Uttar Pradesh has delivered an emphatic and resounding verdict which has sounded the victory bugles for BJP and endorsed the Narendra Modi wave further.
Here are the quick takeaways from the UP Assembly Election Results 2017:
- The Modi-Shah juggernaut is unstoppable. Three years into the BJP government’s term at the Centre, the Narendra Modi wave is not waning. In fact, so strong is the wind that it is propelling the BJP ship to sail to new areas and greater levels of achievement. The personal charisma of the Prime Minister along with the organisational skills of Amit Shah is a combination that the opposition doesn’t have an answer to. What the BJP victory also means at the Centre is a strengthened BJP in the Rajya Sabha which currently has 56 members in the upper house, just about 3 less than the Congress’ 59.
- The verdict in Uttar Pradesh is historic. No party has ever crossed the 300 mark in the UP assembly. BJP has just done that and that too on its own. The second best that they had ever pulled off was in 1991 when Kalyan Singh-led BJP had won 221 of the 425 seats (including Uttarakhand in undivided UP) in 1991.
- The BJP has orchestrated such a superb win, especially in Uttar Pradesh on the development plank. Caste, sub-castes, religion etc. have been relegated to the sidelines. Even family loyalties like the one to Gandhi family in pocket boroughs like Amethi and Rae Bareli have been uprooted because had it not been the case, BJP would not have won 4 seats of the 5 in Amethi. “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas” is a catchphrase which has found resonance across the length and breadth of India. The reason why Muslims too may have voted for the BJP.
- Having said that, there can also be no denying that BJP has followed a two-track policy. While development was the clarion call in state that is lagging, BJP has also indulged in soft polarisation. Not a single Muslim candidate was fielded by the party. It follows that the BJP’s massive victory means that Muslim representation in the assembly will be perhaps the lowest despite the community comprising nearly 20% of the state population.
During the campaigning too, there were references to crematoriums versus graveyards and shutting down of butcheries. And figures like Yogi Adityanath who have been divisive have been prominent faces of the party. Undoubtedly, this would have caught some percentage of electorate. All the temple towns like Mathura, Ayodhya, Gorakhpur and Varanasi have given the BJP thumbs up.
- The internal feud in the Samajwadi Party has hit Akhilesh Yadav badly. The prolonged drama between him and his father Mulayam, step mother Sadhana Gupta along with uncle Shivpal Singh may have put off some voters; a reason why even the daughter-in-law of the family Aparna Yadav lost from Lucknow Cantt.
But the foremost has been the lack of governance which led to severe anti-incumbency. The cardinal mistake Akhilesh made was to give tickets to over a 130 odd sitting MLAs which only led to further disenchantment. And his worst mistake was perhaps the tie-up with Congress and the concession of over 100 seats to a party which was unable to do its bit for the alliance. The combine has lost the maximum vote share percentage compared to the 2012 elections and has faced reversals even in its strongholds.
- The Congress has put up the most abysmal performance in UP and is one of the prominent reasons why the SP-Congress combine sunk. Clearly, the Gandhi family has lost its lustre in their own state. Sonia Gandhi who was ill did not turn up for electioneering, Priyanka Gandhi appeared only in Rae Bareli and Rahul who did the most to canvass support along with holding joint rallies with Akhilesh seems to have been rejected. With a series of setbacks, the Grand Old Party needs to rediscover its mojo.
- Last but not the least, it has been a washout for the BSP and Mayawati’s brand of casteist politics. She has made a humorous claim that people who pressed the BSP button on EVMs got counted in BJP! In today’s day and age, nobody will buy such cheap rhetoric, not even the SC/STs. Bhenji who was not very visible during the campaign phase needs to realize that India has moved ahead from post Mandal days of politics.