The outcome of the 2012 UP Legislative Assembly polls spelled out clearly that Samajwadi Party (SP) had won the elections hands down. The ruling Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) had been reduced to half as compared to its earlier numbers in the last polls.
Mulayam Singh Yadav and his son Akhilesh Singh have done the trick for Samajwadi Party. The party seems to have done work at the grass-root level which led to the mobilization of goodwill that eventually cascaded into a thumping victory in the 2012 elections. There was a shift in the vote bank of Muslims along with the backward category votes that swung the pendulum in Mulayamâ€™s favor apart from some resentment that translated to this shift in vote share. It could be said that the â€˜Cycleâ€™ (election symbol of Samajwadi Party) was indeed successful in chasing the â€˜Elephantâ€™ back to the woods (election symbol of BSP)!
It is indeed ironic to stone elephants (election symbol of BSP) which had dotted Lucknowâ€™s landscape a few years back as a symbol of Dalit consciousness and strength have to take a long walk home i.e. to the jungle at least until the next polls following the defeat in the 2012 polls! One cannot deny that caste-based politics also played a role in the erosion of votes share for BSP which saw a decent base of supporters of BSP desert the party and look for other alternatives. The other reasons which could be attributed to the downfall of the party the 2012 legislative election were corruption and lack of visible development despite several schemes launched by Mayawatiâ€™s administration.
The votes from the Muslim and OBC community would imply that Samajwadi Party now rewards its voters with goodies which could come at the cost of development of the overall state. The party would also have to shed its image of being a party of goons and criminals and come out with a strong statement that it can also provide a clean administration. Having said this, the agenda for Mulayam Singh led Government should be clearly fairly clear- to restore order and provide all-round development of the state on aspects like agriculture, employment, and most of all infrastructure.
Well, time will tell whether the ‘Cycle’ travels the entire distance of five years without its tires going flat from corruption :)!