, it could be fought on two personalities — chief minister Mayawati projecting herself as a prime ministerial candidate and AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi who is seen as the party nominee for the top post.
According to the reports reaching at the AICC headquarters here, the Uttar Pradesh chief minister is steadily going ahead with resource mobilisation and thus fully equipping her party for the elections. The Samajwadi Party may not compete with the BSP and the Congress in the resource mobilisation in the absence of persons like Mr Amar Singh. On the other hand, the BJP has yet to identify its political constituency in the state in the changing situation.
The BSP and the Congress have already made it clear that they will fight the UP elections on their own and announce their candidates much in advance. The current mood in the Congress is not to have an alliance with the RLD, led by Mr Ajit Singh, but wants the latter to merge his party with it.
“If Ajit Singh wants to play a major role in politics, then it could be possible only if he merges his party with the mainstream party,” a Congress leader felt.
If the Congress broke the monopoly of caste-based leaders in the state in the Lok Sabha elections, the BSP is trying to gain the support of non-dalits after realising that it cannot retain power merely on the dalit agenda. If insiders are to be believed, the Congress would field youths in a sizeable number to check the regional parties.
The two parties — SP and BJP — which had ruled the state by taking advantage of the Ayodhya issue, are losing their ground in the absence of this card.
Mr Mulayam Singh Yadav, who was once described as “Maulana Mulayam”, will find it difficult to retain his hold over the minorities while the BJP too is losing its relevance in the state for different reasons.

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