From father’s legacy of hooligans to son’s aspiration of having masterkey of Prime Minister post, SP and BSP alliance may be beneficial for BJP due to shifting of the non-core voter of SP & BSP due to the anger of unholy alliance. Here is an analysis of the elephant riding the cycle in the opposite direction
The old proverb of “Nobody is permanent friend or enemy in Politics” is well suited in recent ‘unholy’ alliance of SP-BSP (Samajwadi Party-Bahujan Samaj Party), which is based on the sole pillar of self-interest of each individual. Much water has flowed into the river since 1995 Guest House Incidenct in which Samajwadi hooligans attacked Mayawati. Now we are in 21st-century era, in which one may see the lowest political ground to defeat a single identity “MODI”. While BSP were blown away by Modi wave of 2014 and hardly survived it in 2017 Assembly elections as well, similarly SP hardly retained its largest opposition party status for namesake in the assembly election. So they ganged up to fight Modi wave jointly based on their 2014 poll vote share assuming to merge vote share of each.
Alliance for Survival: Akhilesh Yadav with Mayawati at a public meeting
Let us take a look into the vote share of 2014 general election. BJP swept the state in 2014 with 42.63% vote share. But SP’s and BSP’s combined vote shares in that election add up to 42.12% — almost the same as BJP’s, even in a year the Narendra Modi wave was rolling. Here is the original twist, Samajwadi Party has its core vote bank of Yadavs and Muslims which in total comes out (8% Yadav + 17 % Muslim) as 25%, may not be transferred into totality to BSP due to its long drawn hatred of Yadav against SC/STs. However, BSP’s loyal vote bank of 20% can be transferred to SP; therefore seats on which either vote bank will be transferred will provide a tough fight to BJP. In this analysis, we have ruled out Congress, which recently fielded its trump card (Priyanka Gandhi not Vadra) to pose serious fight in UP. Surely Congress will also take some share of so-called secular votes especially in the seats where its stalwarts would be fielded. Also, at least 10 % of the vote share of the upper cast which usually swings among parties (BJP/SP/BSP and Congress) will surely be with BJP this time due to 10% reservation provided to them. If we consider amalgamation of all Yadav votes (8%) and all SC/ST votes (20%) in the joint alliance of SP&BSP, it comes out to be only 28 % which is much less than BJP’s core vote bank of 42 % (22% Upper caste and 20 % OBC), which remained intact in recent assembly election of MP and Rajasthan.
One more aspect of the coalition is that both SP and BSP has its local established leadership which will shift their loyalty to either BJP or Congress due to seat sharing (38+38). Since BJP these days fields strong candidate irrespective of party loyalty, there are chances that strong local leaders of BSP/SP may contest on BJP ticket which again will be benefitting BJP. Now with the presence of Priyanka Gandhi into UP, the electoral battle being quadrilateral with multiple pole, division of votes will actually be benefitting saffron party which rely on confusing secular votes and getting its core vote bank intact.
SP has its core vote bank of Yadavs and Muslims which in total comes out (8% Yadav + 17 % Muslim) as 25%, may not be transferred into totality to BSP due to its long drawn hatred of Yadav against SC/STs. However, BSP’s loyal vote bank of 20% can be transferred to SPRecent SC/ST act with sub-categorisation of OBC, providing 10% general reservation on the economic ground along with constitutional status to National Commission of Backward Classes may engage all the communities across the state. The triple talaq segment may also gain few margin for saffron party from minority women, specially educated class along with Shia community. Concluding with this statistics, it can be said that SP & BSP alliance will be beneficial to BJP as the reluctant and angry voters may be inclined to BJP in the anger of unmatched coalition.
Trying to come out of father’s legacy of Gundagardi in regional political sphere, Akhilesh Yadav has miscalculated the voter mindset for the future General Election. Based in his recent success in Gorakhpur, Phoolpur and Kairana by-polls he is expecting a complete merger of SP-BSP vote bank in the upcoming General Elections which is far from reality because by-election is not meant to choose the Prime Minister of the country. The Parliamentary poll will be fought on the question of who will be next PM of the country, and with a complete absence of PM candidate in opposition, the face of Modi ji in BJP will provide saffron party with a clear majority of seats in UP, i.e. around 50-55, which will suffice to them for next PM.
(The writer is Uttar Pradesh-based senior journalist)