Caste math gives edge to alliance in west UP
Lucknow: As voting in the first phase for eight constituencies in Uttar Pradesh got over on Thursday, the population figure of Muslim and Dalits alone – who, considering could have voted for the SP-BSP-RLD alliance — could give the BJP some jitters.
In a fiercely fought battle, indicated by high polling percentage, the alliance is likely to get support of at least 50 per cent in five out of the eight constituencies that went to polls on Thursday. In two other constituencies, the alliance could get 40 per cent and 26 per cent votes.
The calculation is based on the assumption that the alliance has the support of Muslims and Dalits alone. The veering of Jat votes towards the alliance, even partially, is likely to make the alliance formidable in the first phase. For example, in Saharanpur constituency, which according to 2011 census has a total population of 34,66,382 of which Muslims and Dalits total 22,18,502, which is around 64 per cent of the total population.
Here, Congress candidate Imraan Masood has fought a high stake battle, with even Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi holding a roadshow on April 8.
In Muzaffarnagar, RLD supremo Ajit Singh contested seeking support by declaring that this is his last election. He had lost in 2014 against BJP’s Sanjiv Baliyan. In Muzaffarnagar, the total official population is 41,43,512 and Muslims and Dalits comprise 22,72,703, which is around 54 per cent.
The other three constituencies where the population of Muslims and Dalits taken together crosses 50 per cent are Bijnor, Meerut and Kairana (basing population of Shamli district). In Baghpat, where Ajit Singh’s son Jayant is contesting as alliance candidate, the total percentage of Muslims and Dalits is around 40 per cent and Ghaziabad, from where VK Singh is seeking is re-election, it is around 41 per cent. In Gautambuddh Nagar, where union minister Mahesh Sharma is in the fray, the alliance seems to be on a weaker wicket. According to the 2011 census, Dalits and the Muslms comprise 26 per cent.
Western UP has a high concentration of Muslim population in all districts and constituencies — where the percentage varies from 30 per cent to nearly 50 per cent. The alliance could be on a strong wicket if Jatavs vote along with Muslims. In Kairana, alliance candidate Tabassum Rana has already defeated BJP’s Mriganka Singh in 2018 byelection. BJP, however, has changed its candidate. Bijnor and Saharanpur are known to have been centre of Dalit- Muslim politics since BSP founder Kanshi Ram days.