UP, Bihar politics in favour of Modi

Sharp division in the non-BJP parties, the ego of political leaders and ground-level compulsions are helping the BJP’s PM candidate Narendra Modi in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, the two states to decide whether he can become the next PM.
If the first anti-BJP front came to power at the Centre in 2004 against the backdrop of the Gujarat riots in 2002, this time the spirit is lacking among the “secular” players — Mulayam Singh Yadav, Mayawati, Nitish Kumar, Lalu Prasad Yadav, Ram Vilas Paswan — who are fighting against each other.
The BJP is optimistic of winning about 50 Lok Sabha seats in UP and Bihar and is confident of getting seats in Uttarakhand, Haryana and Delhi.
But the anti-BJP leaders in UP and Bihar have not realised yet the big challenge posed by Mr Modi. After marginalising Mr L.K. Advani and other leaders in the Sangh Parivar, Mr Modi has tightened his grip over the BJP and the RSS.
In fact, Congress leader Rashid Alvi feared that if Mr Modi becomes the PM, it will the be “last general election in democratic India”.
The Congress cannot check Mr Modi in UP and Bihar for the simple reason that it has been an insignificant player in these states. But it can stop him in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh if the rank and file work sincerely with a killer instinct in the upcoming Assembly polls.
Upper castes and a section of the OBC can go for Mr Modi in the UP and Bihar because the Congress has not been able to attract upper castes and the poor in these states.
Congress chief Sonia Gandhi had played a key role in allying with the rival parties like the DMK, MDMK, PMK and Left, accommodated the LJP, the TRS and the Jammu and Kashmir National Conference, while responding positively to NCP chief Sharad Pawar’s appeal of unity of secular parties.
But this time, the Congress is pegging its hopes on the Food Security and Land Acquisition Bills with a calculation that its beneficiaries would not respond to divisive politics.
However, its weak organisational structure in UP, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, and now in Andhra and Orissa will be a hurdle in seeking electoral mileage from these big programmes.

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