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  India   Politics  09 Apr 2017  How BJP solved Uttar Pradesh caste math

How BJP solved Uttar Pradesh caste math

THE ASIAN AGE. | SREEPARNA CHAKRABARTY
Published : Apr 9, 2017, 2:05 am IST
Updated : Apr 9, 2017, 2:05 am IST

The Muslim-Yadav combination assiduously stuck to the party which had joined hands with the Congress.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi (Photo: PTI)
 Prime Minister Narendra Modi (Photo: PTI)

New Delhi: Consolidation of non-Jatavs, non-Yadav OBCs, upper castes and seven per cent of Muslims voting in favour of the BJP helped Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah script a historic victory in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections. Of the 403 Assembly berths, BJP and its allies won 324 seats.

An analysis of voting pattern by psephologists shows that the ruling Samajwadi Party, led by chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, managed to retain its Yadav-Muslim vote combination, but failed to garner the support of other communities on a development plank.

 

The Muslim-Yadav combination assiduously stuck to the party which had joined hands with the Congress. Statistics indicate that 70-75 per cent of Muslims and Yadavs voted for SP-Congress alliance. However, the non-Yadav OBCs voted for the BJP.

Among the 40 per cent OBCs, while 10 percent are Yadavs, rest are non-Yadav OBCs, which include Kurmi, Lodh, Koeri and Kashyaps, among other sub-castes.

As far as BSP chief Mayawati’s schedule caste (dalit) vote bank was concerned, Jatavs stuck to her while the non-Jatavs moved toward BJP. The SC population which includes Jatavs and non-Jatavs is 21 per cent of which 11 per cent are Jatavs. Therefore, calculations indicate that 10 per cent of the non-Jatavs voted for Mr Modi.

 

Post-poll analysis indicate that a majority of non-Jatavs and non-Yadav voted for the BJP. These votes earlier used to be split between SP and BSP. Since the 2014 general elections, however, the trend changed and continues to remain so.

As for the Muslim vote bank, voting pattern shows that while Muslim votes split between SP and BSP, the BJP too managed to get 7 per cent of the minority votes. The state has 19 per cent Muslims. The split of Muslim votes also sealed the fate of both SP and BSP.

According to Sanjay Kumar, director, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, an analysis of the voting pattern indicates that it was the carefully-crafted caste equation which helped the BJP get such a stupendous success.

 

The BJP, he argued, retained its grip on 22 per cent upper caste in the state and then won over the support of non-Jatav dalits and non-Yadav OBCs.

 Mr Kumar said this trend of casting votes could be called “an aspirational vote for Mr Modi.”

“This also shows that lower OBCs are becoming an important factor in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar,” Mr Kumar said.

The BJP positioned itself as an attractive option for these castes by inducting members of the backward castes in top position and strategic partnership with parties like Anupriya Patel’s Apna Dal, with its committed support base of Patels, and the Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party, which represents the Rajbhar caste. It has a substantial presence in eastern Uttar Pradesh.

 

The results eventually showed the BJP managed to retain its massive vote share of 42 per cent during the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

Tags: narendra modi, uttar pradesh assembly elections, akhilesh yadav, muslim votes
Location: India, Uttar Pradesh, Lucknow