By Gyan Pathak
Farmers have slowly been emerging as irresistible force. Gathering of over a lakh of farmers at Muzaffarnagar Mahapanchayat held on September 5 has not only given a clear indication of their gaining strength during the last nine months of their agitation against Modi’s three farm laws, but has also set in motion an apparent political twist in Uttar Pradesh, which is going to polls within few months in early 2022, and hence the Mission 2022.
Farmers’ have formally launched it against the BJP’s, a point counter point, farmers’ Mission 2022 aiming at dethroning the ruling BJP and BJP’s Mission 2022 not only to retain its power in the state but also to reinforce its prospect in 2024 Lok Sabha Election to establish absolute social, political, and economic control over the citizens. The political friction between the two opposing forces has generated a considerable political heat that is being felt more in Western Uttar Pradesh because the region by now has become a political cauldron, with every probability of radiating the heat into the bordering Uttarakhand, and as far as Punjab, which are also going to have Vidhan Sabha election in early 2022.
Muzaffarnagar Mahapanchayat held just one day after the ABP-CVoter-IANS opinion poll has predicted that the ruling BJP in Uttar Pradesh is most likely to return to power after the legislative assembly election. It had somewhat boosted the morale of BJP rank and file at a time when they were hoping against hope of returning to power due to prevailing general dissatisfaction among all the classes of people in the state against Yogi’s misrule with arrogance and impudence. This dissatisfaction was reflected even in the opinion poll result in terms of reduced number of seats for the BJP and its allies from 325 in 2017 to 263 in 2022 assembly election.
Farmers’ anger against the BJP and their gaining strength day by day has actually shattered the morale of BJP’s alliance partners and several other BJP politicians. Apna Dal leaders in Uattar Pradesh have been openly supporting the farmers’ agitation and now BJP MP Varun Gandhi have talked in their favour calling them as our ‘flesh and blood’. Several other BJP leaders are also talking in support of farmers. It clearly indicates that the political impact of farmers agitation is being felt not only in western part of the state but also after crossing the expanse of central part it has reached as far as the eastern part of the state where Apna Dal has considerable support base. Apna Dal had won 9 seats in 2017 election.
Now come again to the predicted political prospect of the BJP in the state, which says that NDA could get as many as 263 seats in 2022, but it is dependent on increase in BJP’s vote share by 0.4 per cent, ie an increase for about 41 per cent to 41.4 per cent, as assessed by the survey. Here lies the discomfort for the BJP. Even with 0.4 per cent increase in votes in favour of NDA can result in loss of 62 seats, how much they will lose in case of no increase in vote share, and how worse their position would be if their share of votes is reduced even marginally on account of farmers’ anger? BJP had won 309 seats in 2017, which is weakening as its other NDA allies. The will have to loose much more than it has been predicted by the survey, and the farmers agitation is turning the public mood in the rural areas faster than imagined until now.
There are 77 Vidhan Sabha seats alone in Western Uttar Pradesh. The region has 22 Lok Sabha seats. This region is dominated by farmers’ politics, and hence it holds the key not only to the power in Lucknow, but also in New Delhi. Muzaffarnagar Mahapanchayat of Farmers have therefore acquired special political importance. It should also be kept in mind that BJP’s overall clout in the State has been witnessing a sharp fall. After spectacular victory in 2017 Vidhan Sabha election, its tally in the Lok Sabha has reduced from 73 in 2014 to 62 in 2019 election.
Muzaffarnagar Mahapanchayat has also boosted up morale of the SP, whose rank and file have already been upbeat after the survey result that has predicted 6.6 per cent gain of vote share for the party. Since BSP and INC are projected to loose their vote percentage by 6.5 and 1.2 per cent compared to what they have gained in 2017 election, SP is all the more enthused. The political twist is therefore more pronounced after the farmers’ Mahapanchayat, which has also given a call for Bharat Bandh on September 27.
While District administration has estimated a gathering of over one lakh, the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) has claimed a gathering of about 10 lakh in the 24 hours for the historic meeting, who would return only to campaign against the BJP in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, which they have called “Mission UP and Uttarakhand”. Farmers from Punjab have added “Mission Punjab”. One of the special feature of the gathering was its non-communal nature as against the BJP’s communal politics of polarization. Farmers have even pushed the caste politics in the state behind. They were seen united irrespective of their religions and castes. It makes the Muzaffarnagar Mahapanchayat a historic moment that may prove a turning point in the political landscape of the country. (IPA Service)