How Hindu voters won UP for BJP

Decoding Uttar Pradesh election results : What was the master formula which made this happen

Author Sushobhit Saktawat
There was a saffron surge and then there was a halt. The lotus had withered. The wave had restrained. Only to find its momentum back again, and how. So now we have three phenomena, cut across three years, to deal with and make sense of. One, the incredible saffron surge of 2014, two, the spectacular failure of ruling party in 2015 and three, the historic resurgence of in UP. Three verve on the graph. How it happened? What were the reasons?

The election results from Uttar Pradesh have taken everyone by a surprise. They saw it coming, but nobody saw it coming this way. They were expecting a tide, nobody was looking for a wave, but what came out was an absolute Tsunami, which washed many ashore. An enormous three-fourth mandate, like that of 2014 General Elections, when BJP had swept 73 out of 80 seats of these same dust-bowls of Uttar Pradesh.

What emerges is a pattern of lucidity in voter's minds. India, it seems, have had enough of political ambiguity. Indian voters don't want no hung assembalies no more. There is no scope left for governments of alliance. The mandate is loud and clear. Voters had given a clear majority to BJP in General election, to AAP in Delhi, to Grand Alliance in Bihar and to BJP again in UP. Any doubt? No, sir!

So was that a referendum on demonetization? Yes, you can see it that way. You can also see as how liberal intellectuals are cut-off from the ground realities. There was a virtually universal outrage on Demonetization, but it appears that common people not only didn’t care much about standing in long queues, but they somehow also appreciated the decision of Government as they perceived it as a bold step taken against the rich and corrupts.

The way SP, Congress and especially BSP lost, is a rude awakening. Is it curtains for the Dalit politics? Is it all over for the identity rhetoric? Has the time arrived for political parties to evolve and look beyond the caste and communal politics? I am afraid, the writing on wall is impossible to overlook. And it is only a good sign for Indian democracy. You can’t contest an election on the sole agenda of winning Muslim votes in 21 century India, can you? The answer my friend, is blowing in the wind, for all to see.

So is it the victory of Narendra Modi? Absolutely and by all means, more the reason why Delhi and Bihar results were seen as a personal defeat of Prime Minister. Modi left no stoned unturned in Uttar Pradesh and in an unprecedented campaign, immersed himself thoroughly in the battle. It had become a question of political existence for Modi and he came out victorious. He is going to cherish this victory more than anyone else, along with BJP President Amit Shah, who again won it big in the most important battleground of Indian politics.

seemed to have somewhat lost the plot after his spectacular victory in the General Elections. He got his act together and the result are evident. Modi had got his political narrative clear before these elections and he was able to reach out to voters and convey his message to them. This is the same thing which had won him the throne of Delhi in 2014 in the first place. It also goes to shows that today Modi is the main striker of BJP without a tinge of doubt. When Modi gets it right, BJP gets is right. You can also say that Modi is BJP and BJP is Modi now!

However, the biggest factor was the huge tectonic shift which took place beneath the social surface and turned the table on the identity politics of SP, BSP and Cong. BJP wasn’t even pretending to get Muslim votes in UP. Contrary, it gave a clear signal to upper and lower caste Hindus that if Muslims are voting tactically and “en masse”, why can’t you come together and do the same. In a way, those who were backward till now, suddenly became Hindus and went out in big numbers to vote BJP. The fact that Prime Minister and BJP state president both hail from the backward class, only helped if further. And results are a stunning victory for BJP, which is going to change the political landscape of India forever. And by the way, SP and BSP would be now wondering if they were better off forming a Bihar like grand alliance to counter BJP. Well, its too late for now.
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