From Pradeep Kapoor
LUCKNOW: With local bodies elections now being held in June, Uttar Pradesh is once again set for testing the popularity of political parties.
Although national parties BJP and Congress had been marginalized in UP Assembly polls, but this time they are making sincere efforts to regain the lost ground.
BJP is taking these elections so seriously that it postponed its organizational polls to prepare for civic polls and avoid any conflict within the rank and file.
There have been series of meetings in BJP from state level to district level to mobilize party workers to make sure that party does well this time.
Although BJP had good presence in urban areas but it miserably failed to win over voters in UP Assembly polls.
Veteran BJP leader Dr Murli Manohar Joshi during his recent visit to Lucknow expressed his concern over the marginalisation of national parties in the state.
It would be worth mentioning here that BJP had eight mayors out of total 12 municipal corporations in the state.
But recent assembly polls saw decline in urban votes for BJP in cities like Lucknow, Kanpur, Varanasi and Allahabad.
Even in Lucknow which had been strong base of BJP as city had been electing person like Atal Behari Vajpayee to Lok Sabha and now his nominee Lalji Tandon is MP from this city of erstwhile Nawabs.
During recent assembly polls, BJP candidates could not perform well. Only veteran leader Kalraj Mishra could manage to enter UP assembly from Lucknow. So much so Lalji Tandon’s son was placed third in his constituency.
After the phenomenal success in UP Assembly polls Samajwadi Party is looking ahead for better performance in civic polls.
Unlike previous occasions when Samajwadi Party was considered to rural areas’ party chief minister Akhilesh Yadav won over urban voters for his party which enabled party to get as many as 224 seats.
Now Samajwadi Party too is very confident of repeating the performance of assembly polls this time and challenge BJP in civic polls.
Samajwadi Party has asked mayoral candidates to use party symbol. Although SP has only one mayor, that too in Moradabad but it got benefit during assembly polls when Agra mayor left BJP to join the party.
Since Congress has three mayors in Allahabad, Bareilly and Jhansi and party is known for having voters in urban as well as rural areas but party could not do well in assembly polls. The mayor of Bareilly Supriya Aron contested the assembly polls and lost.
Political analysts feel that delay in the announcement of the new name of UPCC President will also harm the chances of party in civic polls. It would be worth mentioning here that UPCC President Rita Bahuguna Joshi had submitted her resignation after the poor performance in the elections.
Bahujan Samaj Party has already announced that it would not contest the civic polls .BSP is aware of the fact that party does not have base in urban areas.
In fact few months back when BSP was in power, it was avoiding the holding of civic polls especially before UP Assembly polls.
Even when Allahabad high Court directed the state government to hold the polls on the basis of new census, the government took the plea that it would get the data by 2013.
Political analyst Dr Ramesh Dixit feels that Samajwadi party will benefitted in these civic polls as chief minister Akhilesh Yadav is busy in implementing his poll manifesto and people are looking toward the new government for better development. People will have the time to see the performance of the government in three months time. (IPA Service)