Barely few days after historic expansion in North East, BJP rath has got halted a bit because of Uttar Pradesh bypolls results. Before explaining everything, let us find the reasons behind the loss
1.Candidate selection: Both in Phulpur and Gorakhpur, candidate selection by BJP was very wrong.
In Phulpur, they brought Kaushlendra Singh Patel who was working in Varanasi and Mirzapur. He did not have time and energy to campaign. In Gorakhpur, BJP fielded a Brahmin candidate on constituency which did not have favourable caste mix (as we will see later in this article).
2. Booth level workers are not aggressive: As Candidates are not much supported at local level, BJP workers who are famous for maintaining booths are not much aggressive and enthusiastic.
3. Mahagatbandhan at the last week: The mahagatbandhan of SP-BSP after 23 years which was announced just one week before the election completely tilted the game
4. Voting percentage: The voting percentage recorded was very low and in Phulphur it did not even touch 40%, which is very low. As per the previous trends, usually BJP gets a fighting chance only if the voting percentage is at least 55%.
5. Caste factor: BJP got the caste combination completely wrong. For example, out of nearly 19.5 lakh voters in Gorakhpur, the biggest caste chunk is those of the Nishads and Mallahs, whose population is around 4.5 lakh, or nearly 23 per cent of the voters. The next biggest chunk of voters are 3.5 lakh Muslims that make for nearly 18 per cent voters. Dalits – of who there are nearly 3.5 lakh – together make up the third biggest chunk. All these combination completely sided with Mahagatbandhan. Almost same case happened in case of Phulpur.
6. Controlling Examination Mafia: Yogi’s strict action against examination mafia is perceived as an act against OBCs (most students opting out of exams came from that section) and Yogi govt is seen as govt for upper castes which angered OBCs.
So now as just one year left before the 2019 election, let us see whether BJP can bounce back or is it the end of road as predicted by many media houses:
1. The unity of Mahagatbandhan: SP-BSP bonhomie is at the very early stage. Everybody outside U.P wants the alliance to continue, but only U.P people know that all is not well between Akhilesh and Mayawati, which can be sensed by the fact that Akhilesh did not comment anything on the future of the alliance in the press meet which happened yesterday.
2. Enhancing the voting percentage: Even after the mahagatbandhan, BJP lost Gorakhpur by 20000 votes and Phulpur by 60000 votes. For loksabha polls, this gap is not very big, and if BJP works properly and increases the voting percentage this difference can be recovered.
For example, out of 20 Lakh registered voters in Phulpur, in the bypolls almost 7.5 Lakh people voted but if BJP manages to bring another 2-3 lakh voters during general election, it completely tilts the game.
3. Avoiding the complacency: Bringing back that famed BJP election machine with Panna Pramukhs and Shakti kendras is the need of the hour. Need to avoid complacency at any cost.
4. Candidate selection: Need to select candidates properly. There are rumors going on that Yogiji was not happy with the candidate selected for Gorakhpur constituency. So the need of the hour is selecting candidates by satisfying all the caste arithmetic.
As per the above analysis, this defeat is recoverable provided BJP ties the loose ends.