UP Polls: 5 Key Takeaways From The Results

| Updated: 11 March, 2022 11:39 am IST

New Delhi: As the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) swept the Uttar Pradesh polls, we look at 5 big takeaways from the result that will shape Indian politics in the days to come:

1) The triumph of ‘Rashan’ and ‘Sushasan’ (Ration and Good Governance): During the elections, two biggest factors for the people were law and order situation and ration provided during COVID-19. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath was almost unanimously hailed for improving the law and order situation in the last five years in a state which was once notorious for rampant crime and patronage to criminals.

In almost all his rallies and interviews, Yogi passionately talked about eliminating criminals and not letting goons run amok during his five-year reign. This struck a chord with people who saw perceptible decline in criminal cases and activities. Many encounters took place during the last five years and many dreaded criminals, including some politicians, were put behind bars.

Another factor which convinced the people to stick with the BJP, is the free ration (twice in a month) provided to crores of people during COVID-19. Other central welfare schemes such as ‘Ujjwala’ and free houses to the poor also benefited many families as PM Modi ensured successful last-mile delivery. Uninterrupted power supply across the state made life easier for the populace, especially farmers who use disel pumping sets in the fields.

2) Women Power: According to data released by Axis My India, a survey agency, women have overwhelmingly voted for the BJP. According to the survey, almost 48% women voted for the BJP, while only 32% voted for Samajwadi Party which is the principal opposition party. A difference of 16% is huge, especially when compared with how men voted. 44% men voted for the BJP, while 40% voted for the BJP.

A welter of welfare schemes directed at women and the fact that they feel safer during Yogi’s reign pushed women towards voting overwhelmingly for the BJP. PM Modi’s popularity among women is also a notable factor.

While Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi kept harping on ‘Ladki Hoon, Lad Sakti Hoon’ slogan, it was comprehensively trumped at the turnstiles by PM’s ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ axiom.

3) Debacle of Jat-Muslim matrix: Akhilesh Yadav’s SP allied with Jayant Chaudhary’s Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), which has a good support among Jats in the Western UP, but the alliance came a cropper. While Muslims and Yadavs largely form the core of SP’s voter-base, Akhilesh tried to bring in Jats in the fold through RLD. There was a lot of chatter about how this formidable caste matrix would steamroll the BJP in the Western UP. The region was also the epicentre of farmers protests and it was projected that Jats, an agrarian community, is miffed with the BJP. But all that palaver came to a nought.

From the results, it is clear that BJP has won handsomely in Jat-dominated constituencies of Western UP. Jats preferred to stay with the BJP and cocked a snook at SP-RLD combine.

4) Non-Yadav OBCs are firmly with the BJP: Before the elections, a host of prominent non-Yadav OBC leaders such as Swami Prasad Maurya, Dara Singh Chauhan and Dharam Singh Saini left the BJP and joined the SP. Even Om Prakash Rajbhar, the president of the Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party, broke alliance with the BJP and hitched his wagon with Akhilesh’s SP.

This created the perception that non-Yadav OBC, who have been voting for the BJP since 2014, would desert the saffron party. However, it is abundantly clear from the results that there is no dent in BJP’s core vote share. According to the data released by Axis My India, almost 65% non-Yadav OBCs voted for the saffron outfit.

In fact, Swami Prasad Maurya and Dharam Singh Saini, the two former ministers of Yogi Government, who defected to Samajwadi Party just before elections, lost their own seats. Their defeat has proved that caste-based poll combinations have failed in this election.

5) Decimation of the BSP and the Congress: In 2017 assembly elections, BSP got only 19 seats, but its vote share was still 22.23%. However, in 2022, BSP has not even reached double digits in terms of seats, and its vote share has fallen below 15%. Mayawati seems to have completely lost the zeal and drive to revive the party, and sensing that the BJP is already on the prowl to snatch even Jatav votes from the BSP, she appears to have given up. 

Congress that had ruled Uttar Pradesh for over 35 years has been vanquished in the elections as it got just 2.4 percent of votes. Its campaign of ‘Ladki Hoon, Lad Sakti Hoon’ just failed to take off despite Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra touring the state. She addressed 172 rallies, yet voters, especially women, did not evince any interest. With the defeat of Congress’ Uttar Pradesh president Ajay Lallu from Tamkuhi seat, the decimation of the Grand Old Party was complete in India’s most populous and politically significant state.

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