Katju turns pollster, says 'BJP will be routed by Akhilesh' in UP elections

Writing in a Facebook post, Katju said that religious fault lines and the demonetisation would work against BJP.

Lucknow: Former Supreme Court judge Markandey Katju, on Saturday predicted a clear majority for Akhilesh Yadav led Samajwadi party in the upcoming UP polls, adding that the BJP would be routed in the state and would bag lesser seats than the Bahujan Samaj Party.

Writing in a Facebook post, the retired chief justice said that the religious fault lines and the demonetisation would work against the BJP in the elections, while the same factors would give SP an edge over the other parties, helping Akhilesh Yadav to consolidate the government for a second time.

“Some say that the split in SP will damage the party, but in my opinion it will benefit it. Almost the entire party is with Akhilesh, so there is hardly any split. Also, the party now has a new image, with a young, dynamic leader with a clean image, and free of the party’s constraining elements,” he said.

He added that after the dramatic developments in the party, it was sure to bag the Muslim votes as they perceived the BJP as anti-Muslim.

“It seems clear that the Muslims will vote unitedly for the SP led by Akhilesh, and will not split their votes. This is because the party under Akhilesh has emerged as a new party, a new SP without the tarnished image of the old. Till now Akhilesh was perceived as a Chief Minister whose hands were tied by his father, uncle, etc. and he was not a free man. But now he is free of those constraints,” he wrote.

Explaining why he foresaw the BJP to be routed from the state, Katju said that there was no ‘BJP wave’ to propel the party to power like in 2014 general elections.

“The BJPs vote bank is the upper caste Hindus. These collectively are about 18-20%.It may also get a small section of about 5 or 6% of OBC votes. That may make bring up the figure for BJP to 25 or 26%, which is far less than the minimum of 30% required to win an election,” he said.

“But in fact it (BJP) will lose at least 5% of its votes because of demonetization. Many jobs have been lost because of demonetization and the common man of all castes and communities was put to great hardship because of this harebrained scheme. Those who thought of making India a digital economy forgot that India is not a developed country like America or Europe, and it is basically a cash economy. So the BJP votes will go down to about 20 or 21%, making it behind even BSP, what to say of SP,” he explained.

The largest state in India, Uttar Pradesh is heading to polls on February 11, in seven phases. The election outcome is expected to have a ripple effect in the larger political picture of the country, and the BJP is giving a tough fight to the ruling SP in the state to cement their power. The Congress, however, does not feature in Katju’s list of frontrunners.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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