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End of ‘Kamandal’ vs ‘Mandal’ Politics in Uttar Pradesh

Sunday March 12, 2017 11:19 AM, Syed Ali Mujtaba,

Muslim supporters of BJP

Uttar Pradesh results are on expected lines. The Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) victory is by default and not outright. It is not a mandate for the religious agenda of the BJP. The mandate in UP is above caste and religion. It’s the manifestation of the way democratic politics operates in India.

The UP results are a mandate against the parties selling secularism and taking people for granted to vote for it blindly.

Even though the UP results matters most, to the secularist, they have to blame the so called secular parties that has belied to their hopes and expectations.

There are enough reasons to grumble against the so called secular parties, because in the name of secularism, for long, they have taken people for a ride.

The Bhujan Samaj party that represents the aspiration of the schedule caste and the marginalized section of the society has a poor record of performance as the main opposition party in UP.

The BSP has not created any ripples to turn the tide in its favor during the five years of the SP rule. The party was not able to convince the voters that it is a better alternative to the SP. Perhaps what it believed was power will come to it default as they are the only claimant in the rotational politics in UP.

The BSP did not took any lessons from Tamil Nadu where such ideas dis not worked for the opposition DMK in the last year election in the southern state.

As far as Samajwadi party is concerned, it was again banking on the secular votes and was confident that after the tie-up with the Congress, they will again come back to power.

Last time people voted SP for Mulayam Yadav and not for his son. Akhlish, was thrust on the people and was blooded into politics by his father. However, after his rebellion against his father, the UP CM lost his image among the silent voters.

The result is a big no for Akilesh on for his personal impropriety.

Samajwadi party again tried to harp on secularism but the party happens to be a family based grouping and all its leaders are interrelated with each other by family ties. The infighting within the SP has further tarnished the party’s image.

The five years of the Samajwadi party rule had nothing to showcase to impress the people to vote it again. The anti-incumbency factor was heavily loaded against the party. People’s verdict is a big rejection to the SP rule.

As far as Congress is concerned, this party was out of race even before the elections were announced. It has lost its electoral base significantly and in this election it was trying cash on the moment by backing Akhlilesh, faction. The results proved that it was backing a losing horse.

As far as BJP is concerned, its victory is for alternate choice of governance. The people’s expectation is that the BJP will provide better governance and concentrate of the developmental agenda of the state.

In sum and summery, the UP’s mandate is for change. The secular leaders have failed to deliver, while the so called communal leaders are leaving their hard line agenda and giving new hope to the people. The straight and simple fact is it's a vote for development, and against the politics of competitive caste backwardness and minority appeasement.

People may say BJP too exploited Hindutva, but it seemed Hindutva in response to the established narrative of a pseudo-secular agenda plus the constant crumbs of subsidies as against real upliftment.

It's time UP rose above these caste-community configurations, and it has done so now. Let not the losing parties now shout that this was a BJP victory by exploiting Hindutva. These old tactics won't work anymore any more. The opposition will have to think of a positive agenda instead of simply opposing Modi all the time.

People have voted the BJP to go rule with the adage ‘Sab ka Sath sab ka vikas,” and not to pursue any communal agenda. Now it would be interesting to see, how the BJP will deliver in UP. Now they have no excuse, so people hope they will take the state to progress.

[Syed Ali Mujtaba is a journalist based in Chennai. He can be contacted at]


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