United opposition displayed new-found sophistication to defeat BJP in UP

  • The Kairana defeat has shown unprecedented coordination within the Opposition which adopted three strategies to outfox BJP.
  • While RLD’s Jayant Chaudhary built the narrative that voters should not allow the ‘party of Jats’ to sink into political oblivion, SP’s Akhilesh Yadav avoided campaigning to prevent Jats from remembering their grouse against his administration during the 2013 riots.
  • Kairana defeat is the third Lok Sabha bypoll loss under chief minister Yogi Adityanath. The only byelection BJP has won post-2017 is in Sikandara before the Opposition firmed up an alliance.
  • The bypoll losses have hurt BJP as the opposition unity has led to consolidation of Dalit, Jat and Muslim votes. If the social combination remains intact, BJP will not be able to repeat its 2014 and 2017 formula of winning by uniting non-Yadav OBCs votes.
  • Worrying as the 3-12 scoreline in the bypoll results would be for BJP, what may cause the party even greater concern is that these results also reflect an erosion in its vote share as well.
  • The result in Kairana best illustrates this fact. In 2014, BJP had polled 50.6% of the votes but that dipped to 46.5% this time, allowing the opposition to swop in with a victory.
  • Moreover, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav’s strategic decision to not campaign in Kairana and Noorpur and the studied silence of BSP supremo Mayawati after directing her party cadres to support SP-RLD candidates paid off for the opposition.
  • Party sources further said Akhilesh did not campaign in Kairana as that could have brought back memories of the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots.
  • Likewise, Mayawati’s complete silence after directing party cadres to work in tandem with SP-RLD counterparts was deliberate, claimed BSP sources. They said Mayawati did not openly support SP-RLD to prevent BJP from consolidating Dalit votes — who comprise 15% of the total electorate — along with Jats and Gujjars.
  • With incompatible social bases, an SP-BSP-Congress-RLD alliance was unthinkable until recently. However, in Kairana such an alliance determinedly stayed focused on Modi-Adityanath regimes’ incumbency burdens, without falling prey to polarisation attempts.

External Link: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/united-opposition-devised-3-pronged-strategy-to-defeat-bjp-in-uttar-pradesh/articleshow/64408833.cms

External Link: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/up-bypolls-akhilesh-yadavs-absence-mayawati-silence-did-the-trick/articleshow/64410993.cms