A little spice of caste-based politics by SP-BSP changed the flavor of the ‘Fascist’ politics by BJP. SP’s victory in the UP bypolls was not just about the support from BSP alone. Tactical moves made by Akhilesh in the past fortnight made the difference.
Ignore Congress and Form new Alliances
Akhilesh decided to maintain a safe distance from Congress to keep those party workers in good humor. The workers were unhappy over their alliance for the 2017 assembly polls. Since Congress showed no interest in renewing the pact, SP decided to go solo.
Small parties with hardly any presence throughout the state gave active support to SP. The only uniting motive was to defeat BJP. Then Akhilesh turned to those small parties which had strong hold on castes in the region of Gorakhpur and Phulpur.
Akhilesh teamed up with the Nirbal Indian Shoshit Hamara Aam Dal (NISHAD) Party and Peace Party. He then fielded Pravin Nishad from Gorakhpur. Pravin is the son of NISHAD chief Sanjay Nishad. The move proved a masterstroke as the Nishad community is the largest sub-caste of OBC in the constituency, comprising 3.5 lakh or roughly 17% of the total electorate.
In Phulpur, the party fielded Nagendra Pratap Singh Patel to focus on the sizeable chunk of Patels in the region.
Support from BSP
It was not for the nothing that Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav went personally to pay his respects to ‘buaji’ for her support to Samajwadi candidates in Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha bypolls.
Due to the choice of candidates and being burned by the same ambition, BSP actively supported SP quite easily. This served two purposes for BSP. First, making its presence felt and second, not relinquishing its strong-hold on lower castes.
Dalits in Uttar Pradesh, who traditionally supported Mayawati, voted in big numbers for Modi in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, only to find his Hindutva brigade going berserk against them. Dozens of cases of violence against Dalits at the hands of upper castes continue to be reported. Thus, Dalits turned against the BJP.
Is this the arrival of wind of change in India?
It is quite a tradition that the party with the most seats in UP serves as the ‘Kingmaker’ in Indian politics. Though its too early to say but still it is clear that now Fascist politics by BJP is not enough. The defeat might end the euphoria which surrounded BJP’s office after winning in North-East. (Read more: Saffronisation Of North East:) This might be the beginning of the end of Modi-Yogi politics. With just 273 seats in the Lok Sabha,1 clear of the majority, there are chances of this end to come sooner.