Complacency by SP, BSP proves fatal in UP; Congress does much better
The Congress contested six seats and got only 7.5 per cent votes, but in three constituencies, it did better than the Samajwadi Party
The unexpected sweep by BJP in the bye-elections in Uttar Pradesh where it won six out of seven seats despite the popularity scale weighing against it could be attributed to the complacency of Opposition parties which assumed that voters’ anger would translate into votes automatically.
There is no doubt that people are angry with the BJP governments – both at the Centre and the state – for various reasons starting from law and order to economic woes because of Covid-19 pandemic and inflation. But the Opposition parties failed to channelize this anger into votes.
Samajwadi Party was confident that it would win at least three seats and therefore Akhilesh Yadav preferred to monitor the party's campaign from his office while Mayawati entrusted her lieutenant S.C. Mishra the job of monitoring the campaign.
The analysis of the result shows that the Congress has done comparatively better than SP and BSP. The party contested six seats and got only 7.5 per cent votes, but in three constituencies, the Congress did better than Samajwadi Party. In Bangarmau and Ghatampur the Congress was in second position while in Bulandshahr it was in third position where the alliance partners RLD and SP came on fourth position.
The BSP got 19 per cent votes which shows that it was able to retain its core vote bank of Dalits. In Western UP Muslims also voted in favour of BSP in patches despite her statement regarding a ‘secret deal’ with the BJP to ensure Samajwadi Party’s defeat in the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council elections.
In 2017 assembly elections, the BSP had got 23.62 percent votes in these seven constituencies.
But the biggest sufferer is Samajwadi Party despite clocking 23 per cent votes. Out of the six seats it contested, it won Malhani in Jaunur but came second in three seats of Naugaon Sadat (Amroha), Tundla (Firozabad) and Deoria. Shockingly, Samajwadi Party was pushed to third position in Bangarmau (Unnao) and fourth place in Ghatampur (Kanpur) seat. Just a few days before polling, SP had roped in former Congress MP from Unnao Annu Tandon in the party fold but this failed to give the party an impetus in Bangarmau. In 2017 assembly elections, the SP got 25.27 percent votes in these six seats, showing a decline of around 2 percent vote share in the by-elections.
The Samajwadi Party had left the seventh seat of Bulandshahr for its ally Rashtriya Lok Dal which could manage only 7286 votes. In 2017 assembly elections the party had got over 17,000 votes from this constituency, making it clear that in the bye-elections both RLD and Samajwadi Party failed to transfer their votes.