New Delhi, March 10 (IANS): As the BJP takes power in Uttar Pradesh for the second consecutive time, breaking a three-decade-old taboo, it may be due to the fundamental shift in state policy – the consolidation of Hindutva votes behind Prime Minister Narendra Modi since 2014.
Voters in the state have been strongly supported by the BJP – first in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, then in the 2017 Assembly elections, in the 2019 Parliamentary elections and now again in the elections of 2022 at the Assembly. Despite all the votes the BJP was able to get, this may be due to the Hindutva factor, but linked to social ration schemes during the pandemic and direct cash transfers to farmers.
The March 10 results proved once again the new political culture in the state as the BJP won 254 seats with over 41% of the popular vote, 10% more than its closest rival, the Samajwadi party.
The Hindutva tone was set by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath when he said the BJP did not need the 20% vote, in what was seen as a reference to minority community votes and that the party was satisfied with 80%, triggering political reactions. . The BJP’s tone for the election was around 80 to 20 and speakers at public meetings repeatedly spoke and targeted the 20%.
The Hindutva tone was supported by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas” and the free ration during the pandemic that overshadowed the Covid fiasco. Another controversial issue was the protection of cows which overshadowed the issue of stray cattle.
But it was the Prime Minister who held the Hindutva stronghold from 2014. Riding the Hindutva wave after the Muzaffarnagar riots, the BJP seized power winning 71 Lok Sabha seats in the ‘Uttar Pradesh, garnering 42.6% of the vote, while in previous elections the party only managed to win 10.
In 2017, when there was only Modi leading the election campaign, the BJP swept the polls and won 312 seats and obtained around 34,403,299 votes and around more than 39.67% of the vote, a increase of 265 seats compared to 2012.
In 2019, the BJP increased its vote share and won 62 seats on its own and won more votes than the previous elections 42,858,171 and 49.98%.