With around six months left for the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, it is a new generation of leaders that is preparing to lead the political campaign, paving the way for a new look politics in the state.
Leading from the front is Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra who faces the uphill task of reviving a near defunct party. Priyanka will not contest the Assembly elections but there is no doubt that she will design an aggressive campaign for her party.
Under her leadership the Congress will try to catch the proverbial bull by its horns and her direct and aggressive style of campaigning is bound to unnerve her opponents to an extent.
Another new generation politician who will be leading his party into the electoral arena is Jayant Chaudhary, president of the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD).
For Jayant, this is his first independent election when he will not have the guidance of his father, Chaudhary Ajit Singh, who succumbed to Covid in May this year.
The scales, however, are tipping in his favour because of his proactive role in the ongoing farmers’ agitation and the overwhelming support that he has been receiving from his Jat community.
Aditya Yadav, son of Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Shivpal Singh Yadav, will be contesting his maiden election in 2022 though his choice of constituency is not yet decided.
Aditya was scheduled to debut in electoral politics in 2017 but the family feud that almost split the Samajwadi Party vertically, made him put off his plans.
A quiet and unobtrusive leader, Aditya has been learning organisational skills form his father Shivpal Yadav and is his most trusted backroom boy.
The 34-year-old Dalit activist has already plunged headlong into the campaign and his cycle yatras are criss-crossing the state these days.
Chandra Shekhar’s aides say that he may not contest the elections this time but will ensure that his party gets ample Dalit support — a move that could be directly detrimental to the interests of the Bahujan Samaj Party.
While the BJP will also be fielding several new candidates, (including sons and daughters of senior leaders) after replacing sitting legislators, the party is apparently not worried about the onslaught of young leaders from other parties.
“New faces cannot bring a change. The BJP has been working on the ground and people know what our governments have done for them. These new faces can grab eyeballs but not votes,” said state BJP vice president Vijay Bahadur Pathak.
SP spokesperson Juhie Singh, however, said the change was an ongoing process and with the entry of new faces, new leaders would bring a change in the political scenario.