Saffron surge across UP; No space for Maya-Akhilesh-Rahul

Aparna Parekh
PM Modi campaigns in Varanasi, UP. (PTI)

PM Modi campaigns in Varanasi, UP. (PTI)

It’s been a historic win for the BJP in Uttar Pradesh. The saffron party which had only 47 seats out of 403 seats in 2012, is now leading in close to 300 seats.

With its allies, Apna Dal (Soneylal) and Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party (SBSP), the BJP is leading in nearly 315 seats. That is a massive surge – an addition of nearly 248 in just 5 years.

With the crucial state of Uttar Pradesh in its pocket, BJP has scripted a victory which many experts are calling bigger than the general election win of 2014.

“This is not a victory but a mega victory. The BJP has changed the political narrative of the country by touching new heights of success in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand,” said Home Minister Rajnath Singh.

The Congress-Samajwadi Party alliance failed miserably in the state. Congress managed to plummet down to single digit. The party was said to be leading in just 9 seats this time around, as against winning 28 seats in the last Assembly poll in 2012.

Kanpur: Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi and UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav wave to the crowd at a  public rally in Kanpur, Feb 5, 2017. Photo - PTI

Kanpur: Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi and UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav wave to the crowd at a public rally in Kanpur, Feb 5, 2017.
Photo – PTI

The alliance hit Samajwadi Party too. The young CM Akhilesh managed close to 56 seats as against 224 in the 2012 polls. Sidelining Mulayam and his coterie, and joining hands with Congress did not seem to work for the cycle-bearers.

Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party seems to have been routed in the state as her traditional votebank – the dalit and muslim voters – deserted her, only to put their weight behind Prime Minister Narendra Modi. BSP fared slightly better than Congress, clutching on to 15 seats this time. In 2012, Mayawati still held on to the queen-maker position with 80 seats.

There’s no doubt that the credit for the saffron surge in UP only goes to PM Modi. He alone, who held 23 rallies in the state in the last 30 days, has been able to turn the fortunes of the party in UP.

The “Modi-Wave” has worked in UP despite the Centre’s decision to carry out demonetisation in November 2016, just four months ahead of UP polls.

UP results show that Prime Minister Modi’s narrative continues to sell in the country and how. Modi has so convincingly managed to consolidate his and his party’s position after 3 years of being in power at the Centre.