BJP worries mount; scenario in UP might have an effect on Bihar, by-elections in 56 Meeting segments

Vibha Sharma

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 2

As the Opposition escalates the ante against the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh, the worries of the ruling BJP at the Centre are also mounting.

Political observers say the current situation in Uttar Pradesh not only has the potential to affect saffron prospects in the state but also neighbouring Bihar, where polls are due shortly along with the outcome of by-elections in 56 Assembly segments across the country which also poll in November.

Caste is the main driver of polls in most states, especially Bihar, where the balance between the SC/ST and upper castes votes decides the vote share against the Muslim-Yadav combo that mostly works in favour of BJP’s rivals.

While in 2015 elections RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s statement over reservation resulted in political gains for the RJD- JD-U etc, observers say perceptions generated by “law and order situation and rapes of Dalit girls in pro-Thakur or upper caste government of Adityanath” can work against the NDA alliance. The JD-U is with the NDA this time but moves of the blow-hot-blow-cold ally LJP, a party that goes by the tag name of SCs, have the potential to change the game in Bihar.

Meanwhile, a big number of bypoll seats are in Madhya Pradesh, primarily the Chambal- Gwalior ‘sambhag’ where atrocities by upper castes are the reason for the rise of ‘baaghis’ (dacoits) in the region. The era of ‘baghis’ may have gone but this area adjoining Uttar Pradesh again is dependent on delicate caste combinations, the tipping of which may result in unexpected results for the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government, which needs these seats to remain in power in Madhya Pradesh.

Sources in the BJP say the leadership is keeping a close watch and the results in November may decide its future course, including in Uttar Pradesh where Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is battling his most difficult political battle.

As many as 56 assembly By-elections across the country and one Valmiki Nagar parliamentary constituency of Bihar, will poll on November 3.

The seats include 28 from Madhya Pradesh, eight from Gujarat, seven from Uttar Pradesh, two each from Jharkhand, Nagaland, Karnataka, Manipur, Nagaland, and Odisha. One each assembly constituency from Chhattisgarh, Telangana, and Haryana will also go on polls on November 3.

The result for these bypolls will be announced along with Bihar Assembly Election 2020 on November 10.

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