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

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Muslims and Jatavs Return to Political Relevance in UP

There are rapid and significant shifts taking place on the ground in Uttar Pradesh, a state that is exceptionally crucial in the general elections. This article looks at the grass-roots impact of the Mahagathbandhan as opposed to the incumbent Bharatiya Janata Party government on the prospects of all the parties and the expectations of the castes and communities involved in the elections.

If one were watching the electronic and print media over the recent past, one would be led to believe that a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) wave is sweeping across Uttar Pradesh (UP) at the expense of the Samajwadi Party (SP), the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) alliance or Mahagathbandhan (grand alliance), as it is known in the local parlance. This seems like an effort to generate a perception or hawa (wind) for the undecided voter in central and eastern UP. The contrarian reality that hits one, while touring the wheat fields of western UP, is that the Mahagathbandhan is smoothly harvesting votes. Even as the national picture remains unclear, it is increasingly certain that the western half of the state has slipped away from the BJP. Out of the 26 constituencies polled in the first three phases, the BJP had claimed 23 in 2014. However, this time around, even reaching a quarter of that might be an achievement. This is happening due to two broad trends: the power of the tactical social coalition that the SP–BSP–RLD alliance has created and the anti-incumbency that the BJP is facing due to the state and central governments.

Why the Mahagathbandhan Works

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Updated On : 14th May, 2019
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