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Why did the clichéd strategy of caste combination fail to work for SP-BSP

By IndianMandarins- 28 May 2019


Despite forging an alliance with the bitterest rival the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), the Samajwadi Party (SP) failed to make any mark in Uttar Pradesh politics in just concluded Lok Sabha elections. The SP managed to get as much seats as it got in 2014 while its alliance partner the BSP got benefited with 10 seats at its cost. The Congress failed to save its Amethi pocket borrow even with the support of the SP and the BSP.


Two experiment of Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav failed to take off despite reservations of SP patriarch Mulayam Singh against these alliances. Mulayam Singh being a seasoned politician was well aware of the ground reality so he expressed he wished Modi to become the PM again surprising everyone.


Actually by aligning with the BSP, the SP had even lost its core Yadav vote bank but somehow has been able to rally behind Muslim vote bank in its favour. Muslims voted tactically to Muslim candidates whichever party they belonged to. So this time round out of five elected SP candidates three are Muslims and their winning margin is more than Mulayam Singh. Akhilesh Yadav is the only saving grace for the party who had won with a margin of 2.5 lakh votes.


This clearly suggests that instead of voting to the BSP, Yadav voters have voted to the BJP not only in UP but in some other states as well. A section of Dalit votes too have gone to the BJP. Actually Young Yadav votes tilted towards the BJP due to this alliance and older generation got divided between the family and a section voted to Shivpal Singh Yadav. Has this not been the case, Dimple Yadav, Dharmendra Yadav and Akshay Yadav would not have been defeated.


There are three Muslims out of 10 elected BSP candidates. So the alliance has got six seats out of 15 that it had won in 2019 but it failed miserably to pose a challenge to unseat Prime Minister Modi for which the alliance was firmed up. With two successive defeats of the alliance forged by Akhilesh, some new strategy needs to be devised as clichéd strategy of caste combination does not seem to be working.

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