Six times MP and the incumbent Chief Minister of UP Yogi Adityanath is confident of winning 73 plus seats in the state in 2019 general elections. When a seasoned and experienced politician like CM Yogi makes such a prediction it ought to be taken seriously. Let us explore the reasons behind CM Yogi’s strong conviction:
Law and Order: The 2017 assembly elections in UP was a significant game changer. The people of Uttar Pradesh sidelined all those political parties who were supporting the goons and elected the BJP with an overwhelming majority. After the election, the appointment of Yogi Adityanath as the Chief Minister came as a surprise to most political observers. Since the advent of the Yogi Government, criminals are running from pillar to post to save their lives. When the evil men from the society are eliminated, it’s the common people who feel the relief most.
Till May 2018, the UP Police have killed 50 criminals in over 1,400 encounters. According to the official data, there have been over 1,478 police encounters in the state between 20 March 2017 and 25 March 2018. The highest number of encounters happened in Meerut Zone, 569. Bareilly zone is the next one with 253 encounters. Next one in the queue is the Agra zone where 241 encounters took place followed by Kanpur zone with 112 encounters. In CM Yogi’s Gorakhpur district 51 encounters took place. According to the officials “The police have invoked the stringent National Security Act (NSA) against 188 criminals and seized assets worth over Rs 150 crore. The Gangster’s Act was imposed on 1,455 persons and 4,881 criminals have been arrested. The Yogi Government in its relentless pursuit to make UP a crime free state has also passed UPCOCA bill which is designed to take down the mafia and other criminal activities within the state.
Yogi Adityanath is a tough task master and he gets the work done. Also the people have been supporting the efforts of CM Yogi and the UP Police to make UP a crime free state. As Yogi Adityanath always says, ‘agar kaayde me rahoge to faayde me rahoge’.
- SP-BSP coalition will only help in consolidation of Muslim votes and as it is no secret that except few sections of Muslims large number of Muslims cast their votes against the BJP. It is expected that after BJP’s stand on treacherous and anti-women practices such as Triple-Talaq, Nikaah Halala, a large number of Muslim women might cast their votes in BJP’s favor.
- Caste equations: UP became one of the crusaders of caste politics in the 90s. Dalits owed their loyalty to BSP, Yadavs and Muslims to SP and Sawarna Caste Voters to BJP. The caste breakup of 2017 Uttar Pradesh assembly elections were:
OBC – 29%
Muslim – 20%
Dalits – 14%
Yadav – 10%
Brahmins – 10%
Rajput – 8%
Other SC – 7%
Jat – 2%
Currently, among these caste groups, Yadavs, Muslims and Dalits owe their allegiance to the two strong local leaders in UP, Akhilesh Yadav and BSP supremo Mayawati. There is a solid organizational presence of these two parties in the state. Other regional leaders like Ajit Singh of Rashtriya Lok Dal might extend support to this coalition as Ajit Singh also shared dais with Akhilesh and Mayawati at HD Kumaraswamy’s swearing-in-ceremony. SP-BSP coalition supported RLD candidate Tabassum Hassan in Kairana by-poll. Mahagathbandhan of SP-BSP-RLD defeated BJP’s candidate in Kairana by-poll. Jats are Ajit Singh’s core vote bank. If all goes well then this will provide them some edge over the BJP.
However, in politics 2+2 is not always equal to 4, the best example of which is the 2017 UP assembly elections. The BJP’s core vote banks are voters of Sawarna Caste (Brahmin, Baniya and Kshatriya) and Non-Jatav dalits who voted for the BJP en masse in 2017 UP assembly elections. Non-Yadav OBCs also voted for the BJP in large numbers in the 2017 elections. OBCs are considered as king-makers in UP, almost every non-Yadav OBC caste is batting for the BJP especially after the OBC reservation changes.
In 2014, in front of Amit Shah’s astute political maneuvers, all the established Caste equations failed. The BJP, with the help of small regional parties like Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party and Apna Dal united non-Yadav OBCs, non-Jatav Dalits and Upper caste Hindus under one umbrella. The BJP also gained success in getting votes of Muslim Women in 2017 Uttar Pradesh assembly elections. Following this strategy BJP got unexpected overwhelming majority in 2017 UP elections. The BJP would employ the same success recipe in the 2019 general elections. The trio of PM Modi, Amit Shah and CM Yogi can break any caste equations.
SP-BSP cadre level problems: SP-BSP coalition may look at the leadership level but at the cadre level, it is a formula for disaster. They lack a Nitish Kumar like figure to ensure vote transfer like it happened in Bihar. And it’s an open secret that all is not well between Dalits and Yadavs. There exists a traditional rivalry between both the communities and hence a seamless vote transfer in 2019 is just a remote possibility and chances of huge cross voting are very high.
New Class of voters: Along with caste there is also a new class of voters emerging throughout the entire country UP being no exception. That class is of women, educated people and first time voters. Voters from this class would be a deciding factor in 2019 General elections and especially in Uttar Pradesh. Because of this newly emerged class all the election analysis of the past are becoming redundant. New elections cannot be analyzed with old spectacles. In Uttar Pradesh, women security and employment for educated youths are important issues. Yogi government has addressed these issues since its advent. As stated in the starting that the Yogi government has laid an extra emphasis on the condition of law and order in Uttar Pradesh and also on women security.
And lastly Yogi’s Hindutva image has united the Hindus like never before, he is considered as the tallest Hindu icon in the country and hence UP is likely to repeat a 2014 like unity in 2019 also which cuts across caste barriers and unite all the Hindus under one saffron umbrella.