New Delhi, Jan 5: A lot has been happening of late in UP in the ruling Samajwadi clan and with no truce in sight despite the announcement of poll dates, it seems the Samajwadi Party will witness some crucial twists and turns ahead of the voting that will decide its fate as well as the political future of the warring father-son duo. Indications are that Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav might fight the coming election in alliance with Congress.
Opinion polls are predicting tough road for Samajwadi Party despite Akhilesh emerging as the most favourite and reliable face as the next Chief Minister. Various factors will play important role in the elections but minority votes will definitely be a decisive factor. The Muslim voters of UP will play a key role in determining who wins the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls. As the state accounts for the highest population of Muslims in India and first highest in terms of the proportion of the population.
Muslims, accounting for 18 to 19% of the state population, have influence in 73 seats (which cover more than 30 percent of the state's population). As per the census data, the Muslim community has backed the Samajwadi Party in the 2002 Assembly polls (SP) with 54% of votes. However, it fell to 30 percent in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections but it again rose to 58 percent in the 2012 Lok Sabha elections.
Earlier, Samajwadi party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav was popularly known as 'Maulana Mulayam' because of his pro-Muslim stance during the Ayodhya movement and after the demolition of Babri Masjid. Mulayam’s image as the saviour of Muslims got him votes and power in Uttar Pradesh and a nationwide acclaim besides a share in power at the centre. This status remained unchallenged for more than two decades. But now the whole scenario has changed.
As per the latest reports, a majority of voters from the minority community in UP want to see Akhilesh rather than Mulayam as the state's CM.
When asked UP's Muslims to whom they will vote they replied, "We are with SP.” Which SP, that of the father or the son? Mohammed Naseem quickly responded, “Akhilesh bhaiya." Why? “He has worked for ‘vikas’ (development). He made a highway. He gave laptops, he gave pensions, he will give a phone if he wins, Inshallah." The men asserted that for them, employment is the biggest issue and they have faith that UP’s young CM will deliver on it.
When further asked Muslims were great supporters of Mulayam, what happened now? Waqar, one of the young students in the group said, “If Mulayam can leave his son for his brother, why can’t we leave him?”
The results show that Akhilesh is the clear favourite in most of the sub-groups.
There are two key vote banks, 61% of Yadavs and 78.5% of Muslims and they preferred Akhilesh to his father, as per the recent survey.
Akhilesh also emerged as the overwhelming favourite among those with high levels of educational attainment. He was picked over his father Mulayam by 74.4% of respondents in the 'Up to Graduation' category, 83.6% in the 'Up to Post-Graduate category,' and 89.4% in the 'Professional' category.