Uttar Pradesh has always been at the centre of national politics. The state holds the distinction for having a maximum number of seats in Lok Sabha. With a prime focus to form government at the centre, every party wants to ascertain seats from the politically crucial state.
Uttar Pradesh politics is marked with national parties and the regional parties fighting tooth and nail to register maximum seats.
The political stage revolves around four major parties in UP i.e. BJP, Congress, Samajwadi and the BSP. During the 2014 elections, BJP marked a major win from UP with 73 out of the 8 seats. This time, however, the survey reveals that BJP is at the edge of losing seats and the Mahagathbandhan is appearing to take a leap crossing the 40 marks.
As per C-Voter survey agency, 47 out of 80 parliamentary seats in Uttar Pradesh could prove to be the bane of BJP in the elections. In these 47 constituencies, the Muslim-Yadav-Dalit population is higher than 50 per cent. The survey data also suggest that every parliamentary constituency (PC) in UP has more than 40 per cent MYD population.
The Bahujan Samaj Party and Samajwadi Party alliance has decided to contest on 38 and 37 seats respectively, leaving three seats for their smaller partner, the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD). The alliance has also agreed to not field any candidate from the Congress family bastions of Amethi and Rae Bareli.
ABP News-Nielsen survey brings a forecast for Uttar Pradesh showing a tough fight among the contenders and to find out the winning possibilities of different parties and alliances there.
According to the ABP News-Nielsen survey, Mahagathbandhan is projected to bag maximum seats in Uttar Pradesh West. BJP is projected to be limited to only 12 seats of the total 27 seats in the region, while the Mahagathbandhan is expected to bag 15 seats.
In Purvanchal region, it has predicted gain for the mahagathbandhan with SP-BSP-RLD winning 15 seats and BJP falling short on just 11 seats. Congress which is also one of the front runners in the forthcoming polls is likely to win no seats in the Purvanchal region of Uttar Pradesh.
In major drubbing for BJP, Rita Bahuguna is expected to taste defeat at the hands of Samajwadi Party in Prayagraj (formerly Allahabad), while Manoj Sinha is expected to face defeat in Ghazipur. Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav is projected to win Azamgarh Lok Sabha seat against BJP candidate and Bhojpuri actor Nirauha.
In the Awadh region (23 seats), which is a political hotbed of the state, there exists a neck-to-neck contest between the Mahagathbandhan and the NDA. The seat projections are NDA with 11 seats while Mahagathbandhan: 10.
In Awadh region, Congress is projected to bag the two VIP seats of Raebareli and Amethi. Congress President Rahul Gandhi is predicted to defeat Smriti Irani yet again, after the 2014 elections where Irani unsuccessfully contested against the Gandhi scion.
Mulayam Singh Yadav is projected to win from his turf, Mainpuri, yet again this time.
The Caste arithmetic
In a state like Uttar Pradesh, one of the crucial factors is the caste politics. The political parties pay huge importance to the notion that people are politically oriented to one party which belongs to their own caste or favour them.
The success of the BSP-SP combine will squarely depend on the caste arithmetic their coming together brings to the table.
Key to any party’s success in the hinterland is getting the caste arithmetic right. Caste is a key variable towards understanding Indian electoral politics and since the early 1990s, electoral fortunes in northern India, especially in UP and Bihar, have been based on the caste math.
According to the 2011 Census in Uttar Pradesh, Muslims constitute 19 per cent of the total population, while Dalits constitute 21 per cent. While the census does not give caste-wise data for Other Backward Castes (OBC) and General categories, many analysts have counted the Yadav population in UP to stand at around 9-10 per cent. The total population of all three communities constitutes nearly half of the total population of Uttar Pradesh.
The BSP claims Dalit support, while the Samajwadi Party has had a strong Yadav and Muslim support base for the past two decades. This makes the erstwhile foes confident of crashing the Modi-Yogi juggernaut.
Present Lok Sabha MP from Mathura Hema Malini is expected to emerge victorious once again from her constituency in Uttar Pradesh West. In the 2014 general elections for the Lok Sabha, Malini defeated the RLD candidate Jayant Chaudhary.
The Lok Sabha elections will be held in seven phases from April 11 to May 19 and the votes will be counted on May 23. Approximately 10 lakh polling stations, one lakh more than in 2014, will be set up and a total of 17.4 lakh VVPATs will be used with electronic voting machines (EVMs) in all polling stations.
Elections in Uttar Pradesh will be held in seven phases, starting on April 11, 18, 23, 29, May 12 and May 19. Eight parliamentary constituencies each will go to polls in the first and the second phase, to be held on April 11 and April 18, respectively. Ten constituencies will go to vote in the third phase on April 23, 13 in the fourth phase on April 29, 14 in the fifth phase on May 6, and 14 in the sixth phase on May 12. The remaining 13 constituencies will be voting in the final phase on May 19.
Uttar Pradesh is witnessing an interesting battle this time. Congress has put forward Priyanka Gandhi and Jyotiraditya Scindia as general secretaries for west and east UP, while opposition has come out strong forming an alliance. CM Yogi who is surrounded by the incumbency has not been able to garner much support from his state and through his rallies as a star campaigner.
For political parties, a huge win in Uttar Pradesh makes their way for forming the government at the centre. For this, every party is trying to make a lasting impression on the people before the voting commences.