ASAD ASHRAF | 23 DECEMBER, 2018
Data Crunching in UP Favours Mahagathbandhan Over BJP
NEW DELHI: As the spectacle for 2019 General Elections unfolds, Uttar Pradesh with 80 Lok Sabha remains pivotal to the results. Of these 72 had been won by the BJP-NDA in the 2014 parliamentary elections, and both the ruling party and the opposition knows that victory here will determine the complexion of the next Lok Sabha.
Talks are hectic to say the least, with the Samajwadi party, Bahujan Samaj party, Congress party and the Rashtriya Lok Dal discussing the permutations and combinations. From a “all done” stage the parleys have again moved into a “we are still working it out” confirmation, with all participants however, certain that they will emerge from the talks with a firm alliance.
A close aide of Akhilesh Yadav told Citizen over phone from Lucknow that there has been no pact on the question of number of seats so far and that there will be no announcements anytime soon. “There are certainly talks going on between us but we are not in a mood to declare any final settlement as of now. Also the question of keeping Congress out of the coalition is not true,” he clarified amidst media speculation.
An united opposition will make the going very rough for the BJP in UP. According to Election Commissions data, out of the total votes polled in Uttar Pradesh in 2014, BJP’s share in percentage was 42.63; BSP was at 19.77, INC at 7.53 and SP at 22.20. In total the vote share of SP + BSP+ INC was almost 7 % more than BJP’s. The difference in the vote share indicates that an alliance then might have reduced BJP to numbers far less than what it had won in the state.
Actual Vote Share
VOTE SHARE THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN IN CASE OF A MAHAGATHBANDHAN IN 2014
However, to understand the exact difference the supposed coalition could have made then, one has to look at all the eighty seats and margins of victory on all these seats. According to the data availed by the Citizen, had there been a two way contest between BJP and Mahagatbandhan, BJP could have only won on 26 seats out of the 80 seats.
On all other seats the combined vote share of INC+BSP+ SP was more than 50 % of the total votes. Interestingly 17 out of the BJPs 26 seats are from Western Uttar Pradesh, the area that had seen large scale polarization in the aftermath of Muzaffarnagar riots of 2013.
More so, out of these 26 seats where party could have a clear majority with more than 50 % of the total votes, it has already conceded 3 to the opposition parties in the recently held by- polls. These are Kairana, Phulpur and BJP’s longtime stronghold Gorakhpur.
Actual Constituency Results in 214 Lok Sabha polls
RESULTS THAT COULD HAVE BEEN WITH A MAHAGATHBANDHAN IN 2014.
Experts believe that the figures for BJP could shrink further incase a Mahagathbandhan takes shape now than what it could have been in 2014. The BJP has lost valuable ground in states like Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Rajasthan and Bihar with data computation looking to a less than 20 Lok Sabha seats in UP.
The dent in BJP’s seat share could further intensify with Ajit Singh’s RLD joining the possible Grand Alliance. It is to be noted that INLD is influential in parts of Western Uttar Pradesh where the BJP had consolidated and won with huge margins in 2014.
Abhay Kumar Dubey of CSDS (Centre for the Study of Developing Societies) believes that with growing agricultural distress, anti BJP fervor among Dalits, and other factors of misgovernance, demonetisation, an alliance between the opposition parties would be challenging for BJP.
“If there is an alliance between SP- BSP- INC- INLD, the strength of alliance will be such that it will not just get the traditional votes of these outfits but also may get a good share of people from the other side who vote keeping in mind which way the wind is blowing. The presence of Congress in the alliance would ensure that communities that do not want to associate with BSP –SP also vote for the alliance. In my understanding the impact of an alliance like this in 2019 can make it difficult for BJP to even win 10-20 seats in the state”, Dubey told The Citizen.
However, there are a few months to go for the elections, and that is a long time in politics.