Why the ri­vals are watch­ing Akhilesh...

Be­cause the poll prospects of the three other play­ers will be de­ter­mined by the out­come of the SP’s in­ter­nal feud

India Today - - NATION -

...if Akhilesh gains ab­so­lute con­trol of SP Will be un­der pres­sure to an­nounce a CM face to counter Akhilesh, who is pop­u­lar among youth. Apart from its core sup­port of up­per castes, which is 16 per cent of the to­tal pop­u­la­tion, the BJP is also eye­ing the OBCs, es­pe­cially Kur­mis, who make up 7.5 per cent of the back­ward pop­u­la­tion. Akhilesh has al­ready in­stalled a Kurmi as state SP pres­i­dent Mus­lims, who com­prise 19.3 per cent of the to­tal pop­u­la­tion, will tilt to­wards SP, de­rail­ing Mayawati’s dream of win­ning on the strength of a Dalit-Mus­lim com­bi­na­tion Akhilesh favours an al­liance with Congress as both par­ties stand to gain. Mus­lims will stand be­hind the al­liance while Congress is hop­ing to cause a dent in the BSP’s Dalit sup­port ...if the SP splits Will hope to cut into SP’s core sup­port of back­ward votes, who are 44 per cent of the to­tal pop­u­la­tion. It could lead to a bi­lat­eral fight with the up­per castes and a sec­tion of the OBCs sid­ing with the BJP, and the Mus­lims and Dal­its back­ing BSP Will emerge as a for­mi­da­ble ri­val to the BJP with Mus­lim sup­port and its core vote bank of Dal­its, who con­sti­tute 21 per cent of the pop­u­la­tion Even if it forms an al­liance with the Akhilesh fac­tion of the SP, the Mus­lims are un­likely to back them. With the pos­si­bil­ity of a win di­min­ish­ing, even the Dal­its are un­likely to ex­tend sup­port

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