The BJP has been closely following the developments in the Samajwadi party (SP) for the past few months is now worried about a resurgent SP under Akhilesh Yadav. BJP old timers believe that with his appointment as the SP national President, Akhilesh has now control of the entire party officially. The various MPs, MLAs, MLCs and other office bearers already supported him and uncle Ram Gopal Yadav and the national convention on the 1st only cemented his position in the party.
Akhilesh has cleverly played his cards. He has always been able to show that it was his father, uncles and senior SP members like Azam Khan who managed to overrule him in the UP government. However, if there was any good announcement, the credit would always go to him. He has turned out to be a wily politician and has outfoxed everyone in the perception game.
BJP insiders also believe that no faction will go to the extent of getting the cycle symbol frozen. There will surely be a rapprochement between the two factions. Shivpal Yadav is not a mass leader and hence he is sure to be sent out of UP politics to pacify the Akhilesh faction. The SP knows that Akhilesh is their best chance at this election. Also, a coalition with the SP and the RLD is sure to strengthen the SP and will give the BJP a tough fight. Also, it will surely get a bug chunk of the Muslim votebase.
The BJP wants a three cornered fight with the SP and the BSP as a straight fight with the BSP would mean a huge chunk of the Muslims and fence sitting OBCs will side with the BSP and this is bound to defeat the BJP. Also, the BJP had received a huge chunk of votes from the SCs/ STs which are traditional voters of the BSP, and may desert the BJP easily. Many other smaller castes that had voted for the BJP may also desert them if they see the BJP on a weaker wicket. Another challenge that the BJP has is that they do not have a Chief Ministerial candidate, which may actually tip the scales in favour of the party with a strong candidate.