Lok Sabha Polls 2024: Uttar Pradesh Becomes Epicentre Of India's Mega Election Showdown

Lok Sabha Polls 2024: Uttar Pradesh Becomes Epicentre Of India's Mega Election Showdown

Uttar Pradesh stands as the battleground where the fate of the saffron wave will be decided.

BISWAJEET BANERJEEUpdated: Sunday, March 17, 2024, 05:33 PM IST
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Uttar Pradesh Lok Sabha Elections 2024 | FPJ

As the Election Commission set the stage for what promises to be the world's biggest election showdown, Uttar Pradesh has already plunged into election fervour. This state is poised to play a pivotal role if the NDA aims to surpass its impressive 2014 tally of 305 seats.

In 2019, the BJP and its allies secured 64 Lok Sabha seats in UP, and anything less than a comprehensive victory this time could dent the party's ambitious target of winning 370 seats, and alliance 400 par as projected by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Thus, Uttar Pradesh stands as the battleground where the fate of the saffron wave will be decided.

Battleground where fate of the saffron wave will be decided

Buoyed by the popularity of PM Modi and CM Yogi Adityanath, the BJP has launched an extensive election machinery to solidify its position and counter any anti-incumbency sentiments, especially against candidates who may have 'anti-incumbency' since the party's resounding victory in 2014.

On the opposing end, the Samajwadi Party is positioning itself as the BJP's most formidable rival, bolstered by its alliance with the Congress. The SP is banking on its support base among the backward, Dalit, and minority communities.

Political analysts suggest that the BJP relies heavily on its narrative of cultural and religious nationalism, as well as welfare policies, to transcend caste barriers and counter opposition calls for a caste census. Recent developments such as the construction of the Ram Temple and ongoing legal disputes over religious sites like Kashi's Gyanvapi complex and Krishna Janmabhoomi in Mathura are expected to further bolster the BJP's Hindu-centric narrative.

BJP's electoral gains in UP

UP BJP chief Bhupendra Singh emphasized the party's strong leadership under PM Modi and CM Adityanath, along with its well-organized machinery, as key assets in their quest to win all 80 Lok Sabha seats. The alliance with smaller parties like Apna Dal (S), SBSP, and NISHAD Party is seen as crucial in maximizing the BJP's electoral gains.

Despite fluctuations in the number of seats won, data from the Election Commission reveals a consistent rise in the vote share of the NDA, particularly the BJP, indicating sustained support for the ruling alliance. The opposition, however, struggles to present a unified front against the BJP's formidable organizational prowess.

The entry of Jayant Chaudhary's RLD into the NDA fold underscores the BJP's strategic outreach to crucial communities like Jats and Gujjars in western UP. Similarly, alliances with parties like Apna Dal (S) aim to consolidate support among specific caste groups such as Kurmis.

In contrast, the SP-Congress alliance presents a semblance of stability in a fragmented opposition landscape. With Congress contesting 17 seats and SP retaining 60, the alliance hopes to broaden its appeal beyond traditional support bases.

While the BJP appears to maintain momentum, the recent Rajya Sabha polls exposed fissures within the SP, indicating challenges in coalition management. Despite this, the opposition remains determined to confront the BJP, buoyed by hopes of a resurgence, particularly in Uttar Pradesh, where key players like Mayawati's BSP are striving to remain relevant in a rapidly evolving political landscape.

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