Politics in Uttar Pradesh, which sees elections in 2017, has perked up, particularly following the distasteful remarks made by Dayashankar Singh about BSP leader Mayawati. Given Mayawati’s identity, the issue became an embarrassment for BJP. Subsequently, some of the moral high that the BSP had gained was lost by party leaders training their megaphones on Singh’s wife and daughter, who had nothing to do with the matter. While this indicates the loose tongues and misogynistic culture that runs through Uttar Pradesh politics, across parties, what does it suggest in hard political terms?
It is here that the story gets a little complicated. Uttar Pradesh is set for a fascinating election in a state where power has been won and lost in recent years by parties that have formed innovative and dynamic social coalitions. Indeed, it is possible to identify families, particularly in urban areas, that have voted for all four major parties in the past decade: the BJP (2014), the Congress (2009), the BSP (2007) and the SP (2012).