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States » North » DIE

UP will spring surprise on May 23

Lucknow, May 19 (UNI) As the final phase of Lok Sabha election comes to an end on Sunday, all eyes will be on Uttar Pradesh which is witnessing a close contest between BJP and SP-BSP-RLD alliance with experts predicting surprise results on May 23.

The question in the minds of political observers and people now is how will the Bharatiya Janata Party perform in UP; will the alliance click and will the Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party able to transfer their votes to each other.
“The alliance was formed on the promise that SP chief Akhilesh Yadav could transfer his party’s votes to the BSP and Mayawati could get Dalits vote for the SP. But calculations on paper often miss the bigger picture. Past precedents and current realities tell us that both Mayawati and Akhilesh may not have been able to successfully achieve the desired level of transfer of votes. If this has happened, then it could blunt their chances against the BJP,” said director of the Centre for Study of Society and Politics (CSSP), Kanpur, Dr AK Verma here on Sunday.
In 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Samajwadi party got 22.2 per cent and BSP 19.6 per cent votes in Uttar Pradesh. “If we club them and presume hundred percent transfer of votes, then the alliance’s vote share will be 41.8 per cent. In 2014, the BJP’s vote share in UP was 42.3 per cent and its ally Apna Dal’s vote share was 1 per cent. Comparing these numbers, the NDA with a 43.3 per cent vote share has a slight edge of 1.5 percentage points over the SPBSP-RLD alliance,” Dr Verma explained.

“Transferring votes to an alliance partner is easier said than done. Akhilesh is not known for his ability to get his party’s votes transferred. In the 2017 Assembly polls in UP, he had failed to transfer SP votes to the Congress, which polled just 6.25 percent votes and won seven of the 114 seats it contested,” he said.

Dr Verma said, “Mayawati is seen as a leader who can successfully transfer the Dalit votes to whichever party she desires. But this traditional outlook and her hold over Dalits have been challenged in recent elections.” The BJP, on the other hand, has performed well in predominantly Dalit constituencies. It won all 17 reserved Lok Sabha seats in UP in 2014 and 70 of the 80 reserved seats in 2017 assembly elections.

Given the challenges, the SP-BSP alliance faces in UP, arithmetic of alliance vote share may not hold as per expectations of both Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav. “If that happens, all eyes will be on depreciation of their cumulative vote share. As alliance and the BJP are front runners in UP, their respective vote shares could be approximately 35 per cent and 45 per cent. That gives BJP led National Democratic Alliance an edge over the (SP-BSP-RLD) gathbandhan,” Dr Verma said.

“In 2014, the difference in voting percentage of BJP and SP was approximately 20 points whereas in 2017, the gap between the NDA and SP Congress alliance was 10 percent. Should the BJP have a lead over alliance by 10 percent in UP this time, it can surprise us all on May 23,”predicted Dr Verma.
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