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Saturday, June 10, 2023

“Monk” Yogi Adityanath Bulldozes Rivals in UP Elections

The blurring of religion and politics is what some supporters love and some opponents fear most about Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath

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Niloy Chattaraj
Niloy Chattaraj
COO of Transcontinental Times, A double gold medalist engineer who covers social issues, science, and Indian history.

INDIA: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has kept power in the four states it ruled before the current elections in 2022. Uttar Pradesh (UP), Uttarakhand, Manipur, and Goa are the four states.

While the Aam Admi Party (AAP) sweeps to victory in Punjab (92 seats out of 117), defeating the Congress and the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), the BJP maintains its grip on the remaining four states.

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The election result that draws a huge interest is the result in the state of UP. Led by Yogi Adityanath, BJP has secured 274 seats out of 403, and become the first party in three decades to come to the power for a second consecutive time. The result baffles the best of political analysts and experts as to how BJP has turned around the table.

The answer lies in the fact BJP has outweighed its political rivals, mainly Samajwadi Party (SP), in most of the issues on which the whole election was fought. It is very interesting to digress issues.

Yogi’s growing stature

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In the 2017 elections, BJP won emphatically solely on Modi’s image. Branded as ‘ Parachuted CM’ for Yogi was appointed as CM after the result, the 2022 polls were focused on Adityanath’s governance 

in the last five years. His iron-hand administration was projected as one of the achievements in his five-year tenure. One can see his stature rising as he was invited to campaign for various elections in different states. In comparison to him, SP supremo, Akhilesh Yadav, appeared in the election scene only after the election commission declared the election dates.

Different Welfare schemes

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One of the game-changers for BJP was the free ration scheme of the Central and state governments as families struggled through the 

COVID-19 pandemic that led to the loss of lives and jobs. The other schemes such as the PM Kisan Nidhi, where money was transferred directly to the bank accounts of farmers, benefited the BJP to blunt the anti-incumbency factor. 

From 2014-to 2019, 9.16 crore toilets had been built under the Swacch Bharat Yojana. The effective rollout of PMJAY and Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana continued to the overall socio-economic upheaval. Out of 8.85 crore homes built, 6.5 crores alone were built for Dalits.

Through ‘Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Swarojgar Yojana’, the CM transferred Rs. 17.42 Crore to 3,484 people as assistance money to set up local businesses in June 2020. 

Hindutva Card

With a series of visible outreach projects from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s laying of the foundation stone at Ayodhya to the inauguration of the Kashi corridor, the BJP continued to be unabashed about its Hindutva card. With Muslim voters going to SP, Yogi Adidtyanath wooed the Hindu voters by keeping the heat on with his ’80 vs 20′ and ‘Ali vs Bajrangbali’ comments. 

Law and Order 

Despite the criticism of violation of rights, the UP government was able to successfully project its crackdown on the mafia and the killing of criminals in police encounters as a sign of better law and order. 

In fact, according to National Crime Reports Bureau (NCRB), violent crimes are decreasing from 2017 onwards. In poll rallies, CM Adityanath and Union Home Minister Amit Shah have claimed a sharp drop in crimes such as murders, kidnapping, and rapes over the past five years. 

Shrinking of BSP 

The performance of the Bahujan Samaj Party(BSP), led by Mayavati, was one of the chief factors for BJP’s win. BSP’s vote share has fallen to 12% from 33.43% in 2007. From 206 seats in 2007 to a single seat in 2022, it is the worst performance for the party that had won with a majority in 2007. The BSP seems to have lost its hold on its key vote-bank of Jatavs (11% of the UP population), who have gone to BJP like many other Dalit castes.

Jatavs are traditionally leather workers and they form BSP’s core votes group. A large chunk of Non- Jatav Dalits, which are approximately 9% of the population, voted for BJP. This happened because of poor leadership and the virtual non-participant of Mayawati in the election campaigning. This created a kind of leverage for BJP as it had to fight against a single opposition SP.

Photo Credit: Twitter

Also Read: The Significant Role of UP Elections in Indian Politics


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