In UP, BJP's Hindutva Beats SP-BSP's 'Unbeatable' Caste Combine

Betwa Sharma

NEW DELHI—As the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) look to cross 300 of the 545 seats in Lok Sabha, based on trends, the BJP in Uttar Pradesh appears to have weathered the Samajwadi Party-Bahujan Samaj Party (SP-BSP) caste consolidation, which was described as “formidable” and “unbeatable.” 

A day ahead of the election results, Ashutosh Mishra, a political science professor at Lucknow University, said that the caste-combine — brought to together by Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati — did not have “chemistry,” but it had “unbeatable arithmetic.” 

The BJP’s UP performance suggests that the party appears to have changed the rules of the game in India’s most politically significant state.

Earlier today, Rajya Sabha lawmaker and senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy told HuffPost India that Hindutva, BJP’s ideology of Hindu nationalism, had beaten caste in the Lok Sabha election. 

“Hindus are rising above caste,” said the Rajya Sabha lawmaker. “The younger generation of voters is very important. They are young nationalists. They don’t care about caste.” 

Swamy attributed the BJP sweep to a Hindutva wave, not a Modi wave. 

Exit polls on 19th May had also suggested that the BJP had weathered the SP-BSP caste consolidation, which some analysts said would drastically reduce the BJP to 20-30 seats.

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