It is clear that the ‘double engine’ formula worked well for the BJP. While dissatisfaction with both the Central and State governments was higher this time compared to 2019, the Yogi Adityanath-led U.P. government was assessed more negatively by the voters compared to the Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre. Of the two engines, the one at the Centre appears more likely to have led the party to its second consecutive victory in the State.
The Lokniti-CSDS post-poll survey found a little over one-thirds of voters to be fully satisfied with the Adityanath government, six points lower than the Modi government. Also, compared to a quarter of voters who are completely dissatisfied with Mr. Modi, one-thirds had such sentiments against Mr. Adityanath (Table 1).
The Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party (SP) alliance tried hard to wage an electoral battle against ‘image Yogi’, but the voters who backed the BJP were more focused on the Modi government’s work rather than the State government’s work. As highlighted in Table 2, well over two-fifths of those who voted for the BJP considered the Modi government’s work, as against only one-fifths who looked at the performance of the State government while casting their vote. This favourable image of Mr. Modi and his government in the voter’s mind was the most important factor which tilted the scales in favour of the BJP.
On being asked whom they would want as Chief Minister, two-fifths of the voters named Mr. Adityanath and one-thirds named Mr. Yadav. Interestingly, unlike Mr. Modi during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Mr. Adityanath appears slightly less popular than his party. Mr. Modi, however, continues to matter more to the voters, helping the BJP yet again in diluting the anti-incumbency sentiment in the State.
Manjesh Rana is a Research Associate at Lokniti-CSDS and Mirza Asmer Beg is Professor at the Department of Political Science, Aligarh Muslim University