It was Reverse Consolidation of Votes That Helped BJP Cut Through SP-BSP's Caste Arithmetic in UP

It was Reverse Consolidation of Votes That Helped BJP Cut Through SP-BSP's Caste Arithmetic in UP

An analysis shows that SP-BSP alliance won only those seats in Uttar Pradesh where the population of their core voters—Muslims and Scheduled Castes—together cross the mark of 50 per cent or more.

Akash Gulankar
  • News18.com
  • Last Updated: June 17, 2019, 2:20 PM IST
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New Delhi: With the BJP winning 62 out of 80 seats in Uttar Pradesh, a News18.com analysis has found out that caste arithmetic in the state — a go-to formula to win elections in the Hindi heartland — has taken a backseat against Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) nationalism and Hindu identity. Sample this: almost every second voter in the state voted for the saffron party. The BJP bagged almost half (49.56) of the total votes polled in the state, while the SP-BSP-RLD alliance could manage only 38.9 per cent votes.

The most startling finding, however, is that mahagathbandhan won only those seats where the population of their core voters—Muslims and Scheduled Castes—together cross the mark of 50 per cent or more. Thus, making it clear that the reverse consolidation of non-Muslim and non-SC voters turned out to be stronger than that of the core SP-BSP voters in the state.

The average vote share of SP-BSP is 39.77 per cent on 78 seats. They did not contest from the two Congress bastions, Amethi and Raebareli.

Uttar Pradesh has 28 constituencies, where the Muslim population is more than 20 per cent. Out of these, mahagathbandhan could only win eight – Amroha, Bijnor, Moradabad, Nagina, Rampur, Saharanpur, Sambhal, and Shrawasti. The BJP, on the other hand, swept other 20 seats with Muslim population of more than 20 per cent, which indicates the strong consolidation of non-Muslim votes in these constituencies.

It also depicts how religion politics has overtaken the caste arithmetic in many of these constituencies and how non-Muslim consolidation has helped BJP gain more in each of these seats.

On the contrary, in constituencies that have Muslim population of more than 40 per cent, mahagathbandhan did very well. These seats include Moradabad, Nagina, Rampur, Saharanpur, and Sambhal. All these seats were won by the SP-BSP combination with good margins. However, Saharanpur was a tough contest for BSP candidate Haji Fazlur Rehman who won with the margin of mere 1.82 per cent votes. He had locked horns with BJP candidate Raghav Lakhanpal. Here, Congress also fielded a Muslim candidate – Imran Masood – who bagged around two Lakh votes, making the fight a little tough fight for Rehman.

Shrawasti was another tough fight for the mahagathbandhan where BSP candidate Ram Shiromani won by a margin of mere 5,320 votes against BJP candidate Daddan Mishra. The constituency houses 30 to 35 per cent Muslims and 16.64 per cent SC population.

Similarly, the constituencies where the Muslim population is less but the SC population is more than 20 per cent, also helped MGB rise above BJP candidates. These seats include Ghazipur, Ghosi, Jaunpur and Lalganj.

In Ghazipur, where SC and Muslims together form 28.2 per cent of the population, BSP candidate Afzal Ansari defeated Manoj Sinha of BJP with a margin of 10.8 per cent votes. Ansari got 5,66,082 votes, while Sinha managed to fetch 4,46,490 votes only.

Atul Kumar Singh of BSP won Ghosi. He contested against BJP candidate Harinarayan. The constituency has 15 to 20 per cent Muslim population, while the SCs form about 21.38 per cent of the total population. Also, a sizable population of Yadavs helped Atul Kumar garner extra votes than his opponent.

Shyam Singh Yadav fielded by BSP won with a margin of 7.78 per cent in Jaunpur. He defeated Krishna Pratap Singh who was fielded by BJP. Jaunpur has 20.38 per cent SC voters and about 10 to 15 per cent Muslims. In Lalganj, BSP candidate Sangeeta Azad won against BJP’s Neelam Sonker with a good margin of 16.82 per cent votes. The constituency consists of 25.75 per cent SC population and about 10 to 15 per cent Muslims.

Mainpuri and Azamgarh – the bastions of Yadav family –were also won easily by the Yadav Father-Son duo. Akhilesh won the seat of Azamgarh with the margin of 25.25 per cent votes against Bhojpuri actor Dinesh Lal Yadav who was fielded by BJP. On the other hand, Mulayam Singh Yadav won in Mainpuri with 9.66 per cent vote margin against BJP candidate Prem Singh Shakya.

These numbers also indicate that BJP was successful in mobilising the non-Yadav OBC votes in the constituencies which had a major chunk of Yadav votes to be gained by mahagathbandhan candidates. Along with that saffron party also consolidated non-Jatav SC voters which helped BJP gain extra votes to win a few of the seats in the state.

The BJP successfully consolidated Non-Yadav and non-Dalit votes in Badaun and Kannauj, the seats won by BJP with a very small margins. Dr Sanghmitra Maurya fielded by BJP won with 5,11,352 votes while the runner up, SP candidate Dharmendra Yadav, bagged 4,92,898 votes. Here, Congress candidate Saleem Sherwani won more than the margin of victory which could have swayed the result in BJP’s favour.

In Kannauj, the victory margin of BJP is just 1.08 per cent. Subrat Pathak fielded by BJP won against Dimple Yadav, wife of SP president Akhilesh Yadav. Here, the core SP-BSP voters were outnumbered by upper caste and most backward caste (MBC) votes which led to the defeat of SP candidate.

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