Why all UP parties are 'headless' ahead of 2024 polls

Why all UP parties are 'headless' ahead of 2024 polls

Yogi Adityanath and Akhilesh Yadav.

Lucknow, July 24 (IANS) Even as political parties across the country have already started preparing for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, major political parties in Uttar Pradesh remain in a state of disarray after the Assembly elections held earlier this year. Major political parties in Uttar Pradesh are 'headless' and their organisations directionless. Most parties are apparently working out caste arithmetic for the next Lok Sabha elections before they appoint a state head. Some are even waiting for rival parties to announce their state presidents before they do so. The state's ruling BJP has been working without a full-time state president since March this year. The incumbent Swatantra Dev Singh is now a minister in the Yogi Adityanath government and is mainly preoccupied with his ministerial duties. While the functioning of the BJP organisation has not been affected because party programmes are been efficiently carried out by the office bearers of the party, the absence of a full-time state president is impacting the party. "It has been four months since we had a full-time president and this does take away from the organization because Swatantra Dev Singh has his ministerial work to attend to," said a party functionary. The Samajwadi Party (SP) also seems to be in complete disarray at the moment. SP President Akhilesh Yadav has dissolved all organisational units of the party and allies are either being shown the door or have left on their own. A section of the party leaders is speaking out against Akhilesh Yadav and Muslim MLAs and MPs are making their disillusionment with the party policies clear. For a party that aims to make big gains in the next Lok Sabha elections, the SP needs to build up a robust organisation, address issues being raised by the senior leaders and also mobilise cadres. The refusal of Akhilesh Yadav to pull up his socks where his party is concerned, could land the SP into a Congress-like situation, sooner than later. The Congress, meanwhile, remains in a self-demolition mode. The party has been headless since March, when it faced its worst ever drubbing in the Assembly polls. It does not have a state president and general secretary in charge Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has visited Lucknow only once in five months, that too barely for a few hours. The party is being run either by third and fourth rung leaders who belong to Team Priyanka or by paid employees. "We have stopped even visiting the party office because there is no political activity or discussion. In fact, we do not even recognise majority of the people there. The party has transformed itself into an NGO," said a former UPCC president. The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), meanwhile, remains directionless when it comes to its political direction. A former BSP MLA said: "We do not know whether we are going right or left in the next elections. Going by Mayawati's' tweets, nearly 60 per cent are in BJP's favour while 40 per cent are against it. We do not know what to make of it." He said that the cadres were confused about whether the party would position itself against the SP, as it did in Azamgarh Lok Sabha by-elections, or against BJP in the 2024 elections. It is only the Rashtriya Lok Dal state that is quietly but firmly working to expand its base for the next general elections. RLD president Jayant Chaudhary has been holding under-publicised Yuva Panchayats in western Uttar Pradesh where he is seeking the opinion of the youth on 'Agnipath scheme'. The Yuva Panchayats are being attended mainly by youths in the families of farmers who have agitated against the Central government last year and their children are mostly army aspirants.

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