With just a few weeks left for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, all eyes are set on states which can play an instrumental role in the formation of the government. Uttar Pradesh for its massive contribution of MPs, 80 out of the total 543 to the Lok Sabha, has been crucial in the formation of the government.
BJP with its massive victory in the 2017 UP assembly elections and 2014 Lok Sabha elections in the state is ready to tackle what is left of the Mahagathbandhan. However, Uttar Pradesh which for long has been guided on caste-based electoral success is all set to upset the SP-BSP-RLD line-up. RLD which claims its influence on Jat votes in the state has been showing a considerable decrease in popularity among voters. A simple comparison of the 2012 assembly elections and the 2017 assembly elections gives us a good insight into the inclination of Jat votes.
In 2012 RLD had contested on just 46 of the total 403 constituencies in the State in which it received 1763354 votes which are 2.33% of the valid votes polled. On the other hand, in 2017 RLD jumped from contesting on just 46 seats to 277 seats. However, despite contesting on more seats the net vote share dipped to 1545811 i.e. just 1.78 % of the total valid votes. The two successive elections saw a massive drop of support from 2.2 Lakhs voters in the state. The 2014 general elections were also not a good show for the Jat-centric party. In 2014 general elections the party received a meager 0.5 % of the total votes in the state.
A recent video of RLD supremo Ajit Singh has also surfaced which shows the leader getting furious at a Jat-elder who had said ‘Jats would only vote for those who stand with them in both good times and the bad.’
A Jat elder says they will vote for those who stand with them in the thick and thin. A furious Ajit flows into rage. Tells the gathering to get lost. This is for those who doubt where the Jat vote is heading. #UPDiary pic.twitter.com/xyuvlgI6O2
— Chowkidar Vikas Saraswat (@VikasSaraswat) March 29, 2019
Jats who have been loyal RLD supporters are sure not to react positively to the behavior of Ajit Singh. With Ajit Singh continually losing the support of the Jat Community, the critical caste equations seem to be diverging from the comfort of the Mahagathbandhan. Mayawati led BSP has also been facing pressure from new faces in Dalit politics of Uttar Pradesh, Bhim army chief, Chandrasekhar Azad is prompt to cut into Jatav votes which have traditionally gone to the BSP. Samajwadi party also seems to be struggling with its share of issues, Uncle Shivpal who parted ways with Akhilesh earlier is also sure to cut into Yadav votes, which have been the steam for Samajwadi party over the years. Mulayam Singh Yadav’s comments praising Narendra Modi are also not poised to play well with Samajwadi party’s electoral prospects. Ultimately, departure of Nishad party from the Mahagathbandhan also speaks lengths about feelings of the Nishad community towards the alliance which many have termed ‘Opportunist’.
Multiple factors lining to upset the calculations of Mahagathbandhan will have a huge impact on the formation of Government in 2019. With the traditional Caste based electoral strategy, Mahagathbandhan is yet to count in new developments in the state. A bird’s eye view of the Mahagathbandhan only spells instability for the possible alliance, with parties coming together on caste-based electoral calculations rather on a firm ideological grounding is a recipe for disaster.
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