23 October, 2020

In Caste-Strong Uttar Pradesh, Why SP-BSP-RLD Alliance Suffered A Jumbo Setback Vs BJP & Co.

The Mahagathbandhan among Samajwadi Party, BSP, RLD and Congress only focused on their core supporters, forgetting to mobile the entire electorate. BJP clearly rode the national security wave and gained from the Opposition's choice of a clear PM candidate

Photograph by PTI
In Caste-Strong Uttar Pradesh, Why SP-BSP-RLD Alliance Suffered A Jumbo Setback Vs BJP & Co.

In 2014, powered by the Modi wave, the BJP-led NDA had bagged 73 of the 80 seats in Uttar Pradesh, with a little help from ally Apna Dal. This time, it was anticipated that the BJP would suffer significant losses due to anti-incumbency, besides the truly bipolar nature of the contest in which the saffron party was pitted against the formidable caste alliance of the Samajwadi Party (SP), the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), which was perceived to have an edge over it. The NDA, however, managed to bag over 60 seats and its voteshare went up to just below 50 per cent from 41 per cent in 2014.

The BSP’s alliance managed to win 15 seats with a 37.2 per cent voteshare, and the third player, the Congress, just one, with Sonia Gandhi retaining her Rae Bareli seat.

When long- time rivals SP and BSP joined hands last December, burying their grudges, it was touted as the best social coalition to counter the BJP’s growth in the state that is often called the road to Raisina Hill for its key role in deciding the political dispensation at the...



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