By Dr. Gyan Pathak
Resignation of three ministers in three days from the ruling BJP led by the Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has set the political wheel in the state in motion. As many as 10 MLAs have quit the BJP. The house of the BJP seems to be crumbling. Modi’s so called charisma seems not to be working within the party and NDA as uniting force. MLA Chaudhary Amar Singh of Apna Dal has also quit the alliance with BJP, which was the eleventh resignation. It signals not only political realignment of the parties but also shifting alliances of the voters – communities quitting parties, and hence there is no end in sight for the humiliation of the Yogi Adityanath personally, and the BJP as a whole.
Grooming Yogi Adityanath as a Prime Ministerial candidate after the Lok Sabha election of 2024 by the RSS is seen as the chief cause of the recent troubles in the state apart from the central BJP leadership who are not so keen in preventing humiliation for Yogi Adityanath. Even the Prime Minister Narendra Modi may not be too keen to groom Yogi as the next Prime Minister, for fear of antagonizing his political lieutenant in the power of corridor in New Delhi and the BJP headquarters, since there are also few other aspirants of the Prime Minister post.
In the complexity of the situation, every leader of the central BJP is treading carefully, since it is the Uttar Pradesh which sends largest number of the MPs in the Lok Sabha, and retaining the power at the centre much depends on winning the state assembly election 2022. But what about Yogi’s fate? Yogi will ultimately be left on his own fate – to fence for himself. Indications are clear – there is dearth of influential persons who can play the role of effecting compromise between the warring factions in the state BJP, much to the humiliation of Yogi.
Among the five states going to poll, Uttar Pradesh is the only state where the stakes of the BJP are highest, and hence, in case the revolt against the BJP’s policies in general, and Yogi’s arrogance in particular continues, party’s humiliation will be the highest in terms of losing seats. There will not be surprise if the BJP loses Goa and Uttarakhand which may be leading to hung assemblies, and in that case BJP can somehow hope to manage to come to power. However, in Uttar Pradesh, even loss of 100 seats, as it is being predicted by pre-poll surveys, would be most humiliating and shocking for the BJP. The recent revolts within the BJP, and the leaders quitting the party aligning to its bête-noir Samajwadi Party, may not only damage the political fortune of the BJP but also improve the chances of the Samajwadi Party.
The political churning in the state that has begun clearly goes against the NDA, since the Apna Dal leader has not only quit the alliance, but is also set to ally with the Samajwadi Party. “This government is a liar … no development has been done. I met Akhilesh Yadav… will join him. Soon more people will join us,” said Apna Dal leader Chaudhary Amar Singh.
He was not only the one to claim that many would join them soon after quitting the BJP. It was only four days ago on Tuesday, a top minister SP Maurya had resigned which was followed by resignation of three other MLAs – Bhagwati Sagar, Raushan Lal Verma, and Brijesh Prajapati. Then another state minister Dara Sigh Chauhan and MLA Awtar Singh Bhadana quit who is heading towards RLD. It may not be out of context to mention that RLD is also an ally of Samajwadi Party. Minister in the Yogi government, Dharam Singh Saini and three other BJP MLAs – Vinay Mukesh Verma and Bala Avasthi also left the BJP.
These resignations cannot be seen merely as infighting. These are even more serious than the infightings, since it signals shifting alliance of voters. It cannot be simply co-incidence that all the three UP ministers who have quit are OBC leaders. They have already claimed that the interests of the community are being neglected in the BJP.
It is also known that the BJP has never been known as champion of the OBCs. However, in recent times OBCs have come into an unnatural alliance with the BJP under the influence of the Hindutva force’s communal agenda. “Mass exodus” of this community has been claimed by Mr Saini in the last one and half years. At that time, he said, almost 140 MLAs had launched a sit-in protest against the government because of maltreatment against the downtrodden. However, their voice was suppressed… resignations will follow until 20th of January 2021, he claimed. The events indicate that OBCs have been shifting from the BJP to their natural champions in Uttar Pradesh, that is, towards the Samajwadi Party, the process of which had begun last year, with an influential OBC leader and BJP ally, Om Prakash Rajbhar crossing over to the SP.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been trying for some time now to make the OBC leaders stronger in the BJP. However, in Uttar Pradesh, OBC leaders are resigning from the party and as allies. Obviously, the state leadership did not care for them, and hence the present backlash.
Yogi in Uttar Pradesh, is being seen as a Khatriya, and it is claimed by his detractors that he care for only Khatriyas. Brahmins feel somehow alienated under his rule, and if they are given opportunities and respect, they may switch over to other parties. Brahmin voters matter in Uttar Pradesh, and therefore all the political parties are trying to bring them to their fold.
The Dalit votes have a characteristic of aligning with any political party not so easily and when allied they take decades to desert. That is why the large chunk of Dalit votes is unlikely to desert BSP for now. The BJP has been trying to win even Dalits for a long time, but their success has been limited. Dalits are also not happy with the BJP.
Underneath the external and visible political shifting of the leaders from BJP to other political parties, there is an undercurrent of shifting of its support base. The BJP is in urgent need of influential OBC, Dalit, and Brahmin faces who can not only work under Modi’s leadership, but also under Yogi’s leadership, to stop shifting of voter’s loyalties away from the party. (IPA Service)