2022 elections: Will covid pandemic going to impact Yogi in elections?

It was one of the funniest movements of my graduation days. Just before my chemistry viva, the attendant offered tea to the professor. The professor became very upset after having that pathetic tea & as I was next for the viva, I have to bear the brunt of that bad tea. On that day, I learned something new- The importance of recent event on the results. We call it Recency Effect in Psychology.

There are several historical examples in electoral history suggesting that recent event have the biggest impact on election results. Party in office losing elections due to sudden rise in onion prices or Congress sweeping 1989 general elections due to of sympathy because of killing of former PM Rajiv Gandhi or Donald trump losing elections because of poor handling of Covid pandemic in election year despite doing wonderfully well for America for three years.

The question is, will Yogi Adityanath government can overcome the impact of covid on elections results or will it be able to convince people that they did good work in the covid pandemic? At present, situation doesn’t look convincing for his government despite UP being in far better position compared to other Indian states, but we will discuss it later. The results of Panchayat elections were not in favour of BJP & perceived as a major concern for Yogi government. But will Panchayat election results have any say in assembly elections. Panchayat election results can be misleading because it’s fought on personal relationship & electorate don’t have any political loyalty while voting.

Oppositions & few members of his own party are questioning Yogi government for mismanaging the covid pandemic. The question here is that Did UP really mismanaged Covid pandemic? But the hard data are telling a different story

  • As on 31st May, UP infections are just 30% of Maharashtra whereas UP population is more than double of Maharashtra.
  • As on 31st May, UP active infections are just 12% of active infections of Karnataka.
  • As on 31st May, Infections per million population is lowest in UP.
  • UP managed to control infections despite not imposing lock down for very long periods. In last five months, UP was lockdown only in May whereas Maharashtra is in lockdown since April first week.
  • UP was the first state to transfer money directly to the account of workers.
  • Despite being the national capital & best health infrastructure in country, Delhi struggled for medical oxygen whereas barring few locations, UP managed to provide oxygen to the needy one.
  • While other states are struggling with the pace of vaccination, UP is at second position & has administered nearly two crore doses.

It’s no secret that UP has poor health infrastructure but despite that they managed pandemic better than others. In terms of active cases, UP is now at 9th position. So why media, opposition parties, pseudo secular are trying to create a perception as if UP machinery has collapsed in handling covid pandemic? It’s because there is election next year. It’s important to note here that few states levied new taxes to fight the pandemic, but UP government refrained from burdening the people.

While Chief Ministers of many states never came out of their ivory towers to understand the suffering of people in covid pandemic, Yogi remains an exception as he ensured travelling across the state to personally monitor the work for control of covid pandemic. Very few will know that he stepped out his home & extensively toured the state just a day after getting cured of Covid-19. In only May month, UP managed to bring the active cases from the high of 3 lacs to just 37K.

During wave 1, UP government successfully handled migrant crisis & also managed to safely bring back student to the hometown from other states. UP is the first state which has started planning for the third wave. The work for setting up pediatric beds have already begun in the districts. Covid pandemic has exposed our medical infrastructure & while hospitals, ventilators, oxygen can be created or manufactured in few days, its scarcity of doctors, nurses that has hurted the country most in this fight. Very few will know & opposition parties will never tell you that UP government under the leadership of Yogi Adityanath is the only state that is planning to open Medical College in each of its 75 districts. 8 has been already approved & work has started on four medical colleges. If all goes well, UP will be providing largest numbers of doctors in 10 or 15 years.

The state of UP witnessed tremendous growth in last four years in ever field. There are huge improvements in law & Order, investments, Infrastructure (roads are getting completed six to eight months in advance), Tourism, Electricity, Education etc.

The question here is why UP government is in interrogation despite doing exceedingly well compared to other developed states like Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala or Tamilnadu, because there is an elections next year in UP & everyone want to build their own story that can help them in winning elections.

But Yogi real fight is within his own party & people anguish over central government policies. His rise has been seen by many as competition to national leadership. The rise in petrol, LPG & essential food prices which are the result of central government policies can be the second biggest concern of the voters. Yogi government did very well & must be appreciated because people of Uttar Pradesh suffered less losses compared to other states but Electorates are going through an emotional crisis because of pandemic & it will be surely having impact on elections results if gets prolonged for next few months. Yogi must be wise not to overlook the second biggest concern of the voters & should plan accordingly. So, what should be the strategy of Yogi in upcoming 2022 UP elections. It’s an interesting analysis & we will discuss it next time.

Yogi journey of becoming the potential successor of Prime Minister in just few years is because of his ability to successfully produce electoral appeal across different regions of the country, to transform UP into a progressive state. To know more, you can read my earlier blog on Yogi Adityanath leadership.

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