Mahagathbandhan in Uttar Pradesh is Opposition’s most promising weapon for the general elections, but it still may not fire
New Delhi: The most potent attack so far on the ruling BJP’s prospects in the 2019 elections has been launched where it matters most: Uttar Pradesh. Propelled by the idea that only a mahagathbandhan can stop the Narendra Modi-Amit Shah juggernaut ever since the experiment succeeded in Bihar in November 2015, UP’s two biggest non-BJP forces Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav came together on Saturday to announce their alliance for 2019.
This was only expected. In a way, Opposition’s brahmastra is out of its quiver. It is to be seen how Modi-Shah counters this now.
But will UP’s bua-bhatija mahagathbandhan succeed? MyNation examines why it may not.
Caste maths still favours BJP
While Yadavs (8%), Muslims (19.26%) and Dalits (20%) look like a formidable bank of 47% votes that the Opposition will be angling for, 11% non-Jatav Dalits have often voted for the BJP.
Where the BJP will primarily hope to encash from 10% Brahmins, 18% other OBCs, 8% Thakurs, 8% Kushwahas (Maurya, Shakhya, Kachhi, Koeri, Saini), 3% Kurmis, 2% Vaishyas, 1.1% Tyagis and Bhumihars, 0.8% tribals and 11% Jatav Dalits.
In all, 62% of UP’s population will be BJP’s primary hunting ground. It will also look at weaning some Jatav youths, Shias and Muslim women who are happy about the party banning triple talaq.
Will Dalit’s vote Yadavs?
Dalits have been the worst victims of Samajwadi Party’s Yadav-Muslim politics. It is doubtful if Dalits will transfer their votes to Samajwadi Part’s Yadav candidates given how they have been historically treated. Law an order under SP and brazen Yadav-wad was one of the major reasons why SP was wiped out in the state polls.
Will Yadavs vote for Dalits?
Even if Dalit vote transfer happens in the seats SP is fighting, Yadavs are less likely to vote especially for Mayawati’s Dalit candidates. With enormous political clout in UP and Bihar, Yadavs see themselves as the upper caste and look down on Dalits.
Spurned aspirants may spoil party
A large number of SP and BSP ticket aspirants are going to be left disappointed because of the new alliance. These candidates may either run to the BJP, or fight as rebel candidates. Some may stay back in the party but silently work against it on the ground. Both Akhilesh and Maya will have a fair bit of heartburn to handle, which Amit Shah will try to make the most of.
Upper caste polarisation
A Yadav-Dalit-Muslim combined force is bound to cause polarisation. It will trigger a galvanisation of upper caste votes and also bring into the fold others OBCs. This will help the BJP when considered along with the 10% general quota introduced by the Centre as upper castes miffed by the SC/ST Amendment Act will be back in BJP fold.
Ram Mandir could blur caste lines
Finally, the biggest gamechanger in UP and possibly across India will be a decision or movement on the Ram Mandir issue. It will wash away caste lines and the BJP will gain from a consolidated Hindu vote. Mandir is the X-factor which even Mayawati acknowledged would upset almost all other equations.
Last Updated 12, Jan 2019, 11:51 PM IST