It`s a clear verdict to say at the beginning that UP has clearly given the Mandate. There is no question of a hung house or any chance of a SP-CONG-BSP alliance to counter BJP which was being heard towards the fag-end of the entire political turmoil in UP. The elections have given certain answers to many questions and have also raised several questions which will surely be answered in the upcoming days.
THE ROAD TO THE SAFFRON SURGE
- Getting the Caste calculations completely correct:-
BJP is a party blessed with a master strategist like Shri Amit Shah. Just like in 2014 Mr. Shah got the Caste Calculations completely correct this time round too. Let`s have a close look into this.
The caste calculation of Uttar Pradesh stand out to be tremendously diverse and complex. Dalits comprise 21% of the population; Yadavs make up 9%; Brahmins make up 10%; Thakurs compose 7% of Uttar Pradesh; Jats make up 7%; OBC community making up 27%; and last but not the least; the Muslims make up 18% of the total population. But the calculation is not as simple as the arithmetic suggests. The Dalits comprise 21% of the population play a decisive factor in 85-90 seats across Uttar Pradesh. The Muslims again hold the key in around 90 seats. What BJP got at first was; This 90+90=180 seats are where it will face a very tough challenge. The scenario in UP since 1996 largely reveal the following trend. The majority of Yadav votes go to the SP. The majority of Dalits go for the BSP. BJP realised, considering present situations the larger chunk of the Brahmin and Thakur votes will come to the BJP. Keeping this calculation in mind the BJP targeted the larger chunk of the Other Backward Castes(OBC) who comprise 27% and is a widely divided community comprising of innumerable sub-castes. The best card was played by Amit Shah while doing this calculation. Keshav Prasad Maurya; a prominent OBC face was elevated to the post of BJP President in the state. On the other hand while SP was busy consolidating its “Yadav-Muslim” combination with the help of Prominent Muslim faces like Azam Khan; and BSP supremo Mayawati laid all hopes on a “Dalit-Muslim” alliance to make the walk to Lucknow. BJP played it much more tactically and in a much smarter way. The party put more focus on the smaller castes and creeds and put tremendous focus among the smaller sub-castes within each caste; while also keeping the “Reverse-Polarisation” factor in mind. The BSP gave most of the tickets to the Jatav Dalits; much to the agony of the Non-Jatav Dalits which was fully utilised by the BJP. Reverse polarisation was what the party laid faith on to win a fraction of Yadav votes too.
- Setting up a perfectly blended tone during the campaign:-
BJP took a good lesson from the Bihar assembly elections held in 2015. During the campaigning period in Uttar Pradesh BJP perfectly understood that the road to success is not “Only Vikas”. Vikas was perfectly blended with an overtone of “Hindutva”. While development was the core agenda of the campaign of Shri Narendra Modi the undercurrent of Hindutva was perfectly carried out by “Firebrand leaders” like Yogi Adityanath or Sadhvi Prachi. In fact the party leadership made their agenda pretty clear in the process of fielding no Muslim candidates in all of the 403 Assembly seats. On the other hand putting focus on “Abolishing Triple Talaq” agenda helped BJP get a sizeable chunk of votes of Muslim women despite fielding no Muslim candidate.
REGION WISE ANALYSIS OF UP ELECTION.
The map of UP is perfectly SAFFRON with some traces of Congress, SP and BSP. In fact the grey parts mostly belong to Apna Dal ( an BJP ally).
- WESTERN UTTAR PRADESH:-
Over the past few years Western UP has been the centre of controversies. The names of the districts it consists of have been in the light in the recent past. It consists of Muzaffarnagar; the place where riots killed round 100 people round 3 years ago. Western UP is where there is a district like Dadri; where a man was killed over rumours of consuming beef. It also has Kairana ; where BJP MP Hukum Singh had alleged mass-Migration. It also consists of communally charged districts like Ghaziabad; Aligarh; Meerut; etc. In a word Western UP has been the centre of Communal Politics in recent times with leaders like Yogi Adityanath comparing it with Kashmir. The political map reveals. It’s Completely SAFFRON. BJP won almost everything in Western UP starting from Muzaffarnagar to Dadri. While different parties were busy consolidating the Muslim votebank; BJP relied on the Jats who hold the key in many seats in the region. The strategy paid off. Giving promise of “stopping riots and ensure development” helped BJP gain a big portion of Youth votes too in this region. In a nutshell the Jat votebank; the tone of Vikas and the undercurrent of Hindutva painted Western UP saffron; credits to master-strategist Amit Shah.
