Political uncertainties haunt the Uttar Pradesh at the dawn of 2007. With the state assembly election due before May, the year is going to be crucial for major political players. As always UP is also expected to set the tone for the national political future.
Even though upbeat BJP, after its much-publicised national conclave in Lucknow, has been making attempt to stage a comeback, still the main power contenders appeared to be Samjawadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party.
While the ruling SP has launched hectic drive to retain power, the BSP, taking advantage of anti-incumbency, is quite hopeful that 2007 would bring it back to power. Thus it is going to be a year of hope and despair for the political parties in the state.
The Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav wanted to go polls with other three states-Punjab, Uttrakhand and Manipur. But the election commission by not clubbing UP with them has given indication that 2007 summer is going to be hot for the power seekers in the state.
There are indications that the election could be held in April-May before the expiry of five-year term of present House on May 14, 2007.
The BSP in order to take lead has already announced 90 per cent ticket for 402 assembly seats. The BSP has consolidated its position in rural areas.
The SP and BJP have also undertaken the exercise for the identification of candidates but there has so for been no announcement.
For SP the political scenario appears to be quite ticklish because of law and order problem. The state government had been making desperate efforts during the last one to year to control rising crime but 2006 had come to close with serial killing in Noida. The Law and order situation had thus undermined the developmental activities during the last three years.
Now almost all the parties-BJP, BSP and Congress have been banking on anti-incumbency factor to dislodge the SP from power. The BJP has now planned "Parivartan Yatras" all over the state in January-February.
The party after winning local bodies elections is quite hopeful of coming back to power in the state. But rural areas still continued to be matter of concern for the BJP leadership.
The Congress has also been trying for good showing in 2007 polls. The SP partner in government Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) is however in a fix. The RLD chief Chaudhury Ajit Singh is undecided over the party's alliance with the SP. The Jan Morcha of former Prime Minister VP Singh-Raj Babbar has also emerged as a player to cut into vote bank of SP.