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Upcoming elections in Uttar Pradesh may change equations

Similarly, in the previous poll, in 2007, about five per cent difference mattered. The BSP which had formed the government after that election by cornering 30.4 per cent votes. The SP which was the main opposition then had been able to collect 25.43 per cent support.

Arnima Dwivedi

Arnima DwivediBy Arnima Dwivedi

Published on 9 Jan 2017 7:42 AM GMT

Upcoming elections in Uttar Pradesh may change equations
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Upcoming elections in Uttar Pradesh may change equations
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Lucknow: Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati was the first in Uttar Pradesh to announce the list of party candidates for the forthcoming assembly elections in the state with caste and community break-up.

Taking the cue the, other major political players may do likewise. Behind the move is the hope that it will be pleasing to voters of these castes as has happened in the past. But this hope may be belied in the February -March elections in the state for the simple reason that there are about 24 lakh new voters who will vote for the first time and are not guided by caste and other such considerations.

These techno-savvy young voters who have links with social media for one reason or the other have different outlooks and are unwilling to accept the old and outdated practices. They would like to go for changes in all the fields including political arena. And it is this new class of voters Mayawati and the likes of her should worry more about.

The number of such voters, going by the present list drawn by the electoral body, is sizable, about two per cent of the total electorate-- 14 crores. In a tight contest, which is likely in the state, where victory is decided by a few thousand votes ,they will matter a lot. The assembly poll in Uttar Pradesh was held five years ago but the Lok Sabha election was held recently and in that election these young men, also women, have proved the point.

The Bhartiya Janta Party which held the third position in the state in last assembly election bagged more than 90 per cent of Lok Sabha seats in the last parliamentary poll. thanks largely to such voters who have risen above caste and other such considerations. The story was the same in some other parts of the country. There may be an action-replay in the coming assembly election in the state in terms of percentage of their vote-share.

An analysis of the past two assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, in 2007 and 20012, indicates that three to five per cent vote increase can change the fortune of a political party. In the last assembly election the ruling Samajwadi Party had collected about 29.15 per cent of the total votes polled in the state and it was only three per cent higher than the Bahujan Samaj Party which was the close second. But it was enough for the former to form a government.

Four cornered contest and close-fights on many seats helped the SP win 224 seats out of the total 403 with only a small gap in vote -share. The main rival, the BSP, had to be satisfied with only 80 victories.

Similarly, in the previous poll, in 2007, about five per cent difference mattered. The BSP which had formed the government after that election by cornering 30.4 per cent votes. The SP which was the main opposition then had been able to collect 25.43 per cent support. Again because of tough fight on a number of seats while the BSP was victorious in 206 constituencies, the SP could get only 97 candidates elected.

The fight will be tougher this time because in addition to these two, the Bhartiya Janta Party, which was much behind them in last two polls, has become a force to reckon with now. Prime Minister Narendra Modi who is the party mascot has made some moves including note-ban and triple talaq which may take the BJP much ahead.

All this is a warning signal to the caste-minded leaders who have nothing else to sell. The Supreme Court which has issued a warning to them too in its latest judgement is also keeping a a close watch. So, change if you want to remain in business or check out.

Arnima Dwivedi

Arnima Dwivedi

A journalist, presently working as a sub-editor with newstrack.com. I love exploring new genres of humans and humanity.

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