Legislative Assembly elections will be held in Uttar Pradesh in month of February to March 2022 to elect 403 members of the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly. The term of current assembly elected in 2017 will expire on 14 May 2022. The previous assembly elections were held in February – March 2017. After the election, Bharatiya Janata Party formed the state government, with Yogi Adityanath becoming Chief Minister.
As the elections come closer, different political parties are gearing up for a strong fight. The state with the largest population in India — 230 million — is a composite of various castes and communities, which align and realign to boost different alliances to power.
Scheduled Castes (SC) constitute close to 20 per cent of the state’s population. Other Backward Castes (OBC) constitute around 40 per cent of the population, of which, Yadavas are the largest OBC community, wielding substantial political clout. They form 15 per cent of the state’s population.
The so-called forward castes constitute around 23 per cent, while Muslims constitute around 19 per cent of the state’s population. Around 80 per cent of the state’s population lives in rural areas, with a large proportion engaged in agriculture.
Parties and Alliance:
In an interview to India Today, SP leader Akhilesh Yadav ruled out any alliance with the BSP and Congress for the 2022 poll. “The Samajwadi Party will not enter into any alliance with big parties. We will go together in the election with smaller parties,” he said.
United Progressive Alliance (UPA):
The only party competing from UPA has been the INC. On 19 October 2021 Uttar Pradesh congress leader Priyanka Gandhi announced 40% of tickets to women in upcoming Uttar Pradesh assembly polls. The Congress party is going solo in next year’s UP election.
The Congress party is trying to gather the minority votes. It is reportedly holding virtual meets with ulemas in the state, after identifying over 2 lakh madrassas in the state. The party leaders were quoted as saying that they were also in touch with leaders of other groups like Dalits in the state.
Congress General Secretary, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is steering the party’s campaign for the upcoming elections in Uttar Pradesh. She had earlier alleged that the SP and the BSP were taking forward the BJP’s politics of religion and caste. Akhilesh predicts Congress will get zero seats in UP. Responding to his remarks Priyanka Gandhi Continuing her veiled attacks on Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav.
“Two meetings took place with Congress workers on UP elections. Akhilesh Yadav might be an astrologer that he feels Congress will get 0 seats, we’ll see what happens. A separate public declaration notice on women welfare in the state to be announced,” Priyanka said.
Claiming that Akhilesh Yadav became active during the election time only, Priyanka had asked where he was when atrocities were being committed during protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in 2020.
“These parties think that they will get votes through such kind of politics and would rule on getting their chances. I have heard that some people are saying that BJP will win again by creating chasm in society. Why, because the reality is that the parties which are considered as the main opposition are not setting the agenda of development,” Gandhi said addressing the party’s ‘Pratigya rally’
“They also want to do the same kind of politics. The Samajwadi Party and the BSP have also taken politics of caste and religion forward,” she claimed.
National Democratic Alliance (NDA):
During the month of September, the NDA confirmed an alliance between BJP, AD(S) and the NISHAD Party. During the month of August, the NDA held talks with parties like JD(U), Ham(S) and others however the seat sharing talks fell apart later. In October there were major restructuring efforts by the alliance with new faces and revamp of parties in an effort to battle anti-incumbency in addition the alliance has been struggling with various infighting. In the first 2 weeks of December the alliance launched it champaign for the election.
Meanwhile, the “Hissedari Morcha” comprising seven small parties on Wednesday had announced its support to the BJP in the assembly elections, according to a statement issued by the saffron party.
Leaders of the seven parties on Wednesday had handed letters to state BJP president Swatantra Dev Singh extending their support.
The leaders include:
- Kewat Ramdhani Bind of the Bharatiya Manav Samaj Party,
- Chandra Vanvasi of the Musahar Andolan Manch
- Babulal Rajbhar of the Shoshit Samaj Party.
- Krishna Gopal Singh Kashyap of the Manav Hit Party,
- Bhim Rajbhar of the Bharatiya Suheldev Janata Party,
- Chandan Singh Chauhan of the Prithviraj Janshakti Party and
- Mahendra Prajapati of the Bharatiya Samata Samaj Party.
Samajwadi Party +:
Starting 2021 the Samajwadi Party has announced its intention for a Grand political alliance to defeat the incumbent NDA. Akhilesh Yadav is understood to be in talk with following parties to defeat BJP government in the state led by chief minister Yogi Adityanath:
- Om Prakash Rajbhar-led Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party (SBSP) Which broke away from its alliance to join SP+.
- Jayant Chaudhury headed Rastriya Lok Dal (RLD). RLD was the first to join the alliance.
- Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal headed Aam Aadami Party (AAP). As far as AAP is concerned it is trying its luck in in UP assembly election for the first time. In September the party had declared that it would contest all the 403 seats. However, the party seems to have changed its mind and is joining the SP-led alliance. It was confirmed that the Aam Aadmi Party has begun seat sharing talks with the Samajwadi Party and it is expected to be finalised soon.
- West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Chief Mamata Banerjee.
Sources in the Samajwadi Party said that the alliance with Trinamool could materialise since Akhilesh Yadav shares a warm rapport with West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Chief Mamata Banerjee.
“Besides, she is now an opposition mascot who crushed communal forces in her state against all odds. Her campaign in UP will certainly boost the opposition in general,” said a SP spokesman.
- Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (Lohia), an outfit floated by Akhilesh Yadav’s estranged uncle Shivpal Singh Yadav, is on the cards.
- Nationalist Congress Party led by Sharad Pawar
- Rastriya Janta Dal led by Tejaswi Yadav
Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav on Wednesday said if his party comes to power in the 2022 Uttar Pradesh assembly election, its government will give Rs 25 lakh each to farmers who died during the farm laws agitation.
“We promise that in 2022, as soon as the Samajwadi Party government comes to power, farmers who died during the agitation against farm laws will be given a ‘Kisan Shahadat Samman Rashi’ of Rs 25 lakh,” Yadav said in a tweet.
Bahujan Samaj Party:
The BSP has announced that it will compete the forthcoming election all by itself and has also started the preparation for elections. On Saturday, BSP supremo Mayawati held a meeting with the leaders of different communities. Mayawati reportedly told the high functionaries present at the meeting that they should trust the cadre and not the “selfish” leaders who can be bought and sold.
She directed them to keep helping and reaching out to the poor suffering due to the pandemic, and asked the leaders to keep holding smaller local level meetings of the cadre to strengthen the party at the grassroots.
During the month leading up to the elections major political parties which aren’t part of alliance or have any seats in the assembly announced their intentions to compete in the election.
Shiv Sena announced they would compete all 403 seats by themselves in the election.
The All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM confirmed they would fight the election alone in the 100 seats.
Parties like Vikassheel Inssan Party (VIP),
Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) (Ram Vilas faction) and Azad Samaj Party (ASP) all confirmed their participation in the election.
Samyukt Kishan Morcha leader Rakesh Tikait belongs to the Jat community and is also a farmer leader. His father Mahendra Singh Tikait, in his lifetime, had played a crucial role in Uttar Pradesh politics without setting a foot in the Assembly. Rakesh Tikait might have similar dreams.