Notwithstanding the upbeat mood prevailing in the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress following a favourable outcome in the elections to urban local bodies, specially the mayoral poll, the joy of the two parties may be pretty short lived if they don’t cash in on the situation from here.
The BJP's sweep or the Congress' gain in the poll reflected more on the people's anti-Samajwadi party mood in the metropolitan towns and not on any upsurge in the political graph of two national parties.
The BJP and the Congress are though using the poll outcome to bolster their tall claims of success the two parties would have to work hard to consolidate their gains to take their march forward in the Vidhan Sabha elections.
That the poll outcome reflects on the anti-SP mood is evident from the fact that BJP has made more gains even in Samajwadi Party's bastions of Etah, Mainpuri and Kannauj etc.
As the BJP and the Congress only provided a better option in the absence of the Bahujan Samaj Party from the electoral scene the electorate went out to cast votes in favour of those who could have defeated the SP candidates in the metropolitan towns.
This is not to assert that the SP had a strong base in metropolitan towns. Yet the party thrown all its might in these areas as its victory before the Vidhan Sabha elections would have sent different signals.
A close scrutiny of the poll outcome would indicate that the BJP and the Congress may have something to cheer in the metropolitan towns.
The SP too has a reason to smile in semi urban or semi-rural areas. Besides being concerned about deteriorating law and order situation and the urban electorate also had a feel of the terror tactics that the Samajwadi Party led goons usually adopt to influence voters. At many places the indecisiveness or division of minority votes worked as a major factor against Samajwadi Party.
The BJP may also have gained due to anti-minority polarisation in certain areas. An anti-SP mood and the confusion of minority voters only came as a blessing in disguise to the Congress elsewhere.
Under such a scenario the poll outcome may in no way be considered to a true indicator of electorate's mood or the poll preparedness of the major political parties. This may be supported by the allegations of large scale rigging in different districts.
True, the Samajwadi Party used the official machinery to influence the poll. There was hardly any mobilisation of voters and any mechanism adopted by the BJP and the Congress to check the rigging in urban areas.
The Governor TV Rajeswar's report to the Centre mentioning incidents of violence and booth capturing has added new dimensions to the issue even as reports of recovery of a large number of stamped ballot papers in Moradabad have given the Congress yet another tool to attack the Mulayam government. The BJP and the Congress have already demanded imposition of President's rule.
Although all the political parties are also interpretating the poll outcome in their favour the BJP and the Congress' claims of success however is bound to help in reactivating the otherwise the demoralised cadres of two parties.