If the silent wave of BJP in Uttar Pradesh was not enough to surprise the media and political class, it was the appointment of Yogi Adityanath as the Chief Minister which shocked many. The secular brigade of media and ministers were quick to react. They blamed it on RSS agenda of BJP for appointment of a saffron-clad CM.
They even called PM Modi succumbing to the RSS pressure. But do they know that Yogi Adityanath is first non-RSS political face of BJP who has been appointed as the CM. Till recently, BJP had an approach to appoint only RSS faces as their CM, why did it go for a less popular face as UP’s CM?
Why did BJP take a risk by appointing a Saffron man?
The answer lies in party’s strategy to consolidate Hindu votes. Who is better than Yogi Adityanath, a Hindu priest, who also had a strong reputation for delivering in the system? The Gorakhpur constituency MLA knows UP very well, and is quick to clear the mess in the state.
After BJP was voted to power in UP, there were many theories about Muslims support for BJP. However, if we go by the facts and BJP’s on-ground strategy, it is clear that the party worked on garnering votes from upper castes, non-Yadav OBCs and non-Jatav Dalits.
BJP did not field a single Muslim candidate for UP elections.
Then how did it make a clean sweep. Media channels were running report of a Hung Assembly in UP. Nobody thought of a huge victory of BJP. There was even possibility of maha gathbandhan of SP-BSP-Congress. Yet nothing of this sort happened.
BJP only fielded candidates from the same caste as that of BSP.
That was a smart political strategy. It had same caste candidates on 50 seats. The caste biased voters of UP chose BJP over Mayawati. This fact was acknowledged by the BSP party leaders themselves.
As reported by Indian Express, “We failed to get support from the OBC groups and upper castes where our candidates belonged to the same caste as the BJP nominees. Not just the upper castes, even the OBCs preferred BJP to us,” said BSP coordinator, seeking anonymity.
BJP defeated BSP on its case arithmetic’s for OBC, Dalit, or upper caste candidates. On Muslim candidates, BSP was a third spot, with SP-congress alliance became the first choice for voters.
“The Muslim vote was divided between the BSP and SP-Congress. But Muslims voted for the SP-Congress candidates even on the seats where the alliance had not fielded a Muslim nominee,” said former MLA Sultan Beig, who lost as a BSP nominee from Meerganj in Bareilly district.
(With inputs from Indian Express)