A Wave in UP. A Negative Wave and it is lashing out against the BJP

Sunday, February 12, 2017

It is popularly believed that the 1st Phase sets the ‘hawa’ that conditions voting in rest of the phases in Uttar Pradesh. So what exactly does mainstream and social media think what’s happening in the state? 

The Navbharat Times provided some very useful insights on voting trends.  They felt Dalits enmasse voted Mayawati of the BSP, the Jats overwhelming backed the RLD, the minorities consolidated mainly around the SP-Congress alliance, the leftover OBCs (minus Jats) around the BJP with Brahmins divided between the BJP and Congress. And Western UP was supposed to be BJP’s strongest batting line up and as we proceed to the subsequent phases, the BJP can be expected to progressively get even weaker as the might of Yadav-Muslim social coalition comes into full play. 

An analysis of BJP performance in Assembly Polls post May 2014 reveal that the party had been losing vote share at a rather disconcerting trend, even when winning states like Haryana, Maharashtra & Assam.  Read HERE

If these perceptions of Navbharat Times are indeed accurate, the moot question is what kind of hit would BJP’s vote share take, given they chalked up 51% during 2014 Lok Sabha elections?? There is a good possibility that it be around 30%,  plunging their vote share in the state to sub 20% levels. At sub 20% levels, BJP could end up the 4th largest single party and if so, on March 11th it would be fun to watch pollsters try to defend BJP’s number one billing according to their pre-polls! Corroborative evidence of complete collapse of BJP in UP is reflected in the lack of crowds for BJP rallies. As UP voted Phase 1, Amit Shah and Maneka Gandhi found to their disdain and acute embarrassment  scanty crowds in BJP’s so called bastion Philbit. Modi’s speeches does not excite his own party colleagues any more as they did in the past, neither is BJP’s cadre and supporters electrified by the rhetoric spewed by their leaders. The BJP appear to be suffering from a huge disconnect with the people and lack of entrophy.

A review of perceptions of journalists and election watchers suggest that the 1st Phase was mainly a contest between the SP-Congress Alliance and BSP with RLD coming in with a good spunky third and the BJP a distant fourth. The overwhelming opinion was that it was a neck-to-neck battle between the Alliance and BSP, with some putting BSP marginally ahead in the seat count while others the Alliance. It is possible that the BSP leads the Alliance as Phase 1 was the weakest for the Alliance. Mayawati appeared quite elated when she claimed a wave in her favour. The Alliance appeared pretty pleased also as if  the 1 st Phase voting ensured a decent second place for them, they should happily settled with that. 

Below is a snapshot of show of some interesting social media conversations about interpreting voter turnout during Phase 1.

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