BJP wins big in UP

Cheryl Sanders
March 11, 2017

The BJP chief exuded confidence that the party would form governments in both Goa and Manipur.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's party won a landslide victory in India's most important battleground state on Saturday, in a personal triumph that will strengthen his claim to a second term as national leader.

Modi's party is now set to return to power in Uttar Pradesh after a 14-year gap during which regional parties such as the Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party had held sway.

"He may have hit us in one eye, but he hit the rich in two eyes", said a farmer in a village two hours outside of Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh.

The BJP will also form a government in Uttarakhand after the party led in 56 out 70 assembly seats. Congress was ahead in 77 of 117 constituencies in Punjab.

The PM Narendra Modi magic brought Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand into the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) kitty.

The Congress party which vacated the space for the BJP to take centre stage in Indian politics saved itself from embarrassment by a consolation win in Punjab and take solace from dropping the idea of Priyanka Gandhi campaign in UP as she is the last hope or the only trump card which can revive the party in future. A win will test the acceptance of Modi's November 8 decision to remove high-value notes from circulation in an attempt to curb corruption.

Remember, PM Modi was severely criticised for his unprecedented decision to scrap old currency notes of high denomination in November past year.

"Since he has criticised his predecessor Manmohan Singh for chickening out of taking tough decisions, it is time for him to prove he is different", says Bangladesh-watcher Sukharanjan Dasgupta. Hindutva is rooted deep in the psyche of the people of Rs dev bhumi' while nationalism finds reflection in the ethos of the State which has sent tens of thousands of soldiers in the Army. The other two parties, however, failed to open their accounts.

Senior Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar blamed the poor performance in Uttar Pradesh on the BJP's politics of polarization.

Shah said the result showed Modi, who personally led the campaign in the key battleground state of UP, was now "the most popular leader since independence".

Potential Goa kingmaker Vijay Sardesai of Goa Forward Party, which won three seats, told CNN-News 18, "Congress can't take us for granted, we'll support them".

One of the objectives of the SP-Congress alliance was to attract the Muslim votes, but this too was dashed when the Muslim votes got divided between the BSP and the SP in the state. Though Akhilesh Yadav's personal popularity remains intact, he is likely to face a tough time after his party's humiliating defeat as the rival camp in SP led by his uncle Shivpal Yadav and backed his father will certainly question his political acumen now. She hinted at vote fraud in the elections but provided no evidence for her allegation.

The BJP fared poorly in the last UP state elections in 2012, winning only 47 out of 403 assembly seats, but it clinched 73 out of 80 parliamentary constituencies in 2014 with Modi standing in the holy city of Varanasi on the banks of the Ganges.

Other reports by iNewsToday