January 7, 2017 1:24:11 pm
Former Supreme Court judge Markandey Katju on Saturday said the Samajwadi Party led by chief minister Akhilesh Yadav would win with a clear majority in the upcoming Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections. In a Facebook post, Justice Katju even predicted a two-thirds majority for the party. He said BJP would perform poorly in the UP battleground. “My own prediction is a clear majority for the Samajwadi Party led by Akhilesh Yadav, possibly even a two third majority, and the BJP will be routed, getting even less than the BSP seats,” Katju wrote in his post.
Citing reasons for his opinion, Katju said, “In most states, including UP, voting is largely on the basis of caste and religion. The exception to this is when there is a wave, e.g. the Modi wave in favour of BJP in the May 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Presently there is no wave, and so voting will be largely ( over 90% ) on the traditional basis of caste and religion. Demonetisation was perhaps done to create a wave, but it has not succeeded in doing so.” The 70-year-old also said that the demonetisation move may cause more harm to BJP than benefit since “the common man, small and middle level businessmen, farmers,etc have been hard hit.”
Justice Katju also delved into the details of BJP’s “vote bank” and said it would only get 26 per cent of the votes, which is lesser than the required figured of 30 per cent. He also said that BSP’s vote share would account to approximately 22 per cent and since Congress “hardly has any vote bank in UP”, the benefit would be reaped by Akhilesh-led Samajwadi Party.
“After the recent dramatic developments in UP and emergence of Akhilesh Yadav as the sole leader of SP it seems clear that the Muslims will vote unitedly for the SP led by Akhilesh, and will not split their votes. This is because the party under Akhilesh has emerged as a new party, a new SP without the tarnished image of the old.”
“Till now Akhilesh was perceived as a Chief Minister whose hands were tied by his father, uncle, etc. and he was not a free man. But now he is free of those constraints. Moreover, Akhilesh is a young modern minded man ( he has an M.Tech. degree from Australia ) and has a clean image,” wrote Katju.
Uttar Pradesh, which votes in seven phases between February 11 and March 8, will likely see a four-sided battle. While the ruling SP is mired in a deep factional crisis, BJP and BSP look to coming back to power in the politically crucial state. There are also reports that if Akhilesh splits the SP vertically, an alliance with the Congress might be in the offing.
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