While BJP's rivals clamoured against Yogi's image, none really matched the hard work and meticulous planning worked out by the Yogi-Shah-J P Nadda team. Above all, Modi himself would take stock of things. Thus, the caste games also changed.
New Delhi: Analysts would be working for weeks to get at the root cause of BJP's unprecedented success in Uttar Pradesh and why parties such as the BSP that polled 30 per cent votes in 2007 would virtually vanish.
For starters, the big message from the UP mandate was that welfare works matter. Poor and Dalits need homes, toilets, cooking gas, food rations.
During the pandemic lockdown, the Yogi Adityanath government stood by the poor, and modest cash handouts were done through direct bank transfers. The media deliberately or otherwise ignored these, but it all helped BJP build trust with the electorate.
In Gujarat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had been an 'image' of Hindutva himself, along with a development man with a no-nonsense approach in guiding the bureaucracy. The same virtues apply to Yogi as well.
Yogi's politics laying emphasis on decisiveness and strong-arm rule – surveys have found that a substantial number of Indians prefer strong leaders – also appears to have "resonated with voters", says BBC.
So far, the casteist players in Indian politics have underestimated the poor and Dalit population's patriotism and wisdom. The UP mandate of 2022 is a lesson for them.
In 2014, the Modi-Amit Shah duo had underlined the need for booth-level planning to turn the anti-Congress mood into BJP's favour. In 2017, the same yardstick was applied and even in 2022, while BJP's rivals clamoured against the use of 'funding' to build up Yogi's image, none really matched the hard work and meticulous planning worked out by the Yogi-Shah-J P Nadda team. Above all, Modi himself would take stock of things. Thus, the caste games also changed.
Smaller Dalit communities, Gonds, Pasis, Valmikis and Khatiks and a few others make up about 10-11 per cent of the electorate. During the last 7-8 years, the BJP made well-planned efforts to win over them.
These segments reciprocated the gesture as Mayawati's show otherwise used to be Jatav dominance. Similarly, non-Yadav OBCs were also in favour of the BJP. Thus, BSP's vote share has dropped to 12.88 per cent of votes and seats – merely one.
Compared to BSP, the Apna Dal (Soneylal) won 12, Jansatta Dal Loktantrik 2, Nirbal Indian Shoshit Hamara Aam Dal 6, Rashtriya Lok Dal (of Jats) 8, Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party – 6. Of course, Samajwadi Party of Yadavs won 111.
During the 2014 election campaign, the then BJP chief Rajnath Singh said the change in chief minister on rotation during BJP's alliance with BSP was a blunder, and BSP's rise was directly linked to BJP's downfall.
For years, the BJP struggled in UP. In the meantime, in 1995, Mayawati became UP's youngest and first Dalit Chief Minister. And in 2007, she was in power on her own. But in 2017, BSP's vote share declined to 22.2 per cent and is now much below to around 12. The BSP had suffered the most in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls as well.
In Ambedkar Nagar, from where Mayawati won the Lok Sabha polls, the BSP had to suffer a loss of all five seats. This district on the borders of Purvanchal and Awadh has a very high concentration of Jatav voters. Shyam Sundar Sharma is an eight-time MLA from the Mant constituency in the Mathura region. He once won on the Trinamool Congress symbol from this place but lost the seat this year as a BSP candidate.
The BJP and PM Modi's craftsmanship has also created a neo-socio-political leadership in Uttar Pradesh. BJP accused of promoting Brahmins or Thakurs actually promoted leaders belonging to the OBC group at every level of the party's organisation and even governments in the state. In mid-2020, surveys showed nearly 70 per cent of BJP lawmakers belonged to castes considered being lower down in the caste hierarchy. These changed the game altogether, and thus BJP's tally reached 255, something its detractors could never imagine.