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UP elections 2017: If non-Jatav Dalits support BJP, it will get majority
UP Assembly election 2017 is considered as most important election before the general election in 2019 because of its size and particularly its effect on the national politics.

I have gone through the details of various election surveys recently aired. I also personally did couple of analysis for possible electoral outcome. The conclusions drawn by different pollsters including my analysis were very contradictory. That's why I wanted to go deep into the statistical data of electoral out comes to understand the exact data and voter behaviour over the years.

I started my research from 1985 assembly election results to 2014 general elections, which made me understand where I and various pollsters committed errors.

But first let's understand some cardinal rules of UP polity. You should not consider UP as one state. It's so diverse that it has voter behaviour of at least five states. Secondly, no vote bank is 100% transferable (which I also considered in my analysis). Thirdly, around 170 seats have minority domination vote bank, equally 170 seats are having upper class domination and roughly 50 seats have dalit domination, but not a single vote bank is deciding factor, rather it works in combination only.

I would once again like to highlight the demographic vote share. UP has OBC- 41% (including 8% Yadavs), Dalit- 21.1% (Jatavs-11%), Forward Class – 22%, Muslims - 19.3%. (ref my article http://www.merinews.com/article/so-its-akhilesh-yadav-who-will-be-the-chief-minister-post-2017-assembly-election-isnt-it/15922288.shtml)

Now let's travel since 1985 assembly elections up to 2012 assembly elections.

Year

INC

BJP

BSP

SP

Remark

Seats won

Vote share in %

Seats won

Vote share in %

Seats won

Vote share in %

Seats Won

Vote share in %











1985

 269

39.25

16

9.83

NA


NA



1989 

94

27.90

57

11.61

NA


NA


JD-206 (39.25%)

1991

46

17.30

221

31.4

12

9.44

NA


JD-92 (18.84%)

1993

28

15.08

177

33.03

67

11.12

NA


JD-27 (12.35)

1996

33

8.35

174

33.3

67

19.6

110

21.8

Cong+BSP alliance

2002

25

8.96

88

20.08

98

23.06

143

25.37


2007

22

8.61

51

16.97

206

30.43

97

25.42


2012

28

11.63

47

15.00

80

25.91

232

29.16


(Note: From 1985 to 1996, UP had 425 seats and from 2002 onward it has 403 seats)

The above table explains all. Congress won the election in 1985 with 39.25% vote share where it had support of almost all communities including minorities. BJP was just limited to few upper class votes. In 1989, Janata Dal won while purely harping on majority of OBC vote bank whereas the Congress lost OBC votes and BJP increased its forward caste votes mildly.

In 1991, during the Ayodhya movement BJP won while getting majority of forward class and OBC (non-Yadav) votes. BSP entered into electoral fray and added non-Jatav SC community to its vote bank. The Congress still maintained its minority votes and sizable dalit votes.

In 1993, BJP got 33% votes, but this time minority votes were strategically polled to defeat BJP. Thus in some places minority-dalit combination and in other places minority-Yadav combinations were experienced. The Congress lost the minority votes completely because of Babri demolition but then its Dalit and some upper class votes were with it.

In 1996, both the Congress and BSP did a pre-poll alliance still the equation remained the same because of strategic voting of minority community making combinations to defeat BJP. In the same elections, SP emerged taking balance OBC votes from the Congress. Congress lost its all vote banks but thanks to the alliance with BSP that despite getting 8.35% votes it won 33 seats.

In 2002, BJP lost some of its upper class votes to BSP and OBC votes to SP. Thus its vote percentage reduced to around 20%. In 2007, BJP lost most of the upper class votes to BSP and thus helped it in getting a simple majority.

BSP got Dalit votes, sizable upper class votes and some minority votes to get the majority whereas SP maintained its majority minority community vote and most OBC votes. Congress managed to retain some 8% loyal vote bank consisting of all communities.

In 2012, upper class voters changed track and supported to SP. Thus SP got majority of minority votes, around fifty per cent of OBC votes and some upper class votes giving it majority in the 2012 elections. It means the upper class vote was the winning factor in 2007 as well as 2012.

Things suddenly changed in 2014 general elections. BJP got the entire upper class vote (around 90%), majority of non-Yadav OBC votes (around sixty per cent) and additionally non-Jatav Dalit votes who left BSP post Muzaffarnagar riots. This made BJP to sweep UP general elections with 42.3% vote share, SP lost the upper class votes and majority of non-Yadav OBC votes and some minority votes and reduced to 22.2% votes with five seats. BSP came down to the level of 19.6% vote share with zero seats losing non-Jatav Dalit votes, but maintaining jatav dalits and majority minority votes.

Thus what next? I can understand why the Samajwadi Party (SP) formed alliance with the Congress. It's just to maintain its majority-minority vote bank. BJP is likely to maintain its upper class votes. Non-Yadav votes are considered as 50-50 between SP and BJP. That means the situation goes back to 1991-96 period where BJP will be back with its 30 plus vote share. If this happens then there is likely to be a hung assembly with BJP being the largest party with 170-180 seats and SP, BSP maintaining almost 1996 result.

I think non-jatav Dalits will play a key role in UP. All other combinations appear to be in stalemate. If non-jatav Dalits leave BSP sensing that it is in weak position then BJP has a real chance to win this election with a handsome margin. Non-Jatavs did this in 2014 general elections and perhaps BJP is trying to repeat it (Mayawati belongs to jatav Dalit community). 

If this happens, then BSP would face survival cisis. Because non-Jatav Dalits have animosity with minority community since Muzaffarnagar riots thus they have only two options, either stay with the BSP or support BJP.

That's why during a press conference Rahul Gandhi and Akhilesh Yadav maintained a soft attitude towards Mayawati and her party BSP. They know if this stalemate continues then BSP can be an option for post poll alliance in UP with the SP and Congress.

Thus this time non-Jatav Dalits hold key to BJP's win or lose in UP? I will not be surprised if BJP gets majority in UP assembly elections this time and also not be surprised if BJP fails to get the same by a margin of 30 seats despite being the largest party.

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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