6 ways Modi's demonetisation masterstroke has broken BSP, SP's back before UP elections

Ever since the union government announced the decision of scrapping Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes, political activities in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh have been affected badly due to disrupted cash flow.

It is expected that demonetization will be Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) key card for the UP polls, since the party claims that this ‘historic’ decision will help the country curb corruption as well as keep a check on the black money.

Here are six activities within the party that show SP and BSP are in for a difficult election season:

All campaign schedule derailed

The demonetization decision has affected the ruling Samajwadi Party and the Opposition Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) so much that both these parties had to either cancel or defer their scheduled programmes.

BJP is winning the perception game
With regional parties worried over the demonetization move, the BJP in contrast feels that the move to scrap Rs 500 and 1000 notes has helped the political discourse change in its favour on black money, and is claiming a positive feedback from people.

Cash liquid for ‘ticket confirmation’ wasted

InUth sources say that the political leaders who were expecting tickets from the parties had already made arrangements for ‘cash liquidity’ for their election campaigning as well as for their ‘ticket confirmation’. Political leaders, cutting across party lines, on condition of anonymity have admitted that the demonetization would have an adverse impact on the elections and campaigning.

Parties have apparently been stashing up black money for election expenses, which they obviously can’t use now. The losses will be huge but no one is ready to comment on it. A Samajwadi Party leader said that it is a gospel truth that the elections cannot be contested on the strength of white money alone.

Jan Dhan bank account being used

A member of the BSP member said that since 9 November cash is being distributed to the cadre, who will get the cash deposited in Jan Dhan bank accounts, which will be later on used in the elections.

Low key celebrations of Mulayam Singh’s birthday

The impact is so much that CM Akhilesh Yadav and his team are now reworking the dates for a second leg of the ‘Vikas Rath Yatra’. The birthday celebrations of SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav are also expected to be low-key.

Cash crunch for grassroot level campaigning, focus on social media

Talking of the BSP, there’s so much shortage of fund that this time the party is ditching its traditional level of grassroot level campaigning and is eyeing to create an impact via the use of social media.

“The BSP has always believed in ‘providing funds’ on the ground level to the cadre and public, however, this time emphasis will be on social media for creating an impact,” said a BSP functionary.

According to sources, some of the BSP rallies would be axed and replaced by more door-to-door and social media campaigning.

How important is cash for elections?

The importance of cash in elections can be derived from the fact that around Rs 1,039 crore of the total collections by parties over the past three General elections was made in cash.

According to a report by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), the political parties declared collecting Rs 2,356 crore during the three parliamentary elections. Of this, Rs 1,039 crore was in cash and the remaining was by cheque.