Shankkar Aiyar, Visiting Fellow at IDFC Institute, puts Uttar Pradesh and its upcoming state elections into the perspective of the larger India story. Excerpts below:
"A victory for the front led by Akhilesh Yadav could provide a face to renew the ideas of National Front, United Front or a new avatar of old algebraic equations. It could sustain, on the margins, the relevance of the Congress. It could also foment the revival of the rejected, the consolidation of anti-BJP parties and a resurrection of the index of opposition unity. But more importantly, the 2017 elections matter because Uttar Pradesh is critical to the India Story. Uttar Pradesh is a crucible of hope and despair. It mirrors the distance between promise and performance; between what could be and what is; between Bharat and India. Every challenge that restrains Bharat, and therefore India, is reflected in the data set on Uttar Pradesh – poverty, a flailing model of agriculture, the broken system of education, security, urbanisation et al. In 1960, seventeen districts of U.P. were on the worst districts national list. In 2016, sixteen of them continued to be on it. The magnitude of its challenge and the opportunity for transformation is reflected in its scale."
Read the whole article on BloombergQuint here.