The success script of the Bharatiya Janata Party in Uttar Pradesh is historical, but not entirely simple. There are several factors that helped the saffron party get re-elected in the politically important northern state and the BJP’s own efforts. The division in anti-BJP votes, repeated campaigning to fuel rhetoric against the Samajwadi Party and careful planning of the backdoor helped spin the saffron thread of success.
One of the seats won by the saffron party, Deoband, the hometown of Darul Ulum, was a hot topic of debate among voters for a second term. The BJP has won for the second time in a row in Deoband, one of India’s most influential Islamic madrassas. The city is located in Saharanpur district and has 70 percent Muslim population, but only 40 percent Muslim voters in this constituency. Brijesh Singh of Bharatiya Janata Party defeated Karthikeya Rana of Samajwadi Party by 7,104 votes.
According to reports, the All India Majlis-e-Ittehad Muslimeen (AIMIM) candidate from Deoband, Umair Madani, got 3,500 votes. The margin of victory between the BJP and SP candidates was just over 7,000 votes. Had the AIMIM not fielded its candidate, they could have helped the SP candidate with three thousand odd votes win. In the 2017 elections, AIMIM did not field any candidate from this seat.
The split in the anti-BJP vote could also benefit the saffron party in a possible re-run of the 2017 results. Chaudhary Rajendra Singh of Bahujan Samaj Party and Rahat Khaleel of Congress together got over 53,000 votes, which could have benefited SP candidate Rana.
In 2017, Brijesh Singh of BJP got 1.02 lakh votes, benefiting from the vote-sharing of Muslim candidates of both SP and BSP. Bahujan Samaj Party’s Majid Ali got 72,844 votes, while SP’s Mawiya Ali got 55,385 votes.
However, in the Muslim-majority seat, a non-Muslim BSP candidate got over 52,000 votes, indicating that the votes were not cast on religious grounds. Had it been so, the Congress candidate would have won.
Meanwhile, in seats like Lakhimpur Kheri and Hathras, the BJP’s plan was so meticulous that the BJP won all eight seats in Lakhimpur, despite the fact that the district had become the epicenter of opposition protests after the October 3 incident. in which the farmers were crushed. by a vehicle.
According to political experts, despite the opposition’s efforts to focus on the Lakhimpur Kheri and Hathras incidents, to weave a narrative against the BJP, the public supported the new “MY” factor in UP politics. The “MY” factor now refers to the “Modi-Yogi” combination instead of the “Muslim-Yadav” combination of the Samajwadi Party. There were also casualties, Yogi Adityanath’s government lost ten ministers. Despite the setbacks, the BJP ensured that the anti-incumbency wave did not make any significant impact on it.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath both acknowledged the role of “nari shakti (female voters)” in these elections, and party leaders agreed that 29 of the 48 women candidates who won on a BJP ticket were proof.
Allies were also an important part of the BJP’s strategy. After extensive deliberations, tickets were distributed to the pre-poll allies. The party finalized the ticket distribution and seat-sharing after several rounds of discussions with the top leadership. Fifteen candidates of the Nishad Party ran in the election, out of which five used the BJP symbol. In alliance with BJP, six candidates of Nishad Party were elected on their respective symbols. All the other five candidates running under the BJP symbol also emerged victorious.
Meanwhile, when SP chief Akhilesh Yadav sparked a furious controversy on October 31 last year by comparing Muslim League leader and Pakistan founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah to India’s first home minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the BJP was given that ammunition. Got what she was probably waiting for.
Soon, Akhilesh was facing defense in the BJP’s first and most convincing attempt to pit the SP against the Muslim community ahead of the Uttar Pradesh elections. The BJP perpetuates the narrative by recalling the Kairana migration issue, which played a key role in the BJP’s electoral success during the 2017 assembly elections, especially in politically troubled West UP.
Even as Yogi Adityanath initiated the process by visiting Kairana in November, Home Minister Amit Shah escalated the issue by launching the BJP’s election campaign in the town’s street in Shamli district. The SP’s decision to field Nahid Hasan, who has been jailed in several cases from Kairana, helped the BJP shape the story further. In June 2016, then BJP MP Hukum Singh released a list of 346 people forced to flee the Muslim-majority town of Kairana in Uttar Pradesh due to “threats and extortion by criminals”.
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