3 Surveys Show Who’s Weighing Down BJP in UP. It’s Yogi Adityanath
Uttar Pradesh is emerging as the biggest challenge to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Lok Sabha elections, with several surveys predicting that his National Democratic Alliance could lose anything ranging from 25 to 50 seats in the state compared to its 2014 tally of 73.
But the NDA’s losses aren’t just because Akhilesh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party, Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party and Ajit Singh’s Rashtriya Lok Dal have come together to from a formidable Mahagathbandhan in the state.
There is one surprising factor that is weighing down the BJP in Uttar Pradesh: public discontent against Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and his government. As many as three surveys have captured the sentiment against the Adityanath government in the state.
The latest survey has been conducted by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR). The survey asked people to rate the Uttar Pradesh government on several counts. On all the top issues for the public, the Yogi government got an overall rating of below average.
According to the ADR survey, respondents in villages listed availability of loans for farmers, electricity supply for agriculture and employment opportunities as the top issues. On all these issues, the Adityanath government’s overall rating was much less than three, which is considered average on a scale of five.
The picture isn’t very different in cities, where the UP government scored well below “average” on the top three issues: employment, traffic congestion and water and air pollution.
In fact, the government didn’t get an average or above average rating on any major issue of public concern in either urban or rural areas.
This is not the only survey to bring out the unpopularity of the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh.
In its latest survey, C-Voter has predicted that the NDA will win 28 seats in Uttar Pradesh, a huge loss of 45 seats compared to the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
India Today’s Political Stock Exchange in December 2018 said that Adityanath had an approval rating of 38 percent. This was less than the rating of BJP leaders like Vasundhara Raje and Shivraj Chouhan who were voted out in their respective states.
According to the survey, 35 percent people are completely dissatisfied with the Adityanath government and 37 percent said they are completely satisfied; 9 percent people said they are somewhat dissatisfied, while 12 percent said they are somewhat satisfied.
These three surveys indicate that the BJP’s projected losses in Uttar Pradesh aren’t just due to the Mahagathbandhan. It is quite possible that Adityanath’s unpopularity has also contributed to a downfall in the BJP’s fortunes in India’s most populous state.
There are two elements to this:
- His underperformance as chief minister: the ADR survey clearly shows that there is a serious governance problem in Uttar Pradesh as Adityanath’s government isn’t rated positively on any major issue.
- Caste: Many reports suggest that Adityanath’s rule has led to an increased dominance of the Thakur community over others. While this is said to have alienated the BJP’s supporters among Brahmins, Vaishyas and non-Yadav OBCs to a limited extent, the impact among communities like Jats, Gujjars, Muslims and Dalits is said to be much more severe. It is possible that many of these alienated communities - particularly Yadavs, Muslims, Jatavs and Jats - are consolidating around the Mahagathbandhan in a major way.