But this time, things are not easy because the BJP has had its key leaders carry out the campaigning in the state, which includes Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, JP Nadda as well as the Uttar Pradesh star, Yogi Adityanath while as on the contrary, Congress has solely relied on Priyanka Gandhi who has been campaigning in the state alone. Even as the elections in the state are crucial for Congress which has been facing a drought for the last sometime now, Rahul Gandhi has remained non-existent on the campaign turf and has preferred to keep himself busy with the party’s Bharat Jodo Yatra.
At the same time, if the BJP manages to get the votes in favour of the incumbent, it will set a tone for the party ahead of elections which are due next year in states like Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh and will put a stamp on the party’s national dominance. To do that, BJP will have to ensure that the state’s tradition of voting the incumbent out is altered and it gets to keep the power, securing another term in the Government, because the situation is quite in favour of the BJP, especially when we talk of the weight the party carries under the leadership of PM Modi, coupled with a feeble opposition which has not been able to make much impact on the ground.
Further, the BJP is playing it all out with a special focus on key areas where Congress is completely missing out. The state is known for having women cast votes more than men—something effectively used by the BJP which has issued a standalone manifesto for women apart from promising the implementation of a Uniform Civil Code and eight lakh jobs in the state, while the Congress has promised the restoration of the old pension scheme, 300 units of free power and a Rs 680-crore StartUp fund.
Now it has all come down to what people will opt for: will they keep the tradition of the state alive, throw the incumbent out and allow Congress to have it once again? Or will they do what BJP wants them to: Vote in favour of the incumbent, and put a stamp of dominance on the BJP by making it reap the fruits of the PM’s popularity? Whatever the decision, the need is for people’s participation in the electoral process; they should come out to vote and vote on merit.