Elections loom in UP, Mayawati’s comeback?

The Economic Times (India) reports, ‘The high decibel campaign has come to an end in a do-or-die battle for BJP, BP and the SP-Congress combine in Uttar Pradesh. The temple town of Varanasi, also Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s parliamentary constituency, had become the focal point for all political parties. Modi spent three consecutive days in Varanasi campaigning for BJP candidates. Apart from Modi BJP has brought out all its big guns, appearing to line up all its Hindi-speaking ministers for the state election campaign . . .

For the BJP, out of power in UP for 15 years, the results will verily be a mid-term appraisal of its past two and a half years at the Centre. While party chief Amit Shah’s booth level management started a year in advance, the party gave tickets going deep into caste calculations. Its thrust on ‘winnability’ forced the party to embrace several turncoats as nominees, sending its cadre into a sulk at places. Mayawati’s BSP – smarting after a total wipe out in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections – spotted an opportunity in SP’s internal fight and played on the front foot, positioning itself as an alternative for Muslims to de feat BJP. Her core Dalit votes combined with that of 20 per cent Muslims, believes the BSP chief, will enable her party to reach the magic figure of 202.’ click here.