The Bharatiya Janata Party’s unprecedented victory in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections has left everyone asking the same question – how did the party manage to register such a thumping majority?
Here are eight reasons why the BJP won big in the state.
1. Modi’s Connect With The People
Much of the credit for the BJP’s win in Uttar Pradesh goes to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The win is testament to the trust he enjoys among the people of the state.
During the party’s aggressive campaigning, PM Modi did not forgo a single opportunity to lead from the front, even if that meant a prolonged stay in Varanasi.
2. Demonetization Effect
A lot was said about demonetization and its effects on the common man.
However, the way things have panned out, it appears that the majority viewed it as a move to weed out corruption by punishing the rich. Poor also has shown their appreciation towards will and determination of PM Modi to curb fake currency and black money. Despite all the negativity that had been brewed by SP, BSP and Congress about the issue.
The Union Budget, which came close on the heels of the scrapping of the high-value currency notes, was touted to be a pro-poor budget – with the government promising loan waivers and populist schemes for the poor.
3. Not Declaring a CM Candidate Helped
Despite pressure, the BJP did not declare a chief ministerial candidate in Uttar Pradesh. The move appears to have helped enhance the party’s efforts to reach out to Dalit and Economically Backward Classes (EBC) voters.
If the BJP fielded a candidate from a particular social group, the party ran the risk of alienating another group. For instance, had the party announced the candidature of a hardliner like Yogi Adityanath, it might have significantly dented its chances of getting votes among those who support the Prime Minister’s pro-vikas image.
4. Importing Leaders and Accommodating Them
For the BJP, the winnability of candidates was the sole selection criterion, even if that meant importing leaders and accommodating them.
The BJP welcomed leaders from other parties, and even accommodated their associates at the cost of alienating some of its own established support base – a risk that had to be taken in order to expand its reach. It appears as though the gamble has paid off.
5. Calling out opponents for their appeasement policies
Modi’s remark at a rally in Fatehpur on February 19, accusing the ruling Samajwadi Party of religious discrimination — spending crores on constructing boundary walls around cemeteries while neglecting Hindu crematoriums and strongly raising voice on Triple Talaq also helped BJP strengthen its position on social and gender equality.
6. Vote for Development
PM Modi in his first campaign rally in Uttar Pradesh on Jan 3, 2017 in Lucknow had urged people of Uttar Pradesh to rise above caste considerations in Assembly polls.
“People of the state have already seen politics of caste and family… For once, rise above caste and vote only for development in the elections and see whether UP changes or not,” Modi said in his speech.
Which apparently had struck a connection with voters.
7. Fielding Young Leaders: A Gamble That Paid Off
Fielding young leaders, even at the risk of replacing veterans, worked for the BJP.
For instance, Shyamdev Roy Chaudhari (Dada) had to give up his ticket to the Varanasi South constituency to a younger leader. There was a lot of resentment over the issue. But it all paid off.