Mayawati Banking On Minority Votes

In many seats in the first and second phase areas, upper caste Hindu voters upset with the BJP over demonetisation said they will still vote for the BJP as they didn't want to vote for a Muslim candidate of the SP or BSP. But leaders of the Bhartiya Janata Party and the Samajwadi Party are especially busy saying they are doing well in the first phase. In any case, it would be tough for the BSP to enlist the support of Jatavs as well as Muslims since the two groups have been at war since the Muzaffarnagar riots and are unlikely to vote together.

In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP bagged all the parliamentary seats in the region with the Jat community voting overwhelmingly for it.

Almost 2.6 crore people, including 1.17 crore women, across 15 districts will vote for 839 candidates contesting on 73 of the 403 seats in the first phase of the seven phase election that will end on 8 March. Both parties have realised that they need each other to survive beyond the Assembly elections since Akhilesh will have to move on without Mulayam and Rahul without Sonia Gandhi. "We are getting positive response in the first round of polling", Mayawati said in Lucknow.

Dr Satish Prakash, a Dalit scholar who teaches at Meerut College, Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid Syed Ahmed Bukhari's appeal to Muslims to vote for the BSP in the Uttar Pradesh elections has benifited the party. The results of all the polling will be announced on March 11, when counting takes place.

UP is witnessing three-cornered elections with BJP, BSP and SP-Congress in the fray. "The fact that they are not happy with the BJP and speaking out against it has a cascading effect on other communities".

Political analyst Satish Misra said the Uttar Pradesh elections could prove a hard task for BJP as its performance has failed to make a deep impression on the public and that many people may not vote for the party again.

The UP polls are being touted as a mini referendum on the Modi government's demoneitsation policy and an electoral defeat in UP could deliver a severe body blow to the BJP's electoral prospects in 2019 general elections.

If the question is whether the SP-Congress alliance bring about any drastic change in the way SP or Congress would have gathered votes, the answer is it is too early to say that. This time, The Congress has allied with the SP. BJP insiders, however, said their real concern is the BSP.

As per PTI, stray incidents of violence has been reported of supporters of SP and BSP clashing in Hathras district which reportedly led to the death of a person and injured five.

  • Leroy Wright