New Delhi, Mar 2: The seven-phased polling for the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections 2017 will conclude on March 8. Ahead of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly election results 2017, which will be declared on March 11, renowned journalist Rajdeep Sardesai predicted a victory of Bharatiya Janata Party. Rajdeep Sardesai, however, admitted that predicting election outcome of Uttar Pradesh is an extremely tough task, but forecasted a likely BJP win in the state. Also Read - Tejasvi Surya Controversy: Govt Asks Twitter to Remove Bengaluru MP's Tweet Linking Terrorism to Islam

In his column published in Hindustan Times, Rajdeep Sardesai explained why BJP is looking ahead from its arch rivals SP-Congress alliance and Bahujan Samaj Party (BJP). Even if the BJP gets 10 per cent less votes than it received in 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the saffron party will trump SP-Congress and BSP. The renowned journalist suggested that a party can register victory winning 30 per cent vote share. Also Read - Delhi Assembly Elections 2020: BJP MP Gautam Gambhir Casts Vote With Family, Says 'Voting is Not Only Our Right But Our Power'

“In 2014, the BJP-led NDA got 42 per cent of the vote and an astonishing 73 of 80 Lok Sabha seats. While that was an unusual ‘wave’ election, the fact is even a highly unlikely 10 per cent decline in the BJP vote could be enough to give it a leadership position in the state. The SP swept to power in UP in 2012 with 29 per cent of the vote, while in 2007, the BSP got a majority with 30 per cent of the vote,” wrote Rajdeep Sardesai. Also Read - Delhi Assembly Election 2020: Senior Congress Leader Janardan Dwivedi's Son Joins BJP

Rajdeep Sardesai also rejected the idea that the alliance between Samajwadi Party and Congress can easily defeat the BJP in Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections. “Some analysts have compared UP with the 2015 Bihar assembly elections, claiming that the SP-Congress ‘gathbandhan’ has changed the electoral numbers game in the state. But this is a false comparison,” Sardesai stated. “Had the two principal players Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav fought together like Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad did in Bihar, the BJP would have struggled to make an impact. The Congress, by contrast, in UP is still a ‘kamzor kadi’ or weak link in the alliance,” he added.

Rajdeep Sardesai, who has been very critical of Narendra Modi since the 2002 Gujarat riots, said that despite unfulfilled promises the Prime Minister still retains voter trust and goodwill. Sardesai feels Akhilesh Yadav failed to change the image of Samajwadi Party. “Akhilesh could still be the future of UP with a strong youth connect, but may not be its present,” he wrote.

In conclusion, Rajdeep Sardesai said the BJP has adopted new strategy to consolidate Hindu identities. “In the 1990s, the Ram Janmabhoomi campaign overtly attempted to consolidate a Hindu identity. Now, a more devious strategy is underway to link caste and community identities to the magical word ‘vikaas’ or development. The odious comparisons between availability of bijli during Ramadan and Diwali and the false claim of discrimination in laptop distribution have been designed to stoke the worst fears and prejudices in a deeply divided society,” he wrote.

“Hindutva politics based on anti-Muslim propaganda and ‘hope’ embodied in the Modi persona offer a deadly combination: The UP voter may well be intoxicated by it this time,” Rajdeep Sardesai concluded.