Lok Sabha Election

It’s a BJP sweep in Uttar Pradesh

Victory lap: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath celebrating his party’s victory in Lucknow.  

The Narendra Modi-led BJP swept Uttar Pradesh and was set to win 64 out of 80 seats along with its ally Apna Dal, even claiming the scalp of Congress president Rahul Gandhi and three members of the SP’s ruling Yadav clan.

The alliance of the Samajwadi Party-Bahujan Samaj Party-Rashtriya Lok Dal, which contested 78 seats, could only manage a score of 15, an improvement from 2014 when they collectively had only five, but much below the expectations of the parties given the social arithmetic claimed in their favour.

While the BSP looks set to win 10, a jump from the zero it had in 2014, the SP got only five while the RLD, which contested three seats, appears like it won’t open its account yet again. Its vice-president Jayant Chaudhary and chief Ajit Singh are losing in Baghpat and Muzaffarnagar, even though they had the collective strength of the SP-BSP behind them.

The BJP has won 22 and is leading in 40 at the time of writing, while the Apna Dal has won two, Mirzapur and Robertsganj. Despite the daunting new challenge of the SP-BSP-RLD alliance, the BJP dropped only nine seats from 2014, when it had won 71 on its own.

The biggest loser, however, was the SP, as its bastion in central Uttar Pradesh was almost fully breached for the first time.

SP president Akhilesh Yadav’s wife Dimple Yadav is set to lose to Subrat Pathak of the BJP in Kannauj. In Firozabad, Shivpal Yadav played spoiler for his nephew Akshay Yadav by claiming over 91,000 votes as the BJP edged past the SP by 28,000 votes.

Sonia wins

The Congress was reduced to one, Rae Bareli, where UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi held her fort, while her son Rahul Gandhi lost to BJP’s Smriti Irani, who overcame a deficit of 1.08 lakh votes from 2014, to register a historic win by over 47,000 votes.

In Varanasi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi bettered his individual performance, as he polled over 6.73 lakh votes and won by a huge margin of 4.79 lakh.

Belying the perception that the arithmetic of the SP and BSP would keep the BJP in check, the combined vote share of the two parties was much less than their individual shares in 2014. In 2014, the SP and BSP had a combined vote share of 42.2% (SP 22.35 and BSP 19.77) but in 2019, it is only 39.3% (SP 18 and BSP 19.3), a drop for both parties, hinting that their votes didn’t get transferred to each other the way they would have liked.

The arithmetic that worked for the alliance in the bypolls in 2018 also could not be repeated as the alliance dropped votes in all three seats, Phulpur, Kairana and Gorakhpur. In Kairana, the figure came down from 51 to 42.3, in Phulpur from 46.95 to 38 and in Gorakhpur from 48.8 to 35.

The BJP’s Ravi Kishan won Gorakhpur by over 3 lakh votes as he secured a massive 7.17 lakh votes, a feat that even Yogi Adityanath could never achieve during his five-time MP stint in his bastion. In Unnao too, the BJP’s Sakshi Maharaj crossed the 7 lakh mark, winning by over 4 lakh votes, while in Ghaziabad, V.K. Singh got the highest margin of victory in the State, over 5 lakh, as he received over 9.42 lakh votes.

The Congress could manage to be runner-up only in Amethi, Kanpur and Fatehpur Sikri.

Among the other seats that the BSP won many were those with substantial Muslim voters, Ambedkar Nagar, Shravasti, Bijnor and Ghosi, while the party also managed to win Jaunpur. The reserved seats of Nagina and Lalganj also went to the BSP.

In Machhlishahr, the BSP was trailing the BJP by just 181 votes in a hard-fought contest between B.P Saroj of BJP and T. Ram of the alliance.

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Printable version | Jun 11, 2021 11:05:08 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/lok-sabha-2019/its-a-bjp-sweep-in-uttar-pradesh/article27226769.ece

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