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Shifting of BSP votes helped, allies failed to transfer support: BJP’s report to PM Modi on UP polls

While the BJP had re-captured the state comfortably, its tally had come down from 2017, with the Samajwadi Party-RLD alliance making gains.

Written by Lalmani Verma | Lucknow |
Updated: April 23, 2022 8:04:29 am
The “polarisation” of the Muslim community in the SP's favour was also identified as one of the reasons for loss of some seats.

The Uttar Pradesh unit of the BJP has sent a detailed report to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the party’s performance in the recent Assembly polls, identifying “shifting of votes from the BSP” and “floating votes” as the primary reasons that helped the party win the election. It also says the OBC votes moving away and allies’ votes not transferring to the BJP were the reasons its numbers declined.

While the BJP had re-captured the state comfortably, its tally had come down from 2017, with the Samajwadi Party-RLD alliance making gains.

According to sources in the party, the report — that is around 80 pages — has been sent in response to a query from the Prime Minister’s Office. It details the factors that helped the BJP and its allies Apna Dal (S) and NISHAD Party win 273 seats, and the reasons they lost the constituencies they did to the Opposition, breaking down the findings phase-wise.

Sources said that as per the report, the major caste bases of its allies Apna Dal (the Kurmis) and NISHAD (the Nishads) did not support the BJP, even as the BJP’s vote bank shifted to them – indicated in the fact that their numbers increased from 2017, unlike the BJP’s. Sources said the lack of support from these castes was identified as a major factor in the defeat of Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya from Sirathu constituency.

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Various OBC castes like Kushwaha, Maurya, Saini, Kurmi, Nishad, Pal, Shakya, Rajbhar largely did not vote for the BJP and instead shifted to the SP alliance, the report apparently says. In 2017, these castes had supported the BJP.

The “polarisation” of the Muslim community in the SP’s favour was also identified as one of the reasons for loss of some seats.

Sources said the party leadership is concerned over the fact that its seats decreased from 2017 despite the two-month-long membership drive it held ahead of the 2022 polls. In the special drive, the BJP claimed to have added around 80 lakh new members in the state, taking its total registered members to 2.9 crore. In the membership drive held in 2019, in comparison, the party had added 30 lakh new members in the state.

The BJP has also looked closely at how the estimated 9 crore-odd beneficiaries of various government schemes voted. “It was found that a majority did not support the BJP politically though they praised the NDA’s welfare schemes,” said a leader.

The BJP performed the worst in Ghazipur, Ambedkar Nagar and Azamgarh districts. Of the 22 seats in these three districts, it failed to win even one. While the SP swept all the seats in Azamgarh and Ambedkar Nagar, it won five out of Ghazipur’s seven constituencies, with its ally Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party picking the remaining two.

In 2017, the BJP alliance had won eight seats in these districts.

Sources said the BJP has also looked closely at why the SP alliance got more postal votes than it in at least 311 seats. Out of the nearly 4.42 lakh postal votes in all, the SP alliance got 2.25 lakh votes, and the BJP and partners 1.48 lakh.

The SP had touted its promise of restoring the old age pension scheme, as demanded by government workers, as the reason for this. A senior BJP functionary said this seemed to be correct. “Even officers posted in several districts appeared to be supporting the Opposition in the early phases of the polls. All that has been included in the report.”

A BJP leader said: “A copy of the report has also been sent to party national president (J P Nadda). The report will help the party central leadership draw the strategy for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi will seek a third consecutive term..”

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