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2017 UP Assembly Elections: SWOT analysis of SP, BJP, BSP & Congress
The Election Commission of India has declared election dates for the five states i.e. UP, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Manipur and Goa. Now, it's time to do a SWOT Analysis of the main contestant parties in the upcoming UP assembly polls 2017.

Samajwadi Party

Strength: A loyal Yadav vote bank (9%), good hold on Muslim vote bank, popular leader in the form of Akhilesh Yadav, loyal party workers. Despite anti-incumbency factor, people are not very angry with the Akhilesh government.

Weakness: Party is headed by a family and believes in dynasty politics. The warring family members, particularly the father-son duo, are a great concern. Despite the traditional support from the Muslim community, various riots including Mujaffarnagar have dented the government's credibility.

Opportunity: If party wins the elections or at least remains a close second, then it will have a tremendous effect in the national politics particularly in next presidential elections. It also can lead the combined opposition in 2019 when the SP leader Mulayam Singh Yadav can be projected as Prime Ministerial candidate.

Threat: If party loses heavily due to infighting/split, it will lose the credibility in national polity. Some of the core/loyal vote bank would leave the party or its faction and there will be a ripple (damaging) effect on the party for at least a decade and there is every possibility that SP as a party would end up in the oblivion. New parties will replace SP.

Bahujan Samaj Party

Strength: It has a committed vote bank (dalits) in the range of 15-20%. Mayawati presents a credible alternative CM face and has a reputation of marinating effective law and order. In opinion polls, BSP has always been under rated. Thus it can be a dark horse in this assembly poll.

Weakness: BSP is considered as a corrupt party and the statue spree during its last tenure may go against the BSP. Mayawati is also considered as a dictator in the party. Although she has a good command over her loyal vote-bank, but many leaders had recently left the BSP to join other parties. This may create ineffective handling of party cadre and lack of mobilisation of incremental votes through effective booth management.

Opportunity: If BSP comes to power, it can reaffirm the party as well as Mayawati in the UP and national polity. A score of zero in last general elections had a tremendous effect on its political clout, so, victory in UP assembly polls will re-establish Mayawati in the national polity. BSP can also be part of combined opposition in 2019 and Narendra Modi-led BJP.

Threat: A loss in the UP elections would be catastrophic for both BSP and Mayawati. Being out of power for a decade may lead to BSP's disintegration and Mayawati losing all relevance. Frankly speaking, it's a do or die situation for both Mayawati and BSP.

Bharatiya Janata Party

Strength: It has reinvented itself in 2014 general elections. Narendra Modi is the biggest campaigner for BJP who is popular across the state irrespective of caste and class. The motivation level among the cadres is very high and people openly support the party despite the painful demonetisation.

Weakness: Going without a CM face had always proved a failure for the BJP in states where the Congress is not the opponent. In opinion polls, BJP is always over rated thus comes complacency. Some party strategists think that declaring a CM face in UP would be damaging because one may not be acceptable by all and it may result in sabotage by party men. I feel, not declaring a CM candidate would be more damaging because in such a case, various leaders with an ambition to become CM would try to sabotage the chances of their competitors and that may result into overall damage to the party.

Opportunity: Victory in UP will solve many problems BJP is facing at the Centre. It can gain majority in Rajya Sabha, it can be able to elect its presidential candidate. Narendra Modi will be stronger and his chances of retaining power in 2019 would become very easy and strong.

Threat: Loss in UP will dent Narendra Modi's credibility to a great extent as it will give rise to a strong united opposition, which can pose a tough fight in 2019 elections. A loss would also be viewed as a referendum against demonetisation and there might be rebellion against Narendra Modi inside the BJP also. Point to be noted is that, there is a strong circle inside BJP, which also wants fall of Narendra Modi as he is becoming larger than the party. Thus in the UP elections many things are at stake particularly for PM Narendra Modi.


Strength: Nil

Weakness: Many

Opportunity: To ally with SP or one of its factions.

Threat: No threat to Rahul Gandhi at all although Congress's advancement towards oblivion will be more rapid.

UP election is the contest among various aspirations, strategies, ideologies, size of crowd in the rallies and polarisation and possibly on political acumen ship and innovative booth management tactic. I always believe that despite high stature, popularity and political credence, elections are won or lost at polling booths only. Thus whoever will be able to manage the polling booths effectively, will win the 2017 UP polls.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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