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General election 2019: Congress' UP gambit is set to damage the MGB severely
UP with 80 seats will prove to be the most decisive state in the general election 2019. If UP's election result remains mixed, then there can't be a majority government at the centre.

With SP-BSP-RLD Mahagathbandhan, pollsters claim that the BJP's prospect will be hampered this time. They predict a possible NDA government in 2019 but also claim that the BJP on its own won't be able to get a majority. In the meanwhile the newly appointed Congress General Secretary, Priyanka Gandhi, has started an intensive campaign to recover the Congress' lost ground in UP after being side-lined by the Mahagthbandhan.

Earlier pollsters were simply adding the possible SP-BSP vote share to calculate the possible seats for the Mahagthbandhan. With the Congress' aggressive campaign they have started assessing as to on whom (BJP or MGB) will the Congress inflict the most damage. However, I have always disagreed that the SP and BSP's vote share can be arithmetically added up because of inherent contradiction. In this article I will do an analysis based on demographic vote shares. UP always votes on caste lines because there are sustained rivalries among castes. The demographic vote share of UP is as below:

Caste/Community

Population


 Caste  Population   Sub-Caste  Population 
    Yadav   8%
    Kushwaha    4%
 OBC 40%  Lodhi  3%
    Jats   2%
    Kurmi   4%
    Others  19%
    Jatavs  11%
 Dalits(SC)  21%  Non-Jatavs     10%
    
    Bramhins 
 Forward 20%  Bhumihar  12%
    Tyagis 
    Thakur 7%
    Vaishya 
    Kayastha 1%
    Khatri 
    
 Muslims 18%  
 Others 1%  

In 2014 the BJP had got majority votes from the forward class, OBC and non-Jatav Dalits (Vote share of BJP in 2014 was 43.3%). Non-Jatav Dalits left the BSP because of high Jatav influence during Mayawati's rule. This can be viewed by BSP's vote share of 19.6% (in 2014). It got majority of Jatav vote share (11%) and rest part of Muslim vote share of 18%. SP had got total Yadav vote share of 8% and rest of the Muslims. Now if we add SP and BSP vote share then it becomes 41.6% in 2014. If we add Yadavs, Jatavs, Jats and Muslim voter percentage it comes around 41%. The rest 4% votes came from non-Yadav OBCs and others.

In 2019, it's expected that the BJP will retain its forward class votes and most of non-Yadav OBC votes. Let's consider 80% of forward caste and 60% of non-Yadav OBC votes for BJP, then BJP's vote share would be 35.2% [(20%X0.80)+{(40%-8%)*0.6}]. From other communities let's BJP get around 2% thus it bags around 37.5% for sure.

Now SP+BSP+RLD should have core votes of (Yadav+Jatavs+Muslims+Jats) a total of (8%+11%+18%+2%) =39%. Let's consider 90% of vote-share ideally should go to MGB that means 35.1% (39%X0.90). So both BJP and MGB will remain almost at equal footing in their core vote banks. But then, there's a problem. The Dalits and Yadavs may not transfer their votes to each other. That means in BSP's seats Yadavs will not transfer their votes to the BSP. In SP seats Jatavs may not transfer fully their seats to the SP candidate. In that case Congress' role becomes important. It can garner Jatav votes from SP seats and Yadav votes from BSP seats. Shiv Pal's party PSP could also foil the MGB's plan especially in BSP contesting seats. Thus, the arithmetic won't add and may go to Congress or others. I guess a 10% vote share may transfer to Congress from MGB vote share thus making Congress's 2019 vote share around 17.5% out of the communities we have discussed. That means MGB remain with 25.2% vote share.

Now where this non-Jatav Dalit's will go? They have 10% vote share and to my opinion they are the deciding factor in 2019 general election. If they en-mass go to Congress, Congress will be number two party with another addition of 10% that means 27.5% vote share. I think that's the game plan of Congress. If such is visible at the ground then Muslim community may start supporting Congress. Even a 10% further increase that means 37.5% vote share would make condition of Congress much improved. It can even get 30-40 seats and MGB might not get more than 2 seats.

However post Balakot, pollsters are observing that the non-Jatavs and others started again turning towards the BJP. A fifty percent non-Jatav vote addition will make BJP's vote share up to 42.5% and thus it will again remain in commanding position.

Bottom-line is that Congress' UP gambit is very simple. More than defeating the BJP, it is in the process of recovering its lost ground. In that process I feel they will damage the MGB seriously and the BSP particularly. Thus, I feel that the BJP will manage 55-60 seats easily. I won't also be surprises if the BJP maintains its 2014 tally. For that the BJP should be thanking Priyanka Gandhi.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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