Today, the 7th rebel BJP MLA announced his resignation from the ruling BJP in Uttar Pradesh, just ahead of crucial Assembly elections in the state. Out of 7, two are state ministers- Swami Prasad Maurya and Dara Singh Chauhan in Yogi Cabinet. These rebel MLAs hinted at joining Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party, who has a good chunk of OBC votes. So, the question is, why BJP, which is known for drawing politicians from other parties during the elections, is facing a boomerang? Is retention of the Yogi government is in danger?
Has Amit Shah, popularly known as the modern ‘Chanakya’ of Indian politics- the one who can break the unity of the Opposition party lost his charm?
I think it will be a hastened move to reach a conclusion as BJP received a historic landslide victory in UP in 2017, riding the ‘Hindutva’ agenda, not caste-based agenda. The saffron party empowered by the Modi wave defeated SP and BSP, which totally depend on caste equations in 2017. Also, the BJP grew so stronger over the years in UP under Modi-Shah leadership that it conquered the never-seen-before partnership between BSP chief Mayawati and SP supremo Akhilesh Yadav in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
In 2019, BJP again batted for ‘Hindutva’ and the development agenda. SP-BSP alliance badly failed to spell any magic on voters in Lok Sabha polls. BJP bagged unimaginable digit- 62 of total 80 seats.
Moreover, during ticket distribution, such switchovers are inevitable in India. When politicians smell they may lose tickets or party will not give tickets to their kin and friends, they jump the ship. It is an amiable picture during the Indian elections.
Additionally, going by BJP’s track record in UP, it seems the rebel MLAs can hardly make any dent in the saffron party vote base.
In fact, the Hindutva agenda has been boosted with the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya.
However, the profound disappointment among farmers may hurt BJP’s poll prospects. Lakhimpur Kheri’s violence made an irreparable dent in the image of the BJP. ‘Farmer’s factor’ is undoubtedly a cause of concern for BJP, not these turncoats.