Strategy or unprepared? Sparks fly over Mayawati’s early UP polls demand
While supporters of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) see party chief Mayawati’s demand for state assembly election in January- February as a strategy, rival political parties feel Mayawati wants early elections as she is worried about more desertions.india Updated: Aug 19, 2016 22:53 IST
While supporters of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) see party chief Mayawati’s demand for state assembly election in January- February as a strategy, rival political parties feel Mayawati wants early elections as she is worried about more desertions.
BSP state unit president Ramachal Rajbhar says the state is in grip of political instability due to the feud in the Yadav family and Mayawati’s demand in this backdrop makes sense. “Mayawati’s appeal to the Election Commission to hold elections in January-February has rattled the rival parties as they are not prepared yet,” he said.
Political observer RK Mishra, however, feels Mayawati demanded early election as she is worried rival parties may be better off if the EC holds election in March- April. “The BSP had started preparation immediately after the 2014 Lok Sabha election and announced candidates on majority of the 403 assembly seats. This is in sharp contrast of the SP, Congress and the BJP, which started preparation in July this year,” he says.
BJP state unit spokesperson Vijay Bahadur Pathak says, “The EC will decide the dates. The BJP has completed its preparations but is not as eager as Mayawati is.”
Senior Congress leader Akhilesh Pratap Singh feels the BSP chief is creating unnecessary fuss over the election dates, as all political parties know that assembly elections in UP will be held in February. “She is rattled over her party’s shrinking base and growing popularity of the Congress among the people”, he says.
Deepak Mishra, a spokesperson of Samajwadi Party, says, “She (Mayawati) fears that Samajwadi Party might come back to power on the basis of its development projects. The SP government spent the first two years in bringing the de-railed economy back on tracks and now most of its big development projects are getting finishing touches. This may be one of the reasons why she wants elections to be held early. She doesn’t have any knowledge about the Constitution, all that she wants is power.”
EC already in election mode
Mayawati’s appeal notwithstanding, the Election Commission (EC) has already moved into election mode with its team recently visiting the state to review preparations. Sources in the EC said the assembly elections in 2012 were held in February- March and the first meeting of the legislative assembly was held on May 28.
The Election Commission can hold elections anytime prior to the first meeting of the house. If the EC wished, it could hold elections in UP from November onwards, they said. Since the house is to be constituted by March 27, the assembly elections can be held in March-April as well. As Board examination in UP is held in March-April and the EC might repeat the schedule of 2012 assembly election.
When asked if the assembly election will be held in March- April, an Election Commission officer said, “Assembly elections in five states are due in early 2017, including UP, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa. The assemblies in four states - Punjab, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa --is to be constituted in March. The EC might opt for elections in all the states simultaneously. In such a case, elections in UP are likely to be held in February- March.”