Perhaps, for the first time in the electoral history of India, Independents have emerged as the single largest group in an election. With an unprecedented victory in Uttar Pradesh assembly elections still fresh in the minds of people, BJP was expected to sail smoothly and sweep UP urban and town area body polls.
Hyping BJP’s early gains in just 16 city Mayoral posts out of a total of 652 seats, the mainstream media went berserk on Friday, claiming a huge ‘victory’ for the saffron party. In fact, the opposite happened. BJP was unable to win even 30% of the seats.
A party that won 325 out of 403 seats in assembly elections just eight months back, could not emerge even as the single largest group. The party’s vote share shrunk by a massive 12%.
Here are the ‘real’ figures/results:
Total Seats: 652
- Nagar Panchayat (Town Area) Presidents: 438/438
- Independents: 182
- BJP: 100
- SP: 83
- BSP: 45
- Congress: 17
- AAP: 2
- Rashtriya Janata Dal: 2
- Rashtriya Lok Dal: 3
- AIMM: 1
- AIFB: 1
- Unrecognised Party: 2
- Nagar Palika Parishad (City Municipal Council) Presidents : 198/198
- BJP: 70
- SP: 45
- Independents: 43
- BSP: 29
- Congress: 9
- CPI: 1
- Ad hoc registered party: 1
- Nagar Nigam (City Municipal Corporation) President (Mayor): 16
- BJP: 14
- BSP: 2 (Source: State Election Commission)
If all the results are tabulated, Independents, with 225 seats out of 652, emerge as the single largest group. With 184 seats, BJP is placed at the second position. With 128 seats, Samajwadi Party (SP) gets the third place. BSP comes fourth with 76 seats.
The BSP won two seats in the Mayoral polls. The party has regained some of its Dalit-urban base (lost earlier to the BJP). But, overall, BSP has not been able to get the desired traction.
An analysis of the voting pattern reveals that out of a total UP population of 22 Crores, 8 Crores were eligible to vote in the 3 tier urban-town bodies. Polling was 52.4%, which translates, roughly, to a little over 4 Crore (40 million) votes polled. 2.65 Crore votes were polled in 438 Nagar Panchayats, 35 Lakh in 16 Corporations, 1 Crore in 198 Nagar Palika Parishads.
BJP got 87% of the vote in tier 1 Mayoral polls. With 12.5%, BSP was second. 87% of 35 Lakh would be close to BJP polling 30 Lakh votes. In Nagar Palika Parishad, 70 seats won by BJP fetched it 35.5% of the vote. SP polled 22.5 % and BSP 14.65% while Congress polled 4.5%.
Independents polled 21.72% of the total. 35.5% votes polled by BJP in Nagar Palika Parishad out of a total of 1 crore votes, amounts to 35 lakhs. In the 2.65 crore votes polled in Nagar Panchayats, BJP with just 100 seats out of 438 could manage only 22% of the vote. In this segment, Independents polled 41.55% of the votes. SP polled 18.95% and BSP polled 10.27%. Congress vote share stood at 3.88%.
Now how much is 22% of 2.5 crores? Around 58 Lakhs…and how much is 41.55% of 2.5 crore votes? A little over 1.7 Cr. So, in reality, BJP polled 1.23 crore votes out of 4 crore. How much is that in percentage terms? Just about 30%.
In 2017 assembly elections, BJP polled 42% of the total vote. It had swept town areas. Now its share has come down to 30%. If elections are held today in UP, BJP will not get more than 30-34 MP seats. In the event of a Vidhan Sabha election, BJP might fall to 158-162 assembly seats.
Here, we are not taking into account the massive EVM manipulation operation, which the BJP government tried in UP as well. BJP was unable to do much in UP as ballot papers were used in Nagar Palika Parishads and Nagar Panchayats. With few exceptions, BJP lost entire Nagar Panchayat seats in Basti, Gonda, Chitrokoot, Allahabad, Mirzapur, Barabanki, Azamgarh, Jaunpur, Kausambi, Fatehpur, Farukkhabad, Firozabad and so on and forth; winning Amethi was no big deal as the seat was with already with BJP. This loss is a fatal blow for Yogi, the BJP UP CM. He has lost face. On the other hand, the results open the floodgates for new forces to rise in UP politics.
(Views expressed are the author’s own. Janta Ka Reporter doesn’t necessarily endorse them)