After joining hands before the 2017 Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, the Congress and the Samajwadi Party (SP) might form an alliance once again before the 2022 Uttar Pradesh polls after the Congress appointed a Dalit Chief Minister in Punjab.
The Congress party feels it has strong chances of winning the 2022 Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh after coming up with a masterstroke in Punjab with Congress Dalit leader Charanjit Singh Channi taking oath as the new Punjab Chief Minister. Channi’s appointment as the Chief Minister is being touted a very significant step not only in Punjab politics but will likely have a huge bearing on other states across the country.
The Congress is seen to have played a masterstroke by making a leader from the Scheduled Caste (SC) community the Chief Minister of a state for the first time, especially a north Indian state. This development has dominated the discourse across political circles.
Leaders from the Samajwadi Party, Aam Aadmi Party, including other opposition parties, have welcomed the appointment of Channi as the Punjab Chief Minister.
The recent meeting of Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra with Bhim Army Chief Chandrashekhar Azad was part of a strategy planned by the Congress days before choosing a Dalit Chief Minister.
This political development comes amid talk of wooing Brahmins and Dalits by SP National President Akhilesh Yadav through social conferences and Dalit outreach programmes. The Samajwadi Lohia Vahini has started a “Village to Village Dalit Samvad” programme from September 19 in various districts across Uttar Pradesh. In the coming days, Priyanka Gandhi will be holding election rallies and visit poll-bound constituencies from September 29 to October 23. During this time the talk of forming an alliance between the SP and the Congress will become clear.
SP leader Akhilesh Yadav has come up with a fresh political slogan ‘Nayi Hawa Hai, Nayi SP Hai’ to win the 2022 Uttar Pradesh polls. With this slogan, Akhilesh has made a shift from the MY (Muslim-Yadav) caste equations used by him and SP founder and his father, Mulayam Singh Yadav to win state elections in the past.
Akhilesh Yadav is upping the ante by following a soft Hindutva approach to counter the Hindutva idelogy of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.
During this time when Punjab has got its first Dalit Chief Minister, the Congress is not leaving any opportunity in taking credit for this move. Top Congress leaders are even challenging all other opposition parties to come up with such a bold move.