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Uttar Pradesh Assembly Election: Shiv Sena may not be able to make much difference

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After sewing the Maha Vikas Aghadi alliance in Maharashtra, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut has announced that his party will be contesting 50 to 100 seats in the upcoming Uttar Pradesh assembly elections 2022, which are set to commence from February 10. On Thursday he received a grand welcome in western Uttar Pradesh. Political pundits predict a split in BJP votes with the arrival of Shiv Sena in Uttar Pradesh.

Nishant Varma, Political Analyst told Afternoon Voice, “Defeating a Rival, pleases any political class, which translates into a Win. Ever since multi-party politics stemmed in India, especially certain Large States, varied theories have been tested to overcome a strong contender. Religious, caste-based, gender-focused Electoral Politics is the crux to crush opponents in Elections.”

While AAP, AIMIM, TMC, etc have been feeding on Congress votes to establish themselves in states irrelevant to them on a silent behest of BJP, we are now in times where we shall witness Shiv Sena eating into Saffron Votes in UP, to the extent that a negative swing for BJP shall cement the chances of Samajwadi and allies of gaining Clear Majority in 2022 Assembly Elections. Isn’t ‘Everything is Fair in Love, War and Elections’?

Senior journalist Indrajeet Singh of News24 said, “I don’t think Shiv Sena’s entry into the Uttar Pradesh election will harm BJP throughout UP, though they could only hammer their vote shares on some prominent seats like Kashi, Ayodhya and Banaras if they give nominations to popular candidates or oust leaders of BJP or SP.” 

“Coming to the overall UP elections, there will be a tough fight between BJP and SP. On the ground, the SP is getting stronger with their campaign strategy and on the other hand, BJP seems to be struggling,” Singh further added.

Harpal Singh Bhatia, a journalist from Uttar Pradesh said, “The politics of Uttar Pradesh says that Shiv Sena-BJP should fight elections together. Shiv Sena going alone in this election would be foolish. Hope their contestants lose their deposits.”

Naiyar Imam Siddiqui, an academician said, “Shiv Sena has announced that they are going to field their candidates on 50-100 seats in UP Assembly Elections and many are thinking they will only divide Hindu votes but I don’t think so. Every political party or any single person has the right to contest in an election in a democratic country. When AIMIM fought in different states election people said Asaduddin Owaisi as “Vote Katwa”, why does any political party think that any community or castes’ votes are their own property? Shiv Sena had played a crucial role in Babri Masjid’s demolition and they have every right to cash this I vote like BJP is doing on Ram Mandir for decades. Shiv-Sena has fought the Bihar assembly election but didn’t win any single seat but winning a seat and contesting an election are two different things. By contesting elections, you make a presence in public and they have more options to choose a good candidate for their representative and by winning you make a presence in the house where either you stood in support of the government or opposed their wrongdoings. It’s true Shiv Sena candidates play with votes and some candidates luck but I welcome Shiv Sena in UP Election. It’s good for democracy.”

BJP spokesperson Suresh Nakhua said, “Shiv Sena should first try to find candidates for and fight all seats in Maharashtra, it was difficult for them to find 120 odd candidates for the seats they fought last time. They should first try to put their own house in order before trying to make or break the house of anyone else.”

Shivmani, a Shiv Sena supporter of Lucknow said, “Shiv Sena may not win but it will crush the fake ego of Yogi and BJP that has taken people for granted. See how successfully Shiv Sena showed its place to arrogant BJP in Maharashtra, we want the same thing here.”

Harminder Singh of Lucknow said, “No one cares about Shiv Sena in Uttar Pradesh because they don’t have local existence, and their leaders are never seen active in the state issues. Just ahead of elections someone arrives from Maharashtra but that is not enough to win people of Uttar Pradesh.”

Uttar Pradesh Shiv Sena chief Thakur Singh has said that the current state government in Uttar Pradesh is not treating Brahmins well and inflation and unemployment are at their peak. In such a situation, the party has decided to field candidates in all constituencies of Uttar Pradesh. Shiv Sena also said that they will listen to what the public has to say and will “teach a lesson” to the ruling BJP.

“Coordinators have been appointed to strengthen the party’s organization in every assembly constituency of the state. An Uttar Pradesh Shiv Sena delegation is expected to visit Maharashtra to meet the state’s chief minister Uddhav Thackeray soon. They will hand over a report of election preparation and organization, a statement by the UP,” Shiv Sena stated.

Sanjay Raut claimed a political change was impending in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh and the recent move by a state minister and some other BJP MLAs to leave the saffron party was just the beginning. “We will field a candidate in Ayodhya, even Mathura. Out of the 57 candidates fielded by Shiv Sena in the 2017 UP polls, 56 contestants lost their deposit and the party managed to garner just a 0.10% vote share.”

In a jolt to the BJP in Uttar Pradesh, recently OBC leader Swami Prasad Maurya resigned from the state cabinet and three other MLAs announced they are quitting the party. It is speculated that more than 20 tall leaders would be quitting BJP and Yogi would not be given another chance as CM of UP.

Earlier, Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar also announced that his party would contest the upcoming Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh. Stating that the party will join hands with the Samajwadi Party-led front coming up in Uttar Pradesh, Pawar said that he would attend a meeting convened next week to discuss and finalize alliances and poll strategies for the northern state, which will go to the polls in seven phases between February 10 and March 7. Whereas Shiv Sena said they will go independent without aligning with any political party.

Elections for the 403 assembly constituencies in Uttar Pradesh will be held in seven phases starting February 10, the Election Commission said. The polling in Uttar Pradesh will be held on February 10, 14, 20, 23, 27 and March 3 and 7 in seven phases. The counting of votes will take place on March 10.

In the 2017 Assembly elections, the BJP won a landslide victory winning 312 Assembly seats. The party secured a 39.67 per cent vote share in the elections for 403-member Assembly. Samajwadi Party bagged 47 seats, BSP won 19 while Congress could manage to win only seven seats.

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Vaidehi Taman
Vaidehi Taman
Vaidehi Taman an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with three Honourary Doctorate in Journalism. Vaidehi has been an active journalist for the past 21 years, and is also the founding editor of an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, and The Democracy digital video news portal is her brain child. Vaidehi has three books in her name, "Sikhism vs Sickism", "Life Beyond Complications" and "Vedanti". She is an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, OSCP offensive securities, Certified Security Analyst and Licensed Penetration Tester that caters to her freelance jobs.
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