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Poll position: In UP, BJP rues exchanging seats with allies as SP makes gains

Ruling party orders review in 28 of 31 such constituencies where Oppn party’s vote share rose

Written by Lalmani Verma | Lucknow |
March 15, 2022 9:38:28 pm
UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath during a celebration after his victory in UP Assembly polls at the party office, in Lucknow, Thursday, March 10, 2022. (PTI)

In the recently concluded Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, the Samajwadi Party (SP) registered a significant increase in vote share in 28 of the 31 constituencies that the BJP exchanged with its allies Apna Dal (Sonelal) and Nishad Party. The ruling alliance had won 24 of these constituencies in 2017 but this time its tally declined to 21.

While in 15 of these seats, the ruling party and its allies saw their vote share decline compared to the 2017 polls, the SP’s gains eclipsed any increase in the rest.

With the strategy of handing over winning seats to its allies backfiring as the Opposition party made gains, sources said the state BJP had started a review of the alliance’s performance in these constituencies as preliminary findings revealed that the transfer of votes between the ruling party and its allies was lower than expected.

“The party is taking a report from all the regional and district units about the seats where the BJP and our allies lost the election or won with a narrow margin. We are very concerned about such seats where either vote share came down or the Opposition displayed a significant rise,” said a BJP leader.

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The official also pointed out that the ruling party did not receive the desired number of votes from Other Backward Class (OBC) communities such as Pal, Saini, Maurya, Kushwaha and Patel. “It was a major factor in the defeat of Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya in Sirathu where the SP’s Pallavi Patel — a political novice — won,” the leader added.

Another BJP leader claimed that the polarisation of Muslims and Yadavs in favour of the SP played a significant role in the increase in the SP’s vote share.

Apna Dal (S)

Data shows that of the 11 seats that the BJP had contested in 2017 but went to the Apna Dal (S) this time, the ruling alliance’s vote share declined in eight constituencies. The BJP had won 10 of these seats in 2017 while the Apna Dal managed to win eight this time.

The SP’s vote share increased in nine of these 11 constituencies while its ally Apna Dal (Kamerawadi) made gains in one.

The ruling party had bagged the Chail constituency in Kaushambi district in 2017 with a vote share of 42.43 per cent. The vote share of the Apna Dal (S) this time plummeted to 33.76 per cent. In the 2017 election, the Congress, the SP’s ally at the time, had contested Chail but secured only 22.57 per cent of the votes. The Akhilesh Yadav-led party won this time with its vote share soaring to 39.65 per cent.

Among the BJP-held seats that the Apna Dal (S) managed to retain, but where it saw its vote share decline compared to the ruling party are Ghatampur (SC reserved seat in Kanpur Nagar district), Bindki (Fatehpur district), Bachhrawan (SC-reserved seat in Raebareli district).

Ghatampur: The BJP won this seat in 2017 with 49 per cent votes while the Congress came second with 21.4 per cent votes. This time, the Apna Dal (S) bagged it with 41.6 per cent votes while the SP’s vote share was 34.23 per cent.

Bindki: In 2017, the BJP won Bindki with 53.89 per cent votes, while this time the vote share of the Apna Dal (S) came down to 41.96 per cent. The SP managed to increase its vote share at the expense of the BJP ally as its vote share rose from 22.89 per cent in 2017 to 38.97 per cent.

Bachhrawan: The pattern repeated itself in Bachhrawan that the BJP had won with 44.54 per cent votes in 2017. This time, the Apna Dal (S) won with 30 per cent votes, with a major chunk of the votes swinging towards the SP, which got 31.38 per cent votes. In comparison, the Congress had come second in 2017 with 22 per cent votes.


Nishad Party

The Nishad Party won four of the nine seats it contested this time. It improved the 2017 tally of the BJP that had contested eight of these constituencies, winning five. The Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP), the saffron party’s then ally, fought one of these seats but lost.

However, according to the data, the Nishad Party’s winning vote share was lower than the BJP’s in the constituencies of Menhdawal (Sant Kabir Nagar district) and Majhawan (Mirzapur district). The SP, meanwhile, managed to make gains in eight of these nine constituencies.

The Nishad Party lost the seats of Kalpi (Jalaun district) and Katehari (Ambedkar Nagar district) to the SP this time but managed to win Nautanwa (Maharajganj district).

Kalpi: The BJP had won Kalpi in 2017 with 46.7 per cent votes but this time the Nishad Party managed to secure only 28.29 per cent votes. The SP bagged it with a 29.48 per cent vote share.

Katehari: The BSP’s Lalji Verma won this seat in 2017 with 36.33 per cent while the BJP got 33.63 per cent votes. The Nishad Party, which was not a BJP ally at the time, got 8 per cent, and the SP received 19.61 per cent of the votes. The Akhilesh Yadav-led party fielded Verma this time, and won the constituency with a 37.78 per cent vote share while the Nishad Party got 34.67 per cent votes.

Nautanwa: The Nishad Party won the constituency with 40 per cent votes in 2022, improving on the BJP’s vote share of 21.31 per cent five years earlier. An Independent candidate had won the seat in 2017. The SP, meanwhile, improved its vote share from 22.42 per cent in 2017 to 33.23 per cent.

Where the BJP won but vote share fell

The Apna Dal (S) had won the constituencies of Jahanabad (Fatehpur district) and Sevapuri (Varanasi) in 2017 with vote shares of 45.18 per cent and 50.48 per cent respectively. The BJP won both these constituencies but its vote shares were 41.21 per cent in Jahanabad and 47.6 per cent in Sevapuri.

The SP made gains in both the constituencies, with its vote share increasing from 18.77 per cent to 31.66 per cent in Jahanabad, and from 26.47 per cent to 37.41 per cent in Sevapuri.


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