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Thursday, May 19, 2022

Yogi creates history for BJP as Congress, BSP flunk poll math

Yogi Adityanath is the first ever chief minister in the history of Uttar Pradesh's electoral politics to win a consecutive term for his party after completing full five years in office.

Written by Shyamlal Yadav | New Delhi |
March 11, 2022 3:10:10 am
At the AICC office in New Delhi on Thursday. (Anil Sharma)

Yogi Adityanath is the first ever chief minister in the history of Uttar Pradesh’s electoral politics to win a consecutive term for his party after completing full five years in office.

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Though the Congress-led governments had repeated themselves in the past but no chief minister got it after full term as the party replaced them before the elections — GB Pant was replaced by Dr Sampurnanand in 1957; CB Gupta replaced Dr Sampurnanand in 1962; HN Bahuguna took the baton from Kamlapati Tripathi after a brief period of President’s rule in 1974; and ND Tewari replaced Sripati Mishra in 1985. Two of the Yogi’s predecessors Akhilesh Yadav (SP, 2012-17) and Mayawati (BSP, 2007-12) had also completed their full tenuresas chief ministers, but they couldn’t bring their respective parties to power again. Mayawati was the first chief minister in the state to have completed full term.


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It looks plausible that a certain percentage of BSP votes shifted towards the BJP that bagged 41.45 per cent votes — highest ever vote share for a political party in the Assembly polls since 1993.

The slide of the Congress continued as it has got only two seats with its vote share (2.33 per cent) remained lower than even the Rashtriya Lok Dal (2.87 per cent). The party (Congress) had bagged 6.25 per cent votes in 2017, 11.63 per cent in 2012, 8.61 per cent in 2007, 8.96 per cent in 2002, 8.30 per cent in 1996, and 15.08 per cent in 1993. The Congress fought the 2022 assembly polls under the leadership of party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi but all her efforts seem to have went in vain.

BSP chief Mayawati was vowing to repeat her much-celebrated social engineering of 2007, but her party ended up bagging one of the lowest vote share figures (12.88 per cent) ever, and also the lowest number of seats (1). She kept changing her candidates and the wide perception was that she was doing it to help the BJP candidates in some segments.

Poll pundits feel that the BJP did eat into the votes of the BSP and the Congress, but a sizeable chunk of the BSP votes also went to the SP that improved its poll percentage from 21.82 in 2017 to 32.03 this time.

Since 1989, when the UP politics opened up for a multi-party system, the 2022 results have once again bracketed the battle of the ballot to a bipolar one. In 1989, Janata Dal won 208 of the 425 seats, Congress bagged 94, BJP (57) and BSP (13).

When the SP and the BSP formed an alliance in 1993, BJP emerged as the party with the largest seats (176), the SP had won 108 and the BSP (68). The SP-BSP combine formed the government, but it didn’t work out for long and Mayawati joined hands with the BJP to form the government. The 1996 Assembly elections threw up a hung verdict, in which the BJP got 174 seats as against the SP’s 110 and the BSP’s 67 in the 425-member House. After a short spell of President’s rule, the government was formed only when the BJP and the BSP joined hands and the government of Kalyan Singh continued only when a group of BSP and Congress legislatures defected and joined the BJP government.

The 2002 polls again saw a hung Assembly, with the BJP getting 88 seats, the BSP 98 and the SP 143. After another spell of President’s rule, the government was possible only when BSP and the BJP joined hands again and after that the SP government was formed with the support of smaller parties.

However, since 2007 the state has been witnessing decisive verdicts. In 2007, it was the BSP, followed by Samajwadi Party in 2012, and the BJP in 2017. Its BJP again in 2022.

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