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The UP Civic Polls paint the True Picture of the Declining Influence of the Bhartiya Janta Party

by Vidhi KoolwalDecember 5, 2017

The headlines of today had witnessed a high celebration on part of the members of the Bhartiya Janta Party, when they were under the impression that they were successful in the UP Civic Polls, however, soon enough, they received a reality check, when on the announcement, it was observed that the said results were restricted merely to the elections for mayors in the state’s biggest cities, where it won 14 of the 16 up for grabs.

To the very shock of the party members, it was found that, the current ruling party had not only won a mere 35 per cent of the seats, it received a shy of 28.6 per cent of the votes. In the nagar palika parishad presidents’ polls, however, the saffron party could win only roughly one in three seats or 70 of the 198 in the contest, with independents making major inroads. By taking these results into consideration, it can be very well inferred that the BJP’s vote share may have dropped by a total of 10 to 12 percentage points from the 42% vote share it achieved in the UP assembly polls earlier this year.

In the nagar panchayats, BJP won only 100 of the 438 presidents’ posts, independents picking up 182. Only one in eight elected nagar panchayats members and about one in six nagar palika parishad members is from the party. More significantly, the BJP has faced heavy losses in the Tier-II and Tier-III civic bodies in western UP. The losses are palpable in Shamli, Bhagpat, Muzzafarnagar, Meerut.

While on the other hand, it was also observed that while the ruling party scored a very insignificant percentage of the votes, it was not a thing to rejoice for the Congress, as the maximum share of these votes was with the Saffron Party.  In two regions that between themselves accounted for 90 of the 98 seats – Central UP and Rohilkhand – the SP actually won more seats than BJP and in Central UP even had a higher vote share.

These results are also a reflection upon the recent statements of the BJP President, Mr. Amit Shah, who had reportedly said that the civic poll results are a barometer of the nation’s mood. If this particular statement is to be admitted, then it seems that the nation is no longer in the mood to entertain BJP, as its representative and is rather leaning on giving a fresh chance to other parties, who are thus, receiving a higher share of the votes.

With such drastic change in the results, it seems that the BJP is losing its power in the states and if anything is to be made out of the previous statements of Mr. Shah, these stats may also be an indication that the civic polls in Gujarat may also turn out to be a tough challenge. Mr. Satish Misra, an analyst at the New Delhi-based Observer Research Foundation has also stated that “Anti-incumbency and eroding credibility of the prime minister are two major factors that seem to be negatively impacting the BJP’s winning chances in Gujarat.”

The true and refined picture, however, would only be available on the judgment day.

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