In UP lies the hope of BJP, Opposition

In UP lies the hope of BJP, Opposition

Reuters file photo.

With 80 Lok Sabha seats, Uttar Pradesh is certain to play a crucial role in deciding the outcome of the forthcoming Parliamentary polls.

The hopes of both the BJP and its political rivals hinge largely on the results from UP.

Riding on the 'Modi Wave', the BJP had won 71 seats in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls while its alliance partner Apna Dal (AD) had won two seats.

The Samajwadi Party (SP) had bagged five seats and the Congress could manage to win only two while the BSP had drawn a blank.

The equations in the state changed after arch-rivals the SP and the BSP forged an electoral alliance in which the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) was also included, later.

The 'mahagathbandhan' (grand alliance) hopes to sweep the forthcoming polls in the state and flaunt its "caste equations" to buttress its contention.

"People want change... They want a new prime minister," SP president Akhilesh Yadav said on Sunday.

The Congress, which was not part of the grand alliance as of now, also brought in one of its most popular faces— Priyanka Gandhi Vadra— and entrusted her with the responsibility of winning the eastern UP region.

According to the state Congress sources here, Priyanka is expected to kick start campaigning in the next few days. 

BJP, however, was confident of not only retaining its tally of 71 seats in 2014 but improving the same.

"We will win 75 seats this time with our alliance partners," a senior UP BJP leader said here.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had crisscrossed the length and breadth of the state in the past fortnight inaugurating a slew of projects and holding public meetings.

With the poll dates been declared, the largest state of the country is certain to witness a fierce electoral battle.