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Contrary To Mayawati's Claim, BSP Biggest Gainer From UP's Mahagathbandhan

While BSP's tally grew from zero to 10, SP's seat share remained stagnant at five. In fact, some members of SP's first family lost their seats

Jun 6, 2019 / 02:35 PM IST

Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav on June 5 described the alliance with Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) as a "trial" and said it may not always be successful, but helps in knowing the shortcomings.

The reaction came a day after BSP supremo chief Mayawati declared that her party will fight the Uttar Pradesh Assembly bypolls in 11 seats alone. Yadav also said his SP was ready to go solo.

Ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, the two arch rivals had joined hands to take on the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). They had earlier prompted that the alliance would continue till the 2022 Assembly election.

Mayawati had claimed that SP’s “base vote — the Yadav community — did not support the party. Even strong contenders of SP were defeated.”

SP held on to its base?


However, analysis of election data and post-poll surveys shows that the Yadavs may have voted more unitedly for the SP than the Dalits for the BSP. The Yadavs and the Dalits are the core vote bases of SP and BSP, respectively. Data reveals that the BSP may have actually benefited from the alliance more than SP.

According to a post-poll survey conducted by India Today-Axis My India, Yadavs did vote for BSP. However, Dalits did not vote for SP in the same proportion.

Yadavs, Dalits and Muslims constitute around 49 percent of Uttar Pradesh’s population.

Dalit votes are subdivided into two categories — Jatavs and non-Jatavs. While the Jatavs have supported the BSP, the non-Jatavs have moved away from the Mayawati-led party since 2014.

The Axis My India post-poll survey suggests that around 72 percent Yadavs and 74 percent Jatav Dalits may have voted for the Mahagathbandhan.

About 20 percent Yadavs and 21 percent Jatav Dalits may have voted for BJP.

However, among the non-Jatavs, 60 percent may have voted for the BJP and about 30 percent for the Mahagathbandhan, the data suggests.

2014 vs 2019: BSP moves up, SP stays put

The BSP had failed to win a single Lok Sabha seat in 2014 despite commanding a 19.8 percent vote share. SP had won five seats which included bastions of Azamgarh, Kannauj and Mainpuri.

However, this time, the BSP won 10 seats. The SP won five seats again. However, Akhilesh Yadav’s wife Dimple Yadav lost in Kannauj while his nephews Dharmendra and Akshay Yadav lost Badaun and Firozabad seats, respectively.

Their other partner Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) also drew a blank — similar to 2014.

In fact, out of the 10 seats that BSP won, six were constituencies where the SP had finished second in 2014 when there was no Mahagathbandhan. These seats are: Bijnor, Nagina, Amroha, Shrawasti, Lalganj and Ghazipur.

Also read — Data Story | Opposition unity could have stopped BJP sweep in Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh

An analysis by Moneycontrol had earlier showed how greater Opposition unity could have resulted in a significantly different tally in Uttar Pradesh. In nine constituencies — Badaun, Banda, Barabanki, Basti, Chandauli, Dhaurahra, Meerut, Sant Kabir Nagar and Sultanpur — the combined tally of the Congress (or its ally Jan Adhikar Party) and the Mahagathbandhan would have been greater than that of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) candidates.
Nachiket Deuskar

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