Let me share a very recent/fresh conversation I had with friend Naved Yar Khan on the UP election prospects.
Naved Yar Khan - I also saw this report yesterday on a news channel. Prima facie it suggests that BSP is returning to power in U.P. Then I thought of the results in 2012 in which BSP was no.2 but in two digits far behind 224 which SP got although there were same Dalits and Muslims. Akhilesh won against Amar Singh's alleged conspiracy with BJP and he has allied with Congress to prevent division of Muslim votes.
My reply is given below.
Aurobindo Ghose -
Thank you, dear friend Naved Yar Khan. There is lot of difference in situation of 2012 and 2017. Lets forget BJP because it is way behind due to Demonetisation, Modi not keeping promises, Intolerence - Akhlaque and Muzaffarnagar riots, dissension and in-fighting and RSS rethink on Reservation. RSS doubts on Modi is a key drawback for the BJP team to gell and work with unity and purpose. BJP's desperation and panic is a good sign of their losing trend.
Three key factors are going against Akhilesh-Congress alliance. It is not an alliance in the first place and there is lot of indiscipline, in-fighting and tug-of-war.
Second key factor is Mulayam, Mulayam and Mulayam. The seniomost Pehalwan of the Yadav clan is missing. In 2012 he addressed 300+ rallies, this time only 2 SP rallies. Mulayam's key aides and friends - Ambika Chaudhary, Narad Rai, Vijay Mishra and Mukhtar Ansari- are all solidly behind Mayawati. Critical post-election factor will be how many seats Mulayam and Shivpal win of their 38 seats whose list/ which Father Mulayam handed over to Son Akhilesh at the time of seeming Reconciliation.
Third, anti-incumbency is working against Akhilesh. Wounds of Muzaffarnagar and Akhlaque have not healed for the minority community. Muslims are backing Mayawati much more than Akhilesh. Community leaders and clerics are backing Mayawati. Development factor is not favouring AKHILESH as it has led to favouritism, discrimination and inequalities. Mayawati's no-nonsense approach to communal riots and protection to weaker sections and women is attracting different sections and groups in a 'rainbow coalition'. The Dalit-Brahmin- Muslim - Thakur -Yadav co-operation is working silently. The two M-factors of Mulayam and Mukhtar are playing magic for Mayawati.
Most important factor helping is her discipline , group unity and quiet confidence. She may get anywhere between 210 and 250 or more. Let the people of UP decide.