The state that sends most number of MPs to the Parliament is also the state which posed the stiffest resistance to BJP's juggernaut in form of the historic BSP-SP-RLD alliance.
Which is why results in Uttar Pradesh are doubly crucial to the overall outcome. Since the final results may take time, we have decided to prepare a list of xyz seats, decisive indications from which will give us a fair idea of the direction in which winds are blowing.
Since politics is not a zero sum game, we urge you to apply the usual caveats and exercise discretion.
Will Mahagathbandhan be able to woo a section of Brahmins away from BJP+ in some pockets of east UP
Because in all these seats BSP has fielded Brahmins to attract a section of upper caste vote, seemingly assured of MGB’s strength to attract Dalits, OBCs and Muslims in these seats. If the party is able to attract a chunk of what is considered BJP’s core vote, it may be considered not just enough to win these seats by a good margin but a reflection of a larger social coalition that MGB has tried to stitch together in the state.
How well will BJP perform in MGB strongholds
This will be a test of MGB’s attempt to transfer party votes and BJP’s attempt to not let this happen. Ghazipur’s 40% huge population is comprised of Yadavs, Muslims and Dalits; Amroha similarly has a sizeable population of Muslims and SCs and a chunk of Jat votes; Bijnor again has a sizeable Muslim population which added to a number of Dalits is likely to give MGB a lot of confidence. BJP’s strong showing in these seats could indicate, among other issues, a problem with vote transfer between core SP, BSP and RLD loyalists.
Will Jats support BJP or MGB
In this sub-region of West UP, sometimes referred to, for the sizeable presence of Jats, as ‘Jatland’, Ajit Singh’s ability to convince Jats to side with MGB will decide the coalition’s future. Jat community, which is said to affect outcome of nearly a dozen seats in West UP, had overwhelmingly sided with the BJP in last general polls. Communal polarization due to ’13 Muzaffarnagar riots was one reason for it. But this time RLD is banking on its ground work and distress among Jat sugarcane farmers.
Will Congress expand beyond Raebareli and Amethi
Congress, being left out of MGB, decided to chart a course of revival in Uttar Pradesh by itself, as Priyanka Gandhi herself claimed. The first signs of this revival, and Priyanka Gandhi’s leadership skills, will be borne out by the number of seats scored, except the two ‘family’ seats of Raebareli and Amethi, by the grand old party in this state.
Dhaurara was a seat that Congress leader Jitin Prasada fought for, from his party high command. It is also a seat that he’s won in the past. With a vote share of over 50% in 2009 before he was reduced to fourth position in ‘14 polls. Given the heavy presence of upper castes here, Prasada has a shot at reclaiming his old seat.
Barabanki presents another chance for the Congress to score. Congress’ candidate here is its party’s general secretary PL Punia’s son Tanuj Punia. PL Punia, a Dalit leader, was himself elected the MP from here in ‘09 and was the runner up in ‘14. Support from Muslims, who form a sizeable chunk of the population here, and a section of upper castes can see Congress through.
Just like several other constituencies like Unnao, Congress has repeated its candidate victorious in ‘09 polls here. RPN Singh whose father had won this seat twice is his party’s face here. Being an upper caste dominant seat, and given the family association of his father, RPN Singh, who was the runner up in ‘14 will hope for some support from Muslims and absence of any Modi wave this time.
Apart from these contests some other constituencies which will be good indicators of MGB’s performance versus that of BJP+’s are seats like Ambedkar Nagar, Meerut, Gautam Budhh Nagar. BJP’s non-Yadav OBC, non-Jatav Dalit formula will be up against MGB’s formula of (Dalit+Yadav+Muslim) plus votes from some other communities like Gujjars.