On Friday, the BJP recorded a landslide win in 14 out of 16 municipal corporations of Uttar Pradesh. It also scored a convincing victory in municipalities and nagar panchayats, decimating the Samajwadi Party and Congress. The credit rightly goes to chief minister Yogi Adityanath, who addressed most of the election rallies during the civic elections.
Though Yogi has given credit to the "vision" of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the "strategy" of BJP chief Amit Shah, the credit rightly goes to him. It was he who went before the electorate and told them the work that his government had done in the last eight months. The people in the cities and towns of UP trusted his words and voted overwhelmingly for the party.
Yogi will now be concentrating on 2019 Lok Sabha elections in India's most politically crucial state. The results of UP civic polls are bound to have an impact on Gujarat assembly elections this month, and already Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi is under pressure within his own party.
Rahul is going to be elected Congress president next week, but questions are going to be raised as to why the party lost badly in his parliamentary constituency Amethi. Questions will be raised about his leadership qualities and Rahul will have to be ready with answers.
Looking at the civic poll results in UP, four things are now clear. One, there has been no negative impact of GST on people living in UP cities and towns; Two, the Modi and Amit Shah magic continues in UP and the poor response to Congress has raised questions about Rahul's leadership abilities; Three: the Samajwadi Party has been almost decimated and questions are being raised about Akhilesh Yadav's capabilities and his friendship with Rahul; Four: BSP is back in the reckoning after grabbing second position, and the party has done well only in those pockets which are Muslim dominated. It is now clear that the Muslims of UP have shifted their allegiance from SP to BSP.