How the BJP’s Yogi Adityanath hopes to use religious polarisation to trump caste fragmentation in the battle for Uttar Pradesh.
The uneven pattern in the party’s electoral fortunes across the seven phases of the election is evidence that ‘Good News’ can indeed help swing an election.
At the moment of his resounding success, Modi has also deepened a fault-line for the Indian state.
Each party in UP banked on creating a coalition of caste groups and weaving a larger political narrative to win the confidence of the majority.
Despite the BJP’s confidence, changing realities on the ground mean that the party’s electoral arithmetic in UP may not work as expected.
What the leaders of bahujan parties have done by asserting their backward identity and standing up to oppression is bring the millions that hail from the oppressed sections into mainstream political discourse.
The BSP and Congress-SP alliance are focusing on minority votes, the BJP is hoping that Muslim votes are split between the other parties.
While demonetisation and the resultant hardships have tarnished the reputation of the BJP-led central government, the Samajwadi Party’s record of criminalised politics may become a roadblock for it.
The BJP and the BSP have made inroads into several districts across the phase two region, a Samajwadi Party stronghold since the 2012 elections.
Dalits have become a bargaining force in Punjab politics but they have failed as a credible political front. Jat Sikh dominance is unlikely to be impacted in the upcoming polls.
Unless leaders from both parties come out in full support of the alliance, they may not be able to convert popular support into votes.
While the BJP and the BSP will gain from its troubles, the Samjawadi Party’s prospects of returning to power will suffer if it fails to repeat its 2012 performance in these areas.
Western UP residents say they will choose who to vote for depending on the communities the candidates belong to and who they are seen as supporting.
Advancing the Budget presentation could give the BJP an unfair advantage in the upcoming state elections. By failing to defer it until after the polls, the party is unwilling to follow the high principles expected in a bipartisan polity.
Despite the uncertainty about the political impact of note ban, the party holds an advantage for several reasons, including its strong track record of capitalising on crises within regional parties.
A conversation with Bhanwar Meghwanshi, Dalit activist from Rajasthan
Although political parties often face inter-generational conflicts, the divide in the SP is as much about the younger lot’s desire to undo the corrupt, criminal politics of the older guard as to make the party modern and development-oriented.
An insignificant leader even among the Brahmins and with hardly any mass support, Bahuguna might end up being the biggest loser in the game of political soccer ahead of the Uttar Pradesh assembly election early next year.
The RSS has tried to assimilate the Dalit community as part of its Hindu consolidation project, but as the recent aggressive gau raksha activism shows, its plans may be coming undone
The excessive prominence the BJP has given to its cow protection campaign seems to have backfired. The Dalit and opposition parties have now found adequate space to capitalise on the brewing anger within the community.
The BJP’s response to Singh’s comments reflects its desperation to win over the Dalit vote. But an angry and reinvigorated Mayawati will keep the issue burning
The party has hinted that while Sheila Dikshit may formally lead the campaign, Priyanka Gandhi will be given important responsibilities in the state.
Activist have urged the commission to instruct the Centre to suspend all direct and indirect funding to political parties as an interim measure while they remain opposed to being under the RTI scanner.
Although the Congress today is in no position to coherently challenge the BJP, a small event can galvanise the party.
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A round-up of what’s happening in the worlds of gender and sexuality
The Left has always set greater store by Mulayam Singh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party than Mayawati and the emergence of Dalit politics. If it wants to deepen its influence, it will have to think afresh about caste and class.