Uttar Pradesh Assembly Elections are state elections conducted to elect the ruling party for the largest state of the country. Conducted by the Election Commission of India, the UP Assembly Elections continue to be a primary political event of the country. With nearly 403 Assembly Constituency, the Stste's Assembly Polls provide a definitive edge to the party at the center. This year the UP Assemly Elections have an added edge. It is also being seen as a major mood assessor for the country's General Assembly Elections which would be conducted in teh year 2019. Falling in the middle of the Modi Government's tenure, many are looking at 2017 UP Assemly Elections as an Acid Test for the Modi Government at the center.
The state of Uttar Pradesh, located in the northern part of the country is presently run by Samajwadi Party (SP) with Akhilesh Yadav as its Chief Minister. The capital of the state is Lucknow and main parties which have in the past held power are Samajwadi Party (SP), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Congress, BJP.
The Election Commission of India (ECI) on January 4, 2017, announced that Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections will take place in 7 phases beginning from February 11 to March 8. The Election Commission announced that counting of votes for Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls will take place on March 11, 2017, along with other states-Punjab, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Goa and Manipur.
Date of Notification: 17 January
Last date of nomination: January 24
Scrutiny of nomination: 25 January
Withdrawal of candidature: 27 January
Voting: 11 February
Date of Notification: 20 January
Last date of nomination: 27 January
Scrutiny of nomination: 28 January
Withdrawal of candidature: 30 January
Voting: 15 February
Date of Notification: 24 January
Last date of nomination: 31 January
Scrutiny of nomination: 2 February
Withdrawal of candidature: 4 February
Voting: 19 February
Date of Notification: 30 January
Last date of nomination: 6 February
Scrutiny of nomination: 7 February
Withdrawal of candidature: 9 February
Voting: 23 February
Date of Notification: 2 February
Last date of nomination: 9 February
Scrutiny of nomination: 11 February
Withdrawal of candidature: 13 February
Voting: 27 February
Date of Notification: February 8
Last date of nomination: 15 February
Scrutiny of nomination: 16 February
Withdrawal of candidature: 18 February
Voting: 4 March
Date of Notification: February 11
Last date of nomination: 18 February
Scrutiny of nomination: 20 February
Withdrawal of candidature: 22 February
Voting: 8 March
Since early 2000, the state has seen local parties like Bahujan Samaj Party or Samajwadi Party at the helm. These two parties have challenged the big pillars of politics like BJP and Congress and didn’t allow the big guns of politics to run the state. The Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party are the two main political contenders in Uttar Pradesh.
The ruling party in UP which is undergoing family tussle at present; is displaying the development agenda of Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav. Recently, the CM launched the longest expressway of India and highlighted its key point of an Air strip, which can be used by the Indian Air Force during war. The CM also launched Lucknow Metro and stated that Metro will soon be seen in other cities of his state like Kanpur, Allahabad, Meerut. Besides development, the junior Yadav promised to eradicate the load shedding issue by a margin, which the state has been facing since years. He promised to supply 22 hours of electricity to the cities and 18 to villages and districts. Breaking the jinx of caste based politics the junior Yadav has garnered immense popularity as a CM and firmly believes that his party will again smile seeing the result of 2017 elections.
On the other hand, Mayawati, the supremo of BSP, wants to bounce back and is sticking to the traditional caste-based politics. Mayawati mostly banks on Dalit vote bank, and she surely will refresh the memory of people by reminding them of Una, Gujarat incident and Dayashankar Singh’s remark on her, before elections. BSP chief also known as Behenji will eye the Muslim vote bank of the state. BSP has held many Muslim candidates in the cabinet in past.
BJP will be desperately eyeing Lucknow, though the party yet hasn’t declared their CM candidate. The party at the Centre is displaying two cards: one being the caste based politics and other being development. Their UP chief Keshav Prasad Maurya who also belongs to the Dalit community will certainly grab few eyeballs of Dalit vote bank. On the other hand, the party is talking about giving facilities to the state like AIIMS in Gorakhpur, elevators and lifts at Railway stations, facilities for farmers, eradication of poverty and most importantly electrifying villages. The big political gun also promises to deliver a crime-free state. BJP had also put hoardings of ‘surgical strikes’ across the state, however, after facing criticism the hoarding were taken down.
Former Delhi CM, Sheila Dikshit, is the face of Congress in the upcoming elections. The party is banking on women vote and also claimed that UP will witness progress under Sheila, same way Delhi did. Several rallies have been conducted in state by Rahul Gandhi. Also, his ‘Khat Sabha’ had become very newsy. Congress president Sonia Gandhi had also conducted a rally in Varanasi and had to stop in the middle due to health reasons.
State Legislative Council (Vidhan Parishad)
The Vidhan Parishad is a permanent house of 100 members. The members are elected or nominated for six years and one-sixth of them retire every two years. Out of the 100 Legislative Council members, 10 are nominated by the Governor. The rest are elected by various electoral colleges in the state such as those of the Vidhan Sabha members, local bodies, teachers and graduates.