Simply Put: Rainbow coalition is the key in Uttar Pradesh

Two, Muslim votes have stayed with the Samajwadi Party-Congress — 17 of the SP’s 47 winners, and 2 of the Congress’s 7, are Muslim.

Written by Shyamlal Yadav | Updated: March 12, 2017 10:49 am
uttar pradesh, uttar pradesh elections, bjp, UP election results, narendra modi, samajwadi party, congress, india news New Delhi: BJP President Amit Shah being welcomed with flower petals as he arrives at the party headquarters after party’s win in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand Assembly elections, in New Delhi on Saturday. PTI Photo

UTTAR PRADESH: 403 seats, BJP majority

Key takeaways

The BJP’s social inclusiveness project has worked. It appointed Keshav Maurya, a leader of the Other Backward Classes, as state president and gave 135 tickets to OBCs, including 15 to Jat candidates. The strategy has given even better dividends than it did in 1991, when it was tried under Kalyan Singh’s leadership, and delivered 221 out of 425 seats to the BJP. Several castes who have been traditionally poorly represented in the political system have voted for the BJP wholeheartedly this time — it has clearly broken out of its Brahmin-Bania- and urban-centric party image.

Two, Muslim votes have stayed with the Samajwadi Party-Congress — 17 of the SP’s 47 winners, and 2 of the Congress’s 7, are Muslim. Five of the BSP’s 19 MLAs are Muslim; however, Mayawati had fielded as many as 105 Muslim candidates.

Three, on the evidence of this verdict, it can be said that caste arithmetic and social engineering work better than development. Going against the wishes of local and RSS leaders, BJP president Amit Shah fielded more than 160 candidates who had switched from other parties over the years. If he wagered that these candidates’ caste votes would add to the BJP’s core votes, he has been proven right.

Four, the results hold a message for the BJP’s ideological fountainhead, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). The distribution of tickets annoyed several senior leaders of the Sangh in UP, and leaders like Krishna Gopal, Dattatreya Hosabale and Ramlal faced resistance from RSS cadres, which manifested in a lack of enthusiasm in the campaign at several places. The results have shown that Amit Shah probably understands winnability better than the Sangh and state BJP old guard.

Five, the results show that even in UP, Assembly elections can be won without a local face in front. The BJP had failed to get a majority under Kalyan Singh, Rajnath Singh and Kalraj Mishra — in 2017, a “faceless” BJP has got one of the most emphatic mandates in Indian electoral history.

Illustration: Illustration: C R Sasikumar

The big loser

BSP: It is clear that the BSP has been reduced again to being only a Dalit party. The BSP has got 22.2% votes, against a Dalit population of around 21% in the state. Despite all Mayawati’s efforts, Muslims do not appear to have voted for it. The party’s 19 wins include only 2 SC seats. The Dalit movement started by the late Kanshi Ram seems to be at a crossroads in UP.

SP-Congress: While SP’s 46 wins and one lead include 12 Yadavs, the party has lost in several Yadav strongholds, showing that very few communities other than Yadavs and Muslims voted for it. At a majority of seats that the Congress contested, the Yadav vote was not transferred to it. That would seem logical — Yadavs (and Jats) have traditionally been anti-Congress, first under the leadership of Chaudhary Charan Singh and then under Mulayam Singh Yadav. The BJP seems to have got Yadav support in many districts — clearly, the association with the Congress has cost the SP heavily. Over the last two years, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav was trying to project himself as a leader with an appeal beyond just Yadavs; it would appear from these results that he ended up losing even his own constituency that his father had built up. Akhilesh has clearly missed the opportunity to take his party to several OBCs whose conditions are sometimes worse than that of even Dalits.

National message

The SP and BSP being largely confined to the state, the biggest message from the election in the national context is for the Congress. Facing one defeat after another since 1989, it is now almost irrelevant in UP. It has no workers, no leaders. All its leaders from the state who were in the central government during the 10 years of the UPA government — Salman Khurshid, Sriprakash Jaiswal, RPN Singh, Rajiv Shukla — have neither credibility nor impact left. For UP as well as the Centre, the Congress’s old-style politics under Rahul Gandhi has virtually no hope against the relentless political machine of Narendra Modi and Amit Shah’s BJP. It must find credible leaders and a credible agenda before it can hope for any kind of revival — for Lok Sabha 2019 or later.

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  1. S
    Shailendra sapra
    Mar 15, 2017 at 12:51 am
    Congress is synonymous with corruption. Why does Congress have to find relevance? It should be folded up and its cadres should find space under different parties.
    Reply
  2. A
    Ali Raza
    Mar 14, 2017 at 6:27 am
    It is impossible for many Yadav and Muslim intellectuals to open their eyes to anything other than caste and religion because that is all they have ever thought about.
    Reply
  3. A
    Arun
    Mar 12, 2017 at 12:41 pm
    Exactly! It is this "Vikas ki Rajneeti" and not Vikas itself that has got BJP this huge mandate in UP.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Kindly share some of the achievements that have impacted the common man's life?
    Reply
  4. H
    harun
    Mar 12, 2017 at 8:39 am
    Mahender is right.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Its clear that Devlopment has done the job not caste or community.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Why does the author not look at the economic picture since 2014.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;I crore jobs a year ,you dont find youth wandering around aimless,so many jobs on Offer and none to take it.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;If at all a few are unemplo they are being trained under skill India to be self emplo and in 2 years 75 Million have been trained.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;You have over 200 such Skill India centres in UP alone and all funded by the Modi Govt.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;On Agrarian economy the Farmers never had it this good,121/acre as compensation for crop loss,The MSP has been revised by 50% as promised by PM IN 2014.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Its the houses ,Millions of them which were built in UP by the PM for the poor ,which saw them vote so decisively.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Yes its no caste or community ,its all Vikas Vikas and Vikas the sure way to winning a election
    Reply
  5. H
    harun
    Mar 12, 2017 at 10:14 am
    You are only belittling the devlopmental work done in 30 months by PM.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;You are plain ignorant or a Congressi.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Its this work (Vikas) ki ragneeti which has got a huge mandate for the BJP.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;All these achievements have been spoken about at lenght by the PM and his Ministers
    Reply
  6. L
    Lannister
    Mar 14, 2017 at 3:15 pm
    Now, it's time for Modi government to go for Ram Mandir in Ayodhya and to impose uniform civil code for Muslims.....Jai Hind.
    Reply
  7. S
    Shridhar Shettigar
    Mar 12, 2017 at 9:27 am
    Sarcasm at its best...
    Reply
  8. M
    Mahender Goriganti
    Mar 12, 2017 at 3:27 am
    False umptions and theories. Only one thing is certain that people are moving away from cast, communal and regional politics as the results show that only BJP and congress have survived and all the other so called secular parties (factually regional, communal and cast parties) died for good. 2. People now are thinking in terms of development and and a national plank than regional calls. as they are talking about "we Indians" not I this and that so and so.
    Reply
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