Priyanka and Dimple get prominence in SP's election posters
Lucknow: If pictures of two young women displayed at many places are a guide, this year's election in Uttar Pradesh is likely to see two women playing pro-active roles in politics-- Dimple Yadav and Priyanka Gandhji Vadra. While former is the wife of the state chief minister and Samajwdi Party president Akhilesh Yadav , the latter is daughter of Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
Not only have their pictures appeared on hoardings but also on the specially designed campaign vehicle of the ruling Samajwadi Party which has already begun its journey. The party which has allied with the Congress for the first time in the state launched its campaign at Sultanpur, about 80 kilometres from here, on Wednesday.
The posters also carry pictures of Akhilesh and party patriarch Mulayam Sing Yadav in addition to Rahul Gandhi. But pictures of these two women are exceptional. For, both have largely waited in the wings so far and campaigned in limited constituencies. This time they are scheduled to travel far and wide.
The alliance partners' aim may be to cash on the young image of the five excepting the patriarch who has joined the posters because of his age and stature.
The young image puts them in a different light and may appeal to young voters who have outnumbered the old ones. More than 17 per cent of the voters in the state are first timers who may be more inclined to young leaders like Akhilesh who is techno-savvy and wants to contest the election on development plank.
His emphasis on development and inclusive growth may also counter Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Sabka Vikas , Sabka Saath slogan. The BJP and the BSP are their main rivals and the former depends mainly on Modi's charisma. To weaken BSP the alliance partners have already begun wooing Muslims who form the party's main support base in addition to Dalits.
Prominence given to Priyanka is largely because of the fact that it was she who had played a major role and helped the two parties reach an alliance. The talks had virtually failed at one stage and hope of alliance was almost lost. It was Prinyanka who had intervened at this stage and saw to it that it materialised.
Chief minsiter's wife Dimple had also shown keen interest in the alliance. She is reported to have taken the initiative in this regard and was the first to broach the subject with Priyanka. Later, Akhiesh too liked the idea and discussed the issue with other party men. Some senior party leaders including Mulayam was initially opposed to the alliance but gave in after persuasion by younger elements in the party.
Under the alliance formula, while the ruling party will contest from 298 seats, the Congress from the rest of 105 assembly seats in the state.