Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Small Parties Shake Up UP Poll Dynamics; Challenge Opposition Unity

Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Small Parties Shake Up UP Poll Dynamics; Challenge Opposition Unity

While doubts loom over whether these smaller parties, which have struggled to carve out a significant space within the opposition camp, will achieve remarkable electoral outcomes, their actions have the potential to directly influence the calculations of the SP-Congress alliance.

BISWAJEET BANERJEEUpdated: Thursday, April 04, 2024, 01:03 AM IST
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EVM and VVPAT machine | Wikimedia Commons

As the electoral battleground in Uttar Pradesh witnesses the NDA's bolstering with the inclusion of small parties, a counterbalancing phenomenon is emerging as some smaller outfits splinter away from the SP-Congress alliance, potentially disrupting the dynamics of the INDIA coalition in the Lok Sabha elections.

While doubts loom over whether these smaller parties, which have struggled to carve out a significant space within the opposition camp, will achieve remarkable electoral outcomes, their actions have the potential to directly influence the calculations of the SP-Congress alliance.

Recently, Chandrashekhar Azad, president of the Azad Party, and Pallavi Patel of Apna Dal (Kameravadi), previously considered staunch allies of the INDIA bloc, appeared poised to contest the polls under the INDI alliance.
However, a notable shift has occurred, with Azad opting to contest the elections from the Nagina parliamentary seat under his party's banner, actively engaging in campaigning bolstered by "Y Plus Security".

Simultaneously, Pallavi Patel, disillusioned with the SP, has announced her decision to contest the elections in a separate alliance with Asaduddin Owaisi's AIMIM. Patel, an SP MLA, has openly rebelled against the party's leadership.

The joint collaboration between Apna Dal (Kameravadi) and AIMIM has indicated intentions to field candidates on approximately two dozen seats. In response to the SP's "PDA" slogan – 'pichre' (backward), Dalit, and 'alpashankhak' (minority), AIMIM and Apna Dal (Kameravadi) have espoused the "PDM" mantra (Backward, Dalit, and Muslim), signaling a strategic focus on the opposition's core vote bank. Owaisi, who has long sought to establish a foothold in UP, sees promising prospects in this newfound alliance.

Before the official announcement of the Lok Sabha elections, AIMIM had declared its intent to contest from 20 seats in UP but refrained from naming candidates for the eight seats in the first phase. While initially, it appeared AIMIM might concede ground to the opposition, the sudden denial of a ticket to ST Hasan by the SP from the Moradabad constituency has spurred Owaisi into proactive political maneuvering in the state.

Similarly, the departure of Swami Prasad Maurya from the SP on the eve of elections has led to the formation of a new political entity, the Rashtriya Shoshit Samaj Party. Maurya has announced his candidacy from the Kushinagar seat and signaled intentions to field candidates on five other seats across the state.

As the political landscape in Uttar Pradesh undergoes seismic shifts, the emergence of these smaller parties adds a layer of complexity, challenging the unity and coherence of the opposition alliance ahead of the crucial Lok Sabha polls.

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