Lucknow: The BJP won at least three mayoral seats in Uttar Pradesh civic polls this month due to a split in the opposition vote as the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Samajwadi Party (SP) clashed, favoring the new entrant. Happened too.
An analysis of the May 13 results shows that BSP chief Mayawati suffered the most – the party not only lost its two mayoral seats in Aligarh and Meerut, the number of seats it won in urban local bodies (ULBs) was also the highest in 2017. is much less in comparison.
The advantage came to the BJP when it came to the number and percentage of seats won in the Mayor, Corporator, Nagar Palika Parishad President, Nagar Palika Parishad member, Nagar Panchayat President and Nagar Panchayat member elections.
New entrants like the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) have also done better this time than six years ago.
In 2017, the BJP won 14 of the 16 mayoral seats, while the winning municipal councilors were 45.85 percent, municipal chairpersons 35.35 percent, municipal councilors 17.54 percent, nagar panchayat presidents 22.83 percent and 12.22 percent municipal councilors. Panchayat member’s.
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It not only won all 17 mayoral seats [इस साल एक सीट जोड़ी गई], but its percentage increased to 57.25 percent for municipal councilors and 44.72 percent for municipal presidents. Similarly, the percentage increased to 25.53 per cent, 35.11 per cent and 19.55 per cent in the case of municipal councillors, nagar panchayat presidents and nagar panchayat members.
The percentage of winning municipal councilors and municipal presidents of BSP decreased from 11.31 and 14.65 percent to 5.99 percent and 8.04 percent, respectively.
In the case of municipal councillors, nagar panchayat presidents and members, its share decreased from 4.98 per cent, 10.27 per cent and 4.01 per cent to 3.59 per cent, 6.8 per cent and 3 per cent, respectively.
For the SP, its percentage decreased from 15.54 percent and 22.73 percent to 13.45 percent and 17.59 percent for municipal councilors and municipal presidents, respectively.
The winning percentage of municipal councillors, nagar panchayat presidents and members also fell from 9.07 per cent, 18.95 per cent and 8.34 per cent to 7.98 per cent, 14.52 per cent and 6.76 per cent, respectively.
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Decline in Congress base
Another major observation in the polling data released by the Election Commission is the rapid decline of the Congress.
The SP replaced the Congress as the second highest vote-getter in at least three mayoral seats in Mathura, Varanasi and Kanpur. BSP did the same in Moradabad and Ghaziabad.
From 8.46 per cent of municipal councilors and 4.55 per cent of municipal chairpersons in 2017, the numbers of Congress went up to 5.42 per cent and 2.01 per cent, respectively.
Similarly, the winning percentage of municipal councillors, nagar panchayat presidents and members decreased from 3 per cent, 3.88 per cent and 2.32 per cent to 1.71 per cent, 2.57 per cent and 1.07 per cent, respectively.
Meanwhile, AIMIM and AAP made slight gains at all six levels of ULBs (see graphics) at the expense of other opposition parties.
division of muslim votes
A major finding from the election results is the division of the Muslim vote due to the presence of multiple opposition candidates.
In at least three mayoral seats, Aligarh, Firozabad and Saharanpur, the SP and BSP fielded Muslim candidates. BJP has won all the three seats with a huge margin.
In Aligarh, the difference in votes between the BJP and SP candidates was less than the number of votes polled by the BSP and Congress candidates, who came in third and fourth.
In Firozabad, the difference in votes between the BJP and SP candidates was less than the number of votes polled by the BSP candidate who came third. A similar scene unfolded in Meerut, where AIMIM finished second and the BSP candidate slipped to the third position.
Shashikant Pandey, head of the political science department of Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University, said fielding Muslim candidates from Mayawati and AIMIM helped counter-polarise Hindu votes, as was seen in the past.
He said, “It has also been observed in assembly elections that wherever the population of Hindus and Muslims was around 40 per cent, there was a cross polarization of Hindu votes, which helped the BJP. If multiple parties field Muslim candidates, BJP candidates win easily.
He said other factors in the BJP’s impressive performance are its control over the state machinery and a powerful leadership in both Delhi and Lucknow.
Talking about the BSP, he said, “The BSP is literally on the verge of collapse in UP, and there is no effort being made towards revival from the party. It works to defeat the SP, not the BJP. To defeat the SP, it fielded 11 Muslim candidates (out of a total of 17) in the mayoral seats.
Its social engineering has now become a thing of past and BJP has come a long way. Party leadership is not visible on the ground and tickets are being distributed inside Mayawati’s house.
Mirza Asmar Baig, professor of political science at Aligarh Muslim University, said it cannot be denied that the BSP’s animosity with the SP is hurting both the parties and is suicidal for Mayawati.
He said, ‘It seems that the tendency of the BSP is to harm the SP. There is no doubt that there is so much pressure on Mayawati as she is facing so many corruption cases which can always be revived. Rumors of reopening of the case always spread before elections and that is the reason why she is playing BJP’s game and helping them secretly.
SP spokesperson Amik Jamai said that the BSP resorted to this strategy in the 2022 assembly elections.
He alleged that, “The party (BSP) follows the instructions of Delhi (BJP headquarters). Many candidates were fielded in 2022, due to which we lost by a very small margin… BJP and RSS had a plan to weaken the SP in the most politically important state of the country. But now SP is replacing BSP as the choice of backward and Dalits.
Baig said that the morale of the opposition workers has dropped in the civic elections.
He said, “For example, in Aligarh, if voters’ names were missing, there was little effort by anyone from the opposition party to ensure that they were helped to cast their vote. It is the responsibility of the political party workers to do this. However, the opposition cadres seem demoralized and not even enthusiastic enough to take that pain. ,
Pandey also said that there was a vast difference in the campaigns of the opposing sides.
He said, “The BJP campaigned aggressively under the leadership of Yogi Adityanath and the CM visited all the areas where mayoral elections were held. It was not so in the case of SP, which seemed to have a clue of the results. BSP was not visible after ticket distribution.
When asked about the SP’s allegations of helping the BJP in secret, BSP MLA Umashankar Singh told ThePrint that in mayoral seats like Saharanpur and Agra, BSP candidates got the second highest number of votes and fielded SP Alleged that his candidate is helping the BJP to win.
He further said, “In Saharanpur, we won over 1.46 lakh votes, while the SP candidate got only 22,000 votes. BSP lost by just 4000 votes. Here SP helped BJP by fielding its candidate. Similar was the scene in Agra. In Mau and Bhadohi Nagar Palika seats, where SP sought votes by threatening voters, our candidates won with huge votes. “In Rasara, our municipality president candidate got 13,000 votes and won…” he said, adding that the BJP “misused the state machinery in many seats”.
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(Editing- Pooja Mehrotra)
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