ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Uttar Pradesh: Breather for BJP


This month’s civic elections in Uttar Pradesh resembled a large-scale political jamboree. Party workers and nominees went all out to woo the electorate with an assortment of strategies – street plays, appearances by the glitterati from the Hindi film world and cassettes of old Bhojpuri favourites. And, of course, as in any major election, wealth and power were on open display. The major political parties awaited the outcome with bated breath – for the elections were seen as a trial run for the assembly elections due early next year. For the BJP’s new chief minister, Rajnath Singh, hurriedly brought in to revive the party’s flagging fortunes in the state, the elections were to be an acid test of political survival.

Pollsters and UP watchers had predicted that the BJP would be routed in the civic elections, that these would be a repeat of last June’s panchayat elections. The BJP’s fortunes have registered a spectacular decline in the state since 1995. That year the BJP had won a sweeping victory in civic elections in the state, winning mayoral office in eight of the 11 municipal corporations. In municipalities and town areas and other notified areas too the BJP’s tally had far exceeded the combined figures of all the other parties in the fray.

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