With the largest number of Assembly and Parliament seats, Uttar Pradesh has always foretold the direction of Indian politics. Current assembly elections too are not an exception.
However, people of Uttar Pradesh dint participate much in polling until these 2012 Assembly elections. It was a huge increase at 59.48 %. Though It was bit lesser than the other four states such as Manipur (79.8), Uttarakhand (67.22), Punjab (78.57) and Goa (81.74). As per election commission analysis UP observed highest number of increase in voters since last assembly elections, it was 45.81 % from the last assembly elections.
Credit goes to the election commission for getting maximum population of citizens into voter list. The campaign through several media helps in communicating election commission message across the masses.
Some political parties like BJP also run campaign among youths for voter awareness. Ramlakhanpal Sharma, young MLA of BJP, Varun Gandhi, young MP of BJP and Anurag Thakur, MP and President of Youth BJP took active campaigns for voter awareness in youths. Harshwardhan of Congress also promoted similar awareness in western UP.
Owing to its importance in national politics, the assembly elections of UP is also being dubbed as ‘semi-final’ for general elections 2014. Though, the patter and the issues are different from these two elections, the stake for national parties are highest.
Despite situated in fertile plains of Ganga and Yamuna, UP remain one of the poorest state of India. This poverty and backwardness is less due to population burden, more due to the massive misuse of development funds. The best example was the huge investment in parks and statues by outgoing Mayawati’s government. Probably she is the first one to install her own huge statues in a democracy like India.
Everything was visible and clear to mass – the corruption regime at centre and at state were adding much in their lives. Anti-corruption drives by Anna Hazare and his followers in urban areas and by Baba Ramdev in rural area – created much of awareness among the people. The huge turnouts owe much to these two prominent personalities; even if political parties refuse to admit.
Being in ground during polls helped me getting firsthand experience about the people’s polling mood. Much before to the elections, in November 2011, Kamaljit Singh a political activist from Saharanpur (Western UP) said about the political neutrality of a particular group who remained shy from voting all the time. That time we expected them to come and vote due to agitated state of national mood. From Deoria Md. Babudin expected similar trends in ongoing elections.
While visiting UP during elections, I found those observations were right. Now when the voters have come and voted in huge number, everyone wants to take credit. But have the people of UP forgotten the crimes in street during the rule of SP or shoe fetish and statues love of Mayawati ?
While exit polls are there to keep politicians positive, people of Uttar Pradesh might have much to reply the corrupt leaders. If it is proved on 6th March, this is going to be a paradigm shift for Indian politics.
twitter - @AmiSri