Uttar Pradesh: How BJP Failed to Go '60 Paar' & SP Became No. 1 Party in State

The 'modi wave' is receding, but it was also mainly Dalits, lower caste groups who seem to have voted BJP out.

3 min read
Video Editor :Mohd. Irshad Alam

"Ab Ki Baar, 60 Bhi Nai Paar!"

This is what happened with the ruling-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Uttar Pradesh in an election result that turned the tables for the entire nation on 4 June. From Smriti Irani's loss to BJP losing Ayodhya, it was one shock after another.

With its result, UP changed the whole political landscape and in a way, has stopped BJP's 'lotus' from blooming further in the state. Remember, that UP is the most electorally vital state that sends out 80 MPs to the Lok Sabha.

In 2019, BJP was able to achieve 62 seats alone but this time, their number has cut down almost half with 33 seats.

This has not just reduced the presence of the saffron party but has also established what worked and didn't work for them in the state even as they win the majority on a national level.

NDA as a whole have won 36 seats, with a vote share of 43.7% while INDIA bloc with its 43 seats are at 43.2% votes, now up by 18% vote share from what the SP-BSP-RLD alliance got last time.

'Haar Ke Jeetne Wale Ko Akhilesh Yadav Kehte Hain'

'UP ke ladke,' Rahul Gandhi and Akhilesh Yadav's joint efforts with speeches, rallies, campaigns, media and grassroot level interactions have worked in their favor.

Because SP has now become the largest party in UP with 37 seats. Last time, SP secured only five seats and this time, there is a jump of 32 seats.

This was also the first general election that was fought after the death of SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav. In 2004, SP got 35 seats and this time they've surpassed that number. 

What also seems to have worked for them is that their alliance mainly focused on addressing livelihood issues and guaranteeing to safeguard the Constitution.

The 'Paschim and Purvanchal' Power

Many rural constituencies have fought back and rejected BJPs politics this time as compared to the slightly more urban and elite seats.

It's pretty evident that INDIA bloc is riding on the consolidation of votes from backward classes, Dalits, Muslims and other minorities or as Akhilesh Yadav used to put it, 'PDA' (Pichda, Dalit, Alpsankhyak).

In the west UP, BJP could only win 13 out of 26 seats, one of the biggest upsets to the BJP was Muzaffarnagar where SP's Harendra Malik defeated BJP's Sanjeev Balyan.

Another surprise was Nagina. The Bhim Army chief Chandra Shekhar Azad of the Azad Samaj Party (Kanshiram) won Nagina with over 1.5 lakh votes against BJP's Om Kumar.

While the BJP's ally Rashtriya Lok Dal was able to win Bijnor and Baghpat INDIA, bloc won in some difficult seats like Rohilkhand, Saharanpur, Kairana, Moradabad, Badaun, Rampur among others.

In East or Purvanchal UP, BJP lost Ballia, Allahabad, Ghazipur, Ghosi, Ambedkar Nagar, Sultanpur but BJP retained Gorakhpur and, of course, Varanasi among others. 

Rozi, Roti, Reservation Over Ram Mandir

Perhaps, one of the biggest lessons that Uttar Pradesh has thrown at us this time is that not only is the 'Modi wave' receding in many parts of the state, but the Opposition's and public's strong sentiments over 'Roti, kapda, makan' and reservations have trumped the BJP's Ram mandir, masjid and mangalsutra card.

Dalits and lower caste groups are also believed to have voted against BJP is because of the claims by several BJP leaders that they will change the Constitution if they come to power with majority.

Even BJP's boast about Har Ghar Jal, PM Awas Yojana, all the welfare schemes for farmers and women, the free ration argument always made by the party seemed to have not worked in most regions.

Last but not the least, the Party which performed poorly this time is the Bahujan Samaj Party which fought alone. From 10 seats in 2019, they have drawn a blank this time.

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Video Editor :Mohd. Irshad Alam
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