ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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When the Caste Calculus Fails: Analysing BSP's Victory in UP

The triumph of the Bahujan Samaj Party in the 2007 UP assembly elections has incorrectly been explained in terms of caste. The BSP did use caste but only as a metaphor to build innovative grassroot alliances, which demonstrated that the concerns of other communities mattered as much as those of the dalits. A disaggregated analysis, by assembly seats and by region, shows no simple correlations between caste and outcome. The electorates are too large and the social interests too diverse for any simplistic caste calculations to hold. Caste is an important factor, but only one of many; to explain everything in terms of caste robs voters of their secular credentials.


When the Caste Calculus Fails: Analysing BSP’s Victory in UP


BSP Performance Areas BSP Won12341234
BSP Won123123123
Samajwadi Party Bharatiya Janata Party Congress 123123xxxxx xxxxx
Source:Census of 1991. Below 20 per cent Between 20-25 per cent Between 26-30 per cent 31 per cent plus 123123xxxxx xxxxx
Source:Census of 2001. Map 5: Scheduled Caste Literacy Rate Less than 36 per cent Between 36 and 50 per cent More than 50 per cent 123123
5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Aonla 12 13 Pilibhit 14 15 Kheri 16 17 Sitapur 18 19 20 21 22 Unnao 23 24 25 Amethi 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 Gonda 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 Deoria 42 43 BalliaBelow 15 per cent 15-20 per cent Over 20 per cent 123123

Census of 1991.

Bijnor (SC) Amroha Moradabad Rampur Sambhal Budaun




Misrikh (SC) Hardoi (SC) Lucknow Mohanlalganj (SC)

Rae Bareli Pratapgarh

Sultanpur Akbarpur (SC) Faizabad Bara Banki (SC) Kaisarganj Bahraich Balrampur

Basti (SC) Domariaganj Khalilabad Bansgaon (SC) Gorakhpur Maharajganj Padrauna


Below 10 per cent 10-15 per cent Over 15 per cent 123412341234

Census of 1931.

Under 10 per cent 10-15 per cent Over 15 per cent 123123

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