BJP's Historic Big Win in Uttar Pradesh Thanks to Welfare Scheme Introduction, Say Analysts

© AFP 2023 / SANJAY KANOJIASupporters of India's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) celebrate outside the party office in Lucknow on March 10, 2022, on the day of counting of votes for the Uttar Padesh state asembly elections
Supporters of India's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) celebrate outside the party office in Lucknow on March 10, 2022, on the day of counting of votes for the Uttar Padesh state asembly elections - Sputnik International, 1920, 17.03.2022
The BJP achieved the unachievable when it romped home to a glorious victory in Uttar Pradesh, being the first political party to get re-elected in the state for 37 years. The win is particularly important since several political experts view Uttar Pradesh as providing a template for which way the parliamentary elections will go in 2024.
The recently held legislative assembly elections in India's most populous state, Uttar Pradesh, saw the incumbent Bharatiya Janata Party fielding fierce attacks from the opposition parties.
The state’s main opposition party - the Samajwadi Party (SP) - went so far as to claim that it would win around 400 of the total 403 seats up for grabs, but in the end it only bagged 111 seats.
The SP viciously attacked the BJP on various issues such as inflation, unemployment and the way the government, led by Yogi Adityanath, handled the COVID pandemic.
The BJP wasn't helped when several ministers in Adityanath's cabinet and a clutch of legislators left the party only a month before the election and defected to the socialist SP, run by Akhilesh Yadav.
But against all the odds, including the fact that for the past 37 years no party has been re-elected in the state where 150 million voters are spread over 403 assembly seats - the so-called anti-incumbency factor - the BJP emerged triumphant.
Sputnik interviewed various political pundits to discover what factors played a crucial role in the federally ruling BJP achieving such a historic win in Uttar Pradesh.
Political analyst Vinod Shukla says that the BJP always had an edge over the other political parties in the state.

"The opposition was not able to take up issues such as inflation and unemployment effectively whereas the farmers’ protest [which lasted for more than a year] didn’t have much impact in the state,” he said.

Pointing out that the BJP won more than 11 assembly seats in western Uttar Pradesh - an area where there are a lot of farmers - by a margin of 100,000 votes, Shukla says: "This itself tells the story because the opposition was extremely confident that the BJP would not be able to perform well in these constituencies because of the farmers’ protest.”
Shukla also said that the welfare schemes, rolled out by the federal government, and its effective implementation by the Yogi government also played a crucial role in the party's historic victory.
He added that the offer of free rations - a scheme launched by the federal and state governments - was a game-changer for the BJP, since families had struggled to make ends meet during a pandemic that had caused thousands of deaths and many others to lose their job.
Other schemes such as the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (Prime Minister's Farmer Tribute Fund), transferring funds to farmers' bank accounts, Pradhan Mantri Gramin Awas Yojana (Prime Minister Rural Housing Scheme), and many other such initiatives helped the BJP to attract votes from the opposition and overcome the anti-incumbency factor, Shukla adds.
Another political analyst, Desh Ratan Nigam, says the people of Uttar Pradesh believe that the BJP was a safe pair of hands and the only party that could be trusted in the case of a crisis.

"This is evident by the handling of the pandemic by the Uttar Pradesh state government,” he said.

Nigam adds that a lot of migrant labourers, when they returned to their native places (during the COVID-induced lockdown) were mapped, their skills were profiled, they were trained in various skills and jobs were provided for them.
"In fact, the unemployment rate decreased in the state from 18 percent to around 3 to 4 percent. This data has been given by the CMIE (Centre for Monitoring the Indian Economy),” Nigam added.
He also said that an excellent law and order situation in the state was another important factor in the BJP’s win.
“The Yogi government was able to project its crackdown on the mafia and the killing of criminals in police encounters as a sign of better law and order,” Nigam said.

Results of Uttar Pradesh State Polls

The ruling BJP won 255 of the 403 seats and its arch-rival Samajwadi Party managed less than half - 111. The country's main opposition party, Congress, scored only two seats and the state's Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), led by four-time state chief Mayawati, was all but wiped out, losing 18 of its 19 seats leaving it with only a single politician.
The BJP made a clean sweep in 23 of the 75 districts. Though some of the seats were strongholds, others were completely unexpected wins.
The most unexpected clean sweep was in the Lakhimpur Kheri area, which had been the scene of public fury last October when four farmers were mown down by an SUV allegedly driven by Ashish Mishra, the son of Minister of State for Home Affairs, Ajay Mishra Teni.
The party won all the seats in the district and also made a clean sweep in areas such as Agra, Mathura and Bulandshahr, the provenance of a vast cadre of farmers who participated in the Ghazipur border protest.
Though the BJP's resounding victory in Uttar Pradesh might act as a morale booster, it is still too early to consider it confirmation that the party will win the 2024 parliamentary elections. However, the victory in Uttar Pradesh clearly puts the BJP in a favourable position.
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