Will Jayant Chaudhary go with BJP?
The opposition alliance INDIA in Uttar Pradesh is standing on the verge of disintegration. RLD, which has a political base in Western UP, is now preparing to break ties with the India Alliance and join the BJP-led NDA. There is also talk of giving four seats to RLD. If RLD chief Jayant Choudhary changes political allegiance, then only SP and Congress will be left in the India alliance in the state. In such a situation, should the India alliance be left empty handed in Western UP?
SP chief Akhilesh Yadav had announced to give seven seats to RLD under seat sharing and 11 seats to Congress. Out of the seven seats that Akhilesh has given to Jayant Chaudhary, he has kept the formula of making his leaders contest on RLD’s election symbol on five seats, which is not acceptable to RLD. Jayant Chaudhary’s closeness with BJP started increasing. RLD has been offered four seats by BJP, which include Baghpat, Amroha, Mathura and Hathras seats.
What will happen if RLD leaves?
If Jayant Chaudhary accepts BJP’s offer and joins BJP led NDA, then only SP and Congress will be left in the India alliance in UP. The politics of Western UP is centered around RLD and in the present times, the politics of Western UP is not in favor of Congress and SP, which we have seen in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. SP, BSP, Congress and RLD could not even open their accounts in the western UP region in the 2014 elections. In the elections of 2024, the situation is again becoming like that of 2014, when the opposition parties are going to contest elections separately.
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The political equations in Western UP are such that it is not easy for any opposition party alone to contest elections with BJP. RLD’s political base is in western UP, where SP’s core vote bank is not Yadav, but there are definitely Muslim voters. Jats, Muslims and Dalits play a very important role in the politics of Western UP. Jats are considered to be the core vote bank of RLD while Congress and SP are keeping an eye on Muslims.
RLD talked about taking Congress along
India alliance had made a plan to defeat BJP in Western UP on the basis of Jat-Muslim equation, under which SP merged RLD with itself. After this, RLD started pressurizing Congress to include it in the alliance, because it knows that Muslim voters play a decisive role in Western UP. In such a situation, if Congress contests the elections alone then there will be a greater risk of Muslim votes getting scattered and if they are inclined towards the claw mark then it will be difficult to overcome BJP.
BJP has directly benefited from the division of Muslim votes in the UP civic elections and in view of all this, RLD has been forced to put pressure on Congress to include them in the alliance. But, now there is talk of Jayant Chaudhary leaving the opposition alliance. In such a situation, if RLD leaves the Indian alliance, then the outright vote of the Jat community will go with the NDA. In 2014 too, due to the Muzaffarnagar riots, the Jat community left RLD and joined BJP, as a result of which the opposition was wiped out in Western UP. SP, BSP, Congress and RLD could not get even a single seat.
Muslims may be inclined towards Congress
At the same time, Congress was also trying to form an alliance with RLD in the 2022 UP Assembly elections, but then Jayant Choudhary’s party had formed an alliance with SP. ADVERTISEMENT Voting patterns are different in Assembly and Lok Sabha elections, due to which new political equations can be formed in Uttar Pradesh in the 2024 elections. It is believed that if Muslims are inclined towards Congress like in Karnataka, then the SP-RLD alliance may also be affected. A major reason for this is the absence of Yadav votes in Western UP and the important role of Muslims. Considering all these political equations, RLD wants to bring SP and Congress together in UP. Jayant Chaudhary can play an important role in this, because SP chief Akhilesh Yadav also has his own political compulsions.
Akhilesh-Jayant duo is in trouble for BJP
After the Muzaffarnagar riots of 2013, BJP worked to strengthen its political base in the western UP area by including Jats. The farmers’ movement has done a lot of work in bridging the gap between Jats and Muslims. In the 2022 assembly elections, the Akhilesh-Jayant Chaudhary duo had created problems for the BJP in many districts of western UP. Earlier in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, SP-BSP-RLD got the biggest success in the western UP belt.
Let us tell you that in Western UP, Jats are around 20 percent, Muslims are between 30 to 40 percent and Dalit community is also above 25 percent. In such a situation, a Jat-Muslim-Dalit equation is formed in Western UP that the opposition can pose a challenge to the BJP. Due to separation of BSP, Dalits are already out and if Jayant Choudhary leaves, then Jat votes will also be scattered. BJP can be challenged with the help of Muslim votes, but winning the seat is not easy.
How important are Muslim votes in UP?
The population of Muslims in the country is 16.51 percent, while in UP there are about 20 percent Muslims i.e. 3.84 crores. In terms of Muslim population ratio, UP is the fourth largest in any state of the country after Assam, Bengal and Kerala. Muslims constitute 26.21 percent of the population in Western UP. In 7 districts of the state, the population of Muslims is more than 40 percent, out of these seven districts, Muslim MPs were elected in six places in 2019. In the 2022 elections, BJP has to face political defeat from SP in these districts. Muslims can unite and win some seats in the assembly elections, but this is not possible in the Lok Sabha elections.
If Muslim voters remain united like this in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, then there can be a political upheaval in 26 Lok Sabha seats of the state. However, Muslims alone cannot do anything special, but only if Jat or any other big vote bank joins, Muslim voters can play a decisive role. That is why a strategy was made to corner BJP in Western UP in the 2024 elections by creating an equation of Muslims with Dalit and Jat votes, but BSP is already not a part of the alliance and now RLD is also planning to exit the alliance. In such a situation, if RLD joins NDA camp, then INDIA alliance will face problems in western UP?
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