- ROHILKHAND REGION:-
Now from the Westernmost part of UP lets move into the Bareily zone. This is the region where Samajwadi Party won 11 constituencies. Considering the entire region BJP won it just like everywhere. Important constituencies like Moradabad; Thakurwada; etc were retained by the SP. But towards the eastern part of this region all constituencies were painted saffron. Right from Bilaspur everything towards the east were painted saffron. Muslim votes play a very important factor in this Rohilkhand region. But from Faridpur to Badaun ; from Bareilly to Dataganj every assembly seat was swept away by the saffron wave. One of the biggest reasons behind the saffron sweep in this region was the Dalit votes falling massively on the Lotus symbol. Notably; BSP has been left with zero in this area.
- AWADH REGION
This constitutes the biggest geographical region of Uttar Pradesh. Bounded by Nepal in the North and the Ganga Doab in the south and what this region saw was also an unprecedented saffron wave. In fact this was a region where the SP had put up a decent performance in 2012 but this time round everything fell down to the Saffron Surge. Barkhera; Puranpur; Balia; Sri Nagar; Mohammadi; Kasta; every seat towards the north of this region fell to the Modi-wave. Balamau; Mishrikh; etc also fell to the BJP in the central part. Towards the Southern part of this region lies Lucknow; where all Assembly seats were swept by the BJP. A major factor in this region is the OBC votebank the Non-Yadav part of which sided by and large with the BJP this time around. The region also has a sizeable chunk of Muslim votes a part of which also came to the BJP in 2017. In fact winning 80% seats in this region gave BJP the opportunity to cross the 300 mark. This is also one region having quite a good number of constituencies with a sizeable percentage of Muslim voters. But the BJP also managed to fare well in this region.
- BUNDELKHAND REGION:-
The region bounded by Doab in the north and Madhya Pradesh in the south simply saw a “Saffron Tsunami”. This is a region where Dalits play a very significant factor and it is also one of the poorest parts of Uttar Pradesh. But it was highly significant to see BJP winning everything in this region which had voted for Mayawati over most of the years. The Saffron tide lashing this regions show the failure of the Dalit Politics card on one hand and also the fact that a large section of the poor population has immense faith on Narendra Modi till now.
- THE DOAB REGIONS:-
The Doab regions indicate the continuous linear area running from west to east and extending upto Poorvanchal in the east. This region includes the fertile plains of the River Ganga. It includes many of the important cities on the banks of the Ganga like Kanpur,etc on one hand and also has a significant number of population largely dependent on Agricultue. Farmers make up a significant population here. This region saw BJP emerging winner just like everywhere. This is where the party had also expected good results banking on the high concentration of upper castes in the region.
This is the eastern most part of the state and it includes big names like Varanasi; Gorakshpur; and different temple towns. The BJP won all the temple towns but opposition parties also managed some constituencies in this region although as we move eastward Poorvanchal becomes more and more clean saffron. This region during the campaign period saw firebrand leaders like Yogi Adityanath on one hand and towards the close of the elections also saw the Prime Minister staying in Varanasi for 4 consecutive days. The Prime Minister`s visits paid off to a big extent as is visible from the election results where BJP made a 8/8 sweep in Varanasi. The correct caste calculations and proper consolidation of Upper Caste and OBC votes paid off here in favour of the BJP. The priests of Varanasi have their influence throughout Poorvanchal and that too was instrumental. A section of Dalit votes and more significantly a part of Muslim votes also came to the BJP.
This election in Uttar Pradesh broke several myths about the electoral caste calculations in the state. Caste-based parties like SP and BSP fared badly.
The myth that Yadavs will vote for SP was largely broken when the results showed BJP leading in 33 Yadav dominated constituencies and also in several others where Yadavs play a Kingmaker.
Just like the myth of Yadav votes were broken another big myth too crumbled this time. The fact that the Dalit votes will unitedly fall to BSP suffered a big setback. This was clearly visible when BSP ended up winning only 19 seats and also after Mayawati`s statement post election results where she expressed dismay at the results and blamed the EVM. Out of 115 Dalit dominated seats(meaning where Dalit votes can play a kingmaker) BJP bagged 87.
The most significant part of the elections was Muslims also voting for the BJP. Out of 97 seats where Muslim votes play a kingmaker BJP bagged 68 breaking many old myths about the party. The major factor behind this was attributed to a big section of Muslim women voting for BJP in the hopes of getting triple talaq abolished.
The OBC votes fell beside the Lotus symbol also as was evident from the results of the OBC dominated seats. The Non-Yadav OBC community fully stood by the BJP. A big section of Yadavs too voted for the saffron brigade. BJP bagged 80% of OBC dominated seats.
The Upper caste votes of Brahmins came to the BJP as was expected. All temple towns like Varanasi; Mathura , Govardhan , Vrindavan and Ayodhya were bagged by BJP.