RS results: BJP’s loss on all fronts — from votes to perception ahead of UP poll 2017

Politics is all about symbolism and perception in favour or against a party or an individual. With results of Rajya Sabha election from UP out, the perception formed is that BJP is still way far from it’s claim of making a dent in other parties and that other parties MLAs want to jump the saffron bandwagon at an appropriate time. The perception also formed after Rajya Sabha results on Saturday is that non-BJP parties can covertly come on the same platform if it is about defeating the BJP and the perception is that party strategists would have to re-plan mission UP-2017.
While SP was able to secure win of all its 7 Rajya Sabha nominees, BSP of its two, Congress of its one despite short of numbers and BJP only one out of the two, even though the second nominee, a social worker from Gujarat Preeti Mahapatra, was backed by extra BJP votes rather than being supported as a matter of perception.
What was common among all the above parties was that all faced cross-voting symbolising that politics is rather only about opportunism and immediate gains. Interestingly, the BJP, whose leader claim it to be a party with a difference, also saw its MLA Vijay Bahadur Yadav cross-voting in favour of Samajwadi Party nominee.
The political master stroke though came from Congress nominee Kapil Sibal, whose party despite being short of the requisite number — 34 — in this poll and cross-voting by at least 3 of its MLAs and absence of one MLA due to ill-health, who managed against all odds to win the Rajya Sabha seat. No wonder, backroom politics ably played by senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, Raj Babbar and UP in charge Madhusudan Mistry cannot be ignored in Sibal’s win.
However, in BJP’s case, though it’s official nominee Shiv Pratap Shukla romped home victorious, its backing and backroom but huge support to Independent 12th nominee Preeti Mahapatra proved futile. Had Preeti garnered 18 votes individually it would have made more headlines that the win of 11 Rajya Sabha candidates, but the perception that she was backed by the BJP to the hilt dwarfed her effort and the perception formed thus was that Preeti’s loss was the BJP’s strategic loss.
And why not it be, reports in leading english daily suggested that national general secretary Dr Anil Jain, national vice-president and Gujarat leader Purushottam Rupala had been camping in Lucknow to ensure Preeti’s win to and set permutation and combination in the right position for positive results. Going by this, BJP could ensure only 14 votes from other parties. Of the 14, 3 include Independent MLA Sushil Singh had already alligned with the BJP, Apna Dal’s RK Verma, whose party is an alliance partner of the BJP in the Modi-led NDA government and NCP’s Fateh Bahadur, whose family has already joined the BJP and he would follow suit when less than six months would be left for Vidhan Sabha election 2017.
In the same way, of the others who voted in favour of Preeti Mahapatra included Samajwadi Party’s Rampal Yadav has already been expelled from the party recently, BSP’s Bala Prasad Awasthi is all set to get BJP ticket with the blessing of BSP discarded and now BJP leader Jugul Kishore. It is keeping all this in account that BJP’s bid to make perception that it was the party to look out for has proven completely wrong.

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