Uttar Pradesh set for 4-cornered contest in 2022 polls

Uttar Pradesh set for 4-cornered contest in 2022 assembly election

Priyanka is also understood to shift base to Lucknow soon to better coordinate the election campaign of the party

(Clockwise) Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Yogi Adityanath, Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati. Credit: Agency images

Uttar Pradesh is all set for a four-cornered contest in the Assembly elections early next year when Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, facing criticism for his Covid-19 handling, seeks a second term.

After aligning with the Akali Dal for the Punjab assembly elections, BSP supremo Mayawati scotched rumours about a possible alliance with smaller outfits such as the AIMIM in Uttar Pradesh as it seeks to regain lost ground in the state where she had served four terms as chief minister.

Mayawati’s BSP had joined hands with arch-rival Samajwadi Party and Rashtriya Lok Dal for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections but had failed to stop the BJP juggernaut in Uttar Pradesh.

In the 2017 assembly elections, the SP and BSP had polled 21.82% and 22.23% votes respectively. Together, both the parties had netted 44.05% votes, higher than the BJP’s 39.67%. However, BJP walked away with 312 of the total 403 seats.

The SP, which had contested the polls in alliance with Congress, could win 47 seats, while the BSP had managed to win 19 seats. The Congress scraped through with seven seats of the 105 it had contested.

SP president Akhilesh Yadav has already announced that he would go alone in the assembly elections next year. Over the past few weeks, Yadav has stepped up public outreach and even launched an election campaign jingle highlighting the "helping hand" extended by the party in the times of Covid-19.

Congress, under AICC General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, has been active in reaching out to the people during Covid-19 under the leadership of state unit chief Ajay Kumar Lallu.

Priyanka is also understood to shift base to Lucknow soon to better coordinate the election campaign of the party.

BJP appears to have put its house in order, given the murmurs against the chief minister’s style of functioning, particularly during the second wave of Covid-19. The party is busy stitching together caste alliances with the hope to repeat its 2017 performance.

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