SP out does BSP in retaining vote bank in UP
Despite the Modi wave making a clean sweep of Uttar Pradesh, which plays a crucial role in deciding as to who would rule at the Centre, regional parties like the SP and BSP have not been as much decimated as is reflected in the number of seats they have got.
A detailed look at the election result shows that the SP put up a good fight at a number of places and was second at 31 seats. Though it could win only five seats as compared to 23 it had won in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, the decline in its vote share has been nominal. As against 23.26 per cent votes, the SP got 22.26 votes this time. This indicates that it has not suffered as much by the flight of its voters to the BJP as its arch rival BSP.
Though BSP supremo Mayawati has claimed that her Dalit vote bank had been intact, decline in her vote bank is much substantial that of the SP. Her party has got around 20 per cent votes as compared to 27 per cent it got last time. However, its candidates have come second on 32 seats spread all over the state, though it failed to win any seat this time.
Ms Mayawati in a press conference after the election results were out, blamed Muslims for not voting "intelligently", Indicating that they divided their votes between the SP and her party, but it is understood that a sizeable section of Dalits too this time did not vote for BSP. It is not clear whether Muslims voted en bloc for any one candidate, except perhaps in a few constituencies. Political observers feel that the votes of the community was divided among various secular choices like Congress, SP, BSP, AAP.
The BJP got 71 seats in Uttar Pradesh, which is much more than it got in 1998 when it was riding on the crest of the temple wave. In that election, it had got 57 seats .
The Congress this time retained only two seats (of Rahul and Sonia Gandhi), down from 21 it had got in the 2009 elections.
The BSP has been banking on the anti-incumbency factor in the state to carry her party through. But it was the anti-incumbency factor against the ruling Congress at the Centre combined with the Modi factor that upset all her calculations.
(Posted on 18-05-2014)