From caste based issues to development focused: UP Polls
The transitional change in leadership of Uttar Pradesh that played out over the last week seems to be symptomatic of a deeper churn. Akhilesh's Yadav ascension as party president and sidelining of Mulayam Singh Yadav's old guard may have been prompted by the fact that the current Uttar Pradesh CM stands for the developmental brand of politics and veers away from caste-based politics.
In a landmark ruling, the Supreme Court deemed vote-seeking based on religion, caste, race or language as illegal. Ramifications of the verdict will be seen and felt in the upcoming state elections and over a prolonged period of time. Experts believe that the verdict will force many regional parties, which currently rely heavily on caste or identity-based politics, to drastically change course.
Soon after the judgement, PM Modi said at a Lucknow rally, "There may have been a time when castes were important, you all have endured politics of caste and religion. I appeal to you all to rise above this and vote for progress and development."
The VHP as well as Jamat-e-Islami Hind welcomed the SC ruling and also said that the judgment must be strictly enforced. Congress Spokesperson, Priyanka Chaturvedi, welcomed the pragmatic decision as Indian politics had become dominated by caste and religion and had become an ideology for some parties. CPI leader, D Raja concurred with Ms. Chaturvedi and said, "This needed to be discouraged."
Mulayam Singh Yadav, a UP veteran, had been successful for decades in giving power and identity to backward caste communities. However, this demographic is now seeking evident and concrete development and therefore finds a new age leader like, Akhilesh Yadav promising; given his pragmatic developmental brand of politics. The younger generation across castes and religion also reportedly throws its weight behind Akhilesh Yadav.
Uttarakhand goes to polls in 2017; PM Modi inaugurated a 900-km highway development program to ensure tourists travel to Himalayan shrines without weather interruptions. PM Modi talked of other steps taken to ameliorate residents' lives like free LPG connections. He also said he wanted to pull the state out of the "bottomless pit of corruption in which it was languishing under the present regime".
"I want to take Uttarakhand to new peaks of development where people are not forced by circumstances to leave their homes in the Himalayas and spend their lives in the dirty streets of cities in search of work."