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AAP factor will play out in UP: Akhilesh Yadav

NEW DELHI(PTI): Fiery Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Mohd Azam Khan was one of the earliest birds when it came to congratulating Arvind Kejriwal on AAP’s landslide victory. His written statement in quite some detail was released to the media just when it had started appearing that AAP’s victory march would now be impossible to stop for the BJP. It were as if the Muslim face of the SP had written out his script even before the counting started!

Azam’s statement may be predictable. But it says a lot about the way the decisive Delhi verdict – as of now – promises to impact the 2017 UP Assembly election. The AAP victory has certainly put the first definitive strokes on the political canvas of UP which is already on the easel.

“It might be too early to say anything,” reflects senior political analyst Pradeep Kapoor. “But one thing is sure. It wouldn’t take long for the Delhi effect to travel across the border into UP.” But the biggest hurdle AAP would face here, he feels, is finding candidates for all 403 seats and campaigners to cover a huge state like UP.

The battle already seems to have started at the political level. “BJP and Modi have got a good beating in Delhi. That’s very good news for us. But they will get the real taste of defeat next at the hands of the Samajwadi Party in UP,” a visibly chuffed UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav exulted at a public meeting in Bulandshahr on Tuesday.

UP BJP spokesperson Hriday Narain Dixit, however, held fort for the saffron brigade as he said: “Not too much should be read into the Delhi results. Media always seems to be in a hurry to pronounce judgments. There’s a huge difference in Delhi and UP.”

Point taken. But while the BJP looks for excuses and ducks for cover, AAP would be ready and only too willing to march its ‘aam aadmi’ troops into UP soon. SP and BSP beware. Congress? No one’s even asking that question!