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Akhilesh as CM: Fresh leadership will bring in a fresh atmosphere

Last updated on: March 10, 2012 12:14 IST

Akhilesh as CM: 'Fresh leadership will bring in a fresh atmosphere'

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'If the older generation of Samajwadi Party leaders come back to power, it will ruin the opportunity. They will misgovern, they will be stale.'

'UP and the SP's destiny is inter-linked right now,' Professor Rajesh Misra, head of the sociology department at Lucknow University, tells Sheela Bhatt.

Uttar Pradesh has shown that it has moved on to the 21st century. The results are along the expected lines that I had expressed earlier (Put your bets on the Samajwadi Party'). I am not surprised.

There is only one change in my assessment. As the seven-phase election progressed, people felt that 'SP is on the winning streak.' The media projections also created this buzz.

People who had not voted took a firm decision to go with the SP in the fifth phase onwards, particularly in Rohilkhand and western UP.

There was tremendous anti-incumbency against Mayawati. This is surely a caste-based election. Akhilesh Yadav may say that people have voted beyond castes and religion, but that is not entirely true.

Many castes of UP ganged up against Mayawati to throw her out. I would say figures would prove that three-fourth of the voters voted on caste lines, but many young voters went for the SP, hoping that it will improve the scenarios of education, youth affairs and rural development in the state.

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Image: Akhilesh Yadav will be a whiff of fresh air in UP politics, Professor Rajesh Misra feels


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'UP is changing fast, but the BJP is too slow'

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People were bent upon sacking the Mayawati government. It went for the SP because in the last five years, the SP has been leading from the front. The SP was the natural alternative to Mayawati.

Neither Rahul Gandhi nor the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) had the political wherewithal to stand against the SP. The Congress has seen an increase in votes. I think votes by the Muslim community must have increased its share.

The biggest folly of the Congress was that it went for an unnecessary division on the issue of quota. If they were serious in helping Muslims, they should have done it two years ago.

The Congress's political opportunism was exposed. People didn't buy the party's arguments on the issue of quota on the eve of elections.

The BJP's's failure is along expected lines. It has no new faces, no new ideas. How can you get a political figure of 1992 like Uma Bharti and thrust her upon people? Kalraj Mishra, Lalji Tandon etc are tired and old.

UP is changing fast, but the BJP is too slow.

You may not agree, but the BSP's vote share is around 20 per cent even in its defeat, which shows that it has retained few Brahmin/Thakur and Muslim votes as well.

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Image: The BJP poll symbol


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'Brahmins have left the sinking ship of Mayawati'

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The youth of UP have voted for the SP because of Akhilesh Yadav.

In Mayawati's regime, students unions have been in disarray, college administrations are becoming autocratic and young voices are uncomfortable.

During the SP's rule, student unions were active.

The SP become their choice due to Akhilesh's appeal and the hope for a better environment for the youth. The SP's manifesto gave importance to education for the girl child, unemployed youth and education infrastructure.

Many people don't remember that the earlier SP regime gave students from the OBCs (Other Backward Classes) and higher castes attractive scholarships to pay their fees as soon as they got admission in higher education.

Mayawati granted this scholarship only for the Dalits.

The upper castes in Uttar Pradesh, mainly Brahmins, have tested power since many centuries. They are opportunist voters. They have left the sinking ship of Mayawati, ending the unnatural alliance of Dalits and Brahmins.

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Image: Bronze statues of Mayawati and BSP founder Kanshi Ram


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'Congress will yield to SP'

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Mayawati could have got more votes if she had understood the opportunist trend of voting among the upper castes. She should have started shifting her vote base from Dalit caste to the Dalit class from 2007 onwards.

The Communist parties' vote base is readily available in UP. The Communists no more have a hold over the Dalit class.

Mayawati should have broadened her base and gone for new social engineering, which would have been meaningful. Mayawati failed to judge upper caste votes.

Similarly, the Congress failed to understand the Muslim votes. Muslims of UP have been cautious voters since many decades. They know how to judge the leaders now. Rahul Gandhi gave promises in words, but he didn't give anything concrete.

In the final analysis, I believe that Akhilesh Yadav must become chief minister.

If the older generation of SP leaders come back to power, it will ruin the opportunity. They will misgovern, they will be stale.

UP and the SP's destiny is inter-linked right now. Fresh leadership will bring in a fresh atmosphere.

It is high time the SP rises above caste dynamics. It should bring development and education to the forefront.

I am sure that the results will, for one year at least, bring the Congress and the SP closer. The Congress will yield to the SP to stabilise its government in New Delhi.


Image: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi


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