Phase 1 of the UP Elections is over and it has set the mood for the rest of the elections. UP polled in 73 constituencies on Saturday. Two things are absolutely clear from the trends. There is a big Modi Wave in Uttar Pradesh and it’s BSP which is the challenger and not SP+Congress (which has been the favourite of the Poll Pundits).
However, Western Uttar Pradesh has never been the happy hunting grounds for SP. Even when the Party won a full majority in the last assembly elections, SP could manage wins in only 24 of the 73 seats in West UP.
Let us begin with a brief History of Bhartiya Janata Party in the region first:
- In the 2012 assembly elections, BJP won 11 out of these 73 seats
- In 2014 BJP led in a mindboggling 68 out of 73 seats
- In West UP, BJP’s vote share jumped from a mere 16.3% in 2012 to 50.4% in 2014
But that’s all in the past.
What could be causing the massive momentum for BJP in West UP this time?
- Jat Votes – Jats are one of the biggest voting blocks of Western Uttar Pradesh. They have traditionally allied with Ajit Singh led RLD, but they know that Ajit is a spent force. The principal proof of this is the fact that SP didn’t even consider it as a possible ally. Jats know this ground reality. Plus, the Muzaffarnagar riots were a watershed moment in the political equation of West UP. Jats rose above caste lines and aligned with Bhartiya Janata Party, a party with a larger Hinduvaadi cause.
As per this Oneindia report – Jats have indicated their clear support to the BJP as they find that party’s promises will be fulfilled. In addition to this, the Jat community also says that it is impressed with the BJP’s manifesto (Clauses like anti-romeo squads and ban on cow slaughter) as they find it to be more lucrative and trustworthy. This has been one of the many reasons why the Jat community has voted for the BJP. They have faith in the BJP as they feel the party will fulfill their needs and also protect their rights.
- Muslim Votes – West UP has a high concentration of Muslims ranging from above average (24%) to very high (40%) and it seems that Muslims have chosen to throw their weight behind BSP and not SP+Congress as was being projected by the Pollsters. SP+Congress on the other hand has done what was expected from BSP, that is eat into Muslim votes. The anti-BJP Muslim votes stands divided and this creates a very interesting situation for rest of the phases.
a.) Central UP: SP+Congress is quite strong in this area. Muslims from this area are expected to vote en masse for SP+Congress
b.) East UP (Poorvanchal): Mukhtar Ansari led Quami Ekta Dal has tremendous clout in this area and hence the BSP-QED alliance is supposed to win big in this area.
This situation will create a West UP+Poorvanchal Muslims Vs Rest of Muslims equation. Needless to say, that it will cause a massive splitting of Muslim Votes. BJP will obviously be the biggest beneficiary of it.
- Presence of Urban Clusters – BJP has been known to perform better in the Urban sectors. Western Uttar Pradesh is the most urbanized part of Uttar Pradesh. Modi counts on his tax paying middle class urban voters and west UP has them in plenty.
What Pollsters say:
5Forty3 has created a projections tool called MAPi. 5forty3 defines it as “a real time ground intelligence mapping tool that tracks electoral, political and socio-economic trends from the ground live.”
MAPi has been tracking the phase 1 of UP Election trends through listening outposts at more than 60 locations in 12 districts from ground intelligence is gathered.
Here are 3 important points from its report:
- Even if BSP loses as little as 5000 to 10000 votes in the seats that it won in 2012, BSP would be virtually wiped out of West UP
- MAPi raw data suggests that BJP’s performance would be closer to 2014 than 2012.
- There is an record pro-BJP mobilization of OBCs. In today’s polling, the OBC shift could be as high as 8:2 in favour of Bhartiya Janata Party.
In my previous article, I outlined the importance of OBC votes. OBC is the only caste that has not sworn fealty to any party in UP Elections. In electoral terminology, such caste groups are called King Makers. They decide the fate of the election. An OBC tilt will decide the victor of this election. OBC votes are up for grabs. That’s 29% of the total electorate, 60% of which was won by BJP last election. And things haven’t changed on the ground. Apna Dal and Bharat Samaj Party have been roped in to lure the OBC voters. And the fact that Modi is an OBC himself makes BJP’s case even stronger. Now things are getting clearer.
5forty3’s District Wise Data:
BJP – 36
BJP – 32
BSP – 28
SP+Congress – 27
BJP – 31
BSP – 21
SP+Congress – 18
BJP – 42
BSP – 26
SP+Congress – 29
Gautam Buddha Nagar
BJP – 35
BSP – 26
SP+Congress – 31
BJP – 33
BSP – 31
BJP – 32
BSP – 26
SP+Congress – 26
BJP – 29
BSP – 23
SP+Congress – 17
BJP – 39
BSP – 30
SP+Congress – 25
BJP – 39
BSP – 26
SP+Congress – 28
BJP – 37
BSP – 29
SP+Congress – 30
The numbers do paint a very pretty picture for the Bhartiya Janata Party. Looks like the Party is heading towards a massive victory.