The election results are out. Trends have started to come in. It appears NDA will be able to form the government. The results have been surprising in the critical battleground of UP. 

The Mahagathbandhan or the Thugbandhan as the PM called it has failed to make a significant dent in NDA’s prospects, thus dashing the hopes of Mayawati to become Prime Minister of India. 

In 2019 Lok Sabha elections, fierce opponents of 25 years, SP and BSP came together to stop the BJP juggernaut in UP after two successive blows of 2014 Lok Sabha and 2017 Vidhan Sabha elections. The bua and babua jodi also roped in Ajit Singh’s RLD into the alliance. This was a formidable alliance on the paper. 

MGB together had 43% vote share in 2014, against NDA’s 43.6%. If they had contested together in an alliance in 2014, MGB would have won 41 (+36) and NDA 37 seats (-36) with Congress retaining two seats. However, alliances are not all about arithmetic but also chemistry.  

(Adjusted to take into account SP+BSP+RLD contesting together as an alliance in 2014)

BJP swept the state banking on the support of upper caste, non-Yadav OBCs, Jats and non-Jatavs in 2014. MGB buoyed by by-poll wins attempted to consolidate the Dalit, Yadav and Muslim votes. Since these blocks account for 50% of the population, the contest was interesting. 

Trends show people of the state have rejected this opportunistic alliance. Vote transfer has not taken place. While leaders hugged each-other, workers didn’t kiss and make up at the ground. Dalits and Yadavs have been at loggerheads of each other for years. So, have been Jats and Muslims. BJP appears to have maintained its hold over caste support.

The victory shows that first-time voters, young voters from DMY community and women beneficiaries of Ujjwala / Triple Talaq have shunned the caste-based politics of MGB. Congress too played the role of spoiler for MGB. It pulled up 25% votes of Muslims and 10% Dalit votes as per an NDTV report which is its traditional vote banks. 

The party also put up many ex-SP / BSP contestants as candidates playing the role of vote katwa.  74% Jatavs voted for MGB. 57% from non-Jatav voted for NDA (+12% compared to 2014). 76% of Muslims voted for MGB. 18% Yadavs voted for NDA (-7% compared to 2014). Majority of Jats (55%) backed the NDA. 72% of NYOBCs voted for NDA (+12%). 74% upper caste voted for MGB. 

Three polarizations were visible – Hindus vs Muslims, Yadavs vs NYOBC, Jatavs vs Non-Jatavs. Mayawati is now reduced to a Jatavs party and not Dalits. The popularity of Modi compensated for anti-incumbency against MPs. 27% of voters in UP gave importance to PM candidate while voting, versus a national average of 17% as per CSDS.

To sum up, people of UP have rejected opportunistic alliances and development has trumped caste again.