Smaller parties make little impact in UP

Smaller caste-based political parties, which are considered as potential spoilers, have failed to make a strong impact on political equations in UP.

Lucknow: Smaller caste-based political
parties, which are considered as potential spoilers, have
failed to make a strong impact on political equations in Uttar Pradesh.

In the last six decades of electoral politics, a number
of registered but unrecognised parties tested their luck and
appeal in the state, but barring a few they failed to impress
the voters.

Such parties first contested the third state assembly
elections in 1962 when Republican Party, with focus on dalit
politics, right-wing Hindu Mahasabha and Ram Rajya Party
contested the polls.

While Republican Party and Hindu Mahasabha won eight and
two seats respectively, Ram Rajya Party managed to open its

A major achievement came in 1969 when Chaudhary Charan
Singh-led Bhartiya Kranti Dal, a registered but unrecognised
party, won 98 seats in the house of 425 and emerged as the
second largest party after Congress.

Republican Party, which started caste-based politics in
the state, tasted some success initially but after its merger
with Congress, this type of political agenda was sidelined for
almost one and a half decade.

The emergence of BSP in 1985 and its success once again
bolstered the morale of parties following caste-based politics
after which a series of parties emerged on the scene including
Apna Dal, Rashtriya Swabhiman Party, Indian Justice Party and
Lok Janshakti Party.

With the start of Ram temple movement in late 1980s,
some parties like Shiv Sena also indulged in religion-based

A view of the electoral politics reveals that since 1985,
the number of registered but unrecognised parties has been on
rise. From two parties in 1985 polls, it rose to 111 by 2007
Assembly elections.

As per the Election Commission data, not a single
unrecognised party participated in 1952, 1957 and 1967 state
Assembly elections.

In 1962 when such parties made their entry into electoral
politics, their vote percentage of merely 5.09 per cent. In
1969, 16 smaller parties fielded 658 candidates of which 100
were successful; including 98 of Charan Singh led Bhartiya
Kranti Dal. The vote share of smaller parties was 23.41 per

However, Charan Singh`s victory failed to make a major
impact as Congress went on to form the government with 211
members in house of 402.

In 1974 Assembly polls, 15 smaller parties fielded 368
candidates of which only two won and security of 360 was
forfeited. The vote percentage was 2.18 per cent.

In the consecutive election in 1977, seven smaller
parties fielded 111 candidates of which 110 lost their
security deposit and their vote percentage was only 0.45 per

In recent years, 34 smaller parties fielded 645
candidates in 1991 Assembly elections of which only two
managed to enter Vidhan Sabha, whereas deposit of 641 was

By 2002 the number of smaller parties grew by 58 with
1332 candidates in fray. Of this only 29 won with vote
percentage of 12.34 per cent.

In last assembly elections, as many as 111 smaller
parties tested their fate and fielded 1356 candidates of which
only seven won with a vote percentage of 6.37 per cent.

In this election more than 300 registered but
unrecognised parties are in the fray.