It is evident that the so-called “Mahagathbandhan” of Uttar Pradesh, cobbled together shortly before the Lok Sabha polls to take on the ruling BJP, could not survive the shock of utter defeat. The pure arithmetical addition of votes of different parties usually does not make for a good adhesive in spite of what television punditry and “secular” intellectuals sought to persuade us.
Ironically, the alliance idea sprang up when the BSP and SP did remarkably well against the BJP by pooling their votes, in addition to that of Ajit Singh's RLD, in a clutch of byelections in UP last year, and has now cracked up ahead of another set of byelections, this time wholly to the UP Assembly.
Fundamentally, the glue was very weak. The social base of the SP and BSP — the land-owning and influential Yadav OBC caste and the dalit toiler in the field — are not natural allies. The same may be said of the BSP and the Jat farmer who might back the RLD. The assured Muslim vote for each of these groups was the only steady factor.
It is noteworthy that the joint vote in the parliamentary election of the Mahagathbandhan was smaller than the addition of the votes of the SP and BSP when they had fought separately in the Lok Sabha elections of 2019. The Congress, though it also did poorly in the face of the saffron “nationalist” wave, cannot be blamed for this alliance's fate.
The suggestion cannot be missed that in Uttar Pradesh, the BJP may enjoy an open field in the foreseeable future.