Lucknow: What’s in a name? had asked Shakespeare and himself answered centuries ago. Everything, going by the current trend. Taking a leaf from him, the present-day politicians in Uttar Pradesh ask, what’s in a number? This question is being asked in the context of the claim made by leader of each of the three top political players in the state of winning 300 seats.
A start in this regard was made by young state chief minister Akhilesh Yadav. He had claimed much before other players that in the company of the Congress his party would get more than 300 seats.
It was directed against his critics who were opposed to the pre-poll alliance with the grand old party because in their opinion it was a “sinking ship”. It will work more in favour of the Congress than the SP, they had feared.
It was followed- up by one -woman party, Bahujan Samaj Party. At a rally in the western part of the state, she had told the crowd, consisting mainly of Dalits and Muslims that her party will bag 300 seats in the current assembly elections.
Possibly, she blurted out this number to tell the Muslim voters that they should not vote for the Samajwadi Party because it does not pose any challenge to the BJP and that only the BSP can make the saffron brigade surrender.
Her entire this year’s election plan is based on Muslim support. If the gamble does not pay off she will suffer heavily, for, it will be her second defeat in a row, after losing assembly election to the SP in 2012 she was routed by the BJP in Lok Sabha polls.
This is understandable. But the number game was not over with her counter-claim. The third major player the Bharatiya Janata Party which largely depends on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s magic found it too much to bear.
Not ready to accept defeat in the number game too, party president, Amit Shah, also claimed victory on 300 seats. He gave this number in an interview on Friday.
The state assembly has 403 seats. Clearly, all the three cannot win 300 seats. The question which crops up in this light is, is it being mentioned because it’s auspicious?
Another question: who will win 300 or over 300 seats? In a tight triangular contest any guess is hazardous. Why have they made these claims then? Has this number got something to do with two-thirds majority? None has answered this question so far. The number mystery, thus, continues.