The BJP and its allies won 273 seats in the 2022 Uttar Pradesh polls, but on over 3 dozen of these seats, the BSP, Congress, and AIMIM cut into the Samajwadi Party’s votes.
The Quint analysed all 273 seats where the BJP+ won, and found that in many of those, the BJP’s margin of victory over the SP candidate is less than the votes polled by the Muslim candidates of either BSP, Congress or AIMIM.
Mayawati's BSP cut into the anti-BJP votes on the highest number of seats: 27 seats. Meanwhile, Asaduddin's Owaisi's AIMIM cut into the SP's votes on 7 seats, and the Congress spoiled the SP's game on 4 seats. This comes to a total of 38 seats.
This vote-cutting happened despite the fact that 83 per cent Muslims consolidated together backing the SP, as per the Axis-India Today exit poll. Should be noted that even if these 38 seats were won by the SP, the BJP+ would still emerge victorious in the state.
The BSP contested on all 403 seats, and won just 1, with less than 13 per cent vote share. AIMIM contested 95 seats, won 0, and has a vote share of 0.49 per cent—worse than NOTA. While the Congress contested 401 seats and won just 2, with less than 3 per cent vote share.
Seats Where SP's Win Was Spoiled
The BSP cut into the SP alliance's votes in a total of 27 seats. These seats are: Gangoh, Barhapur, Moradabad Nagar, Meerut South, Loni, Dhaulana, Koil, Aligarh, Aliganj, Nawabganj, Pilibhit, Mohammdi, Sitapur, Biswan, Mahmoodabad, Bakshi ka talaab, Rae Bareili, Chhibramau, Rudauli, Bahraich, Khalilabad, Pathardeva, Jaunpur, Mughalsarai, Nakur, Menhdawal, and Nanpara.
On many of these seats, the SP lost to the BJP by a minuscule margin. For instance, in Chhibramau, the SP candidate lost to the BJP candidate by just 0.4 per cent votes; the BSP candidate Waheeda Bano got 7.81 per cent votes. In Sitapur, the BJP’s margin of victory was only 0.54 percent, and the BSP’s Khurshid Ansari got 7.31 per cent votes. In Rae Bareli, the BJP won against the SP candidate by 3.11 per cent votes, and the BSP candidate Mohd Ashraf got 4.06 per cent.
The AIMIM played spoiler in a total of 7 of the 97 seats they contested in: Bijnor, Moradabad Nagar, Sultanpur, Kursi, Aurai, Nakur and Shahganj.
There was 1 seat where both BSP and AIMIM played spoiler: Nakur. In Nakur, the BJP’s winning margin over the SP candidate was only 0.12 per cent. While the BSP candidate got 20.36 per cent votes, the AIMIM candidate got 1.33 per cent.
The Congress party cut the SP’s votes in four seats: Dhampur, Moradabad Nagar, Shrawasti, Jaunpur.
Jaunpur was the one common seat where both Congress and BSP played spoiler.
The One Seat Where All 3 Parties Played Spoiler
There was one unique seat where the Muslim candidates of all three parties—BSP, AIMIM and Congress—played spoiler: Moradabad Nagar. The BJP candidate Ritesh Kumar Gupta beat the SP candidate Mohd Yusuf Ansar by just 0.24 per cent votes.
The BSP candidate Irshad Hussain got 4.36 per cent votes, Congress candidate Rizwan Qureshi got 1.66 per cent votes, and the AIMIM candidate Waqi Rasheed got 0.83 per cent votes.
Thus the votes polled by all three candidates individually was more than the winning margin of the BJP candidate.