New Delhi: Among the biggest unravellings of this election has been the fizzling out of the SP-BSP ganthbandhan in Uttar Pradesh which was supposed to be the one alliance which could prevent Narendra Modi’s march to the Lok Sabha.
Despite its promise of holding the Modi juggernaut in the three Lok Sabha bypolls of Gorakhpur, Kairana and Phulpur, the SP-BSP alliance made little dent in the BJP tally of 72. The party is expected to win at least 60 seats this time.
Around noon, the Samajwadi Party vote share stood at 18.3 per cent, Bahujan Samaj Party at 19.3 per cent and the BJP at 49.1 per cent -- an improvement from its 2014 and 2017 performances.
As far as ground politics go, the one reason which could have been attributed is the Congress fielding separate candidates in at least more than 30 seats has cut into the anti-BJP votes.
Officially the Congress has maintained they have cut into the BJP’s upper caste votes and thus helped the SP-BSP in pockets. Congress General Secretary in-charge of Uttar Pradesh Priyanka Gandhi had hinted at so when she said the Congress had deliberately fielded weak candidates in certain pockets.
However, what can be safely assumed now is that the Grand Old Party of India has actually done was to gnaw away at a large chunk of the Muslim votes from the SP-BSP kitty, thus helping the BJP surge ahead.
Delhi Chief Minister and AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal had hinted the same when he had said towards the end that the entire Muslim votebank had shifted to the Congress.
The Congress has maintained it aimed at strengthening its organisation and that the 2022 Assembly polls were its real target.
But the fact that Rahul Gandhi was trailing behind Smriti Irani in Amethi shows how far from ground realities the party was. Out of the 1,00,815 votes counted so far, Irani got 49,188 and the Congress President 44,539.
In hindsight, Rahul’s decision to contest from Wayanad was a wise after all.
Keep yourself updated on Lok Sabha Elections 2019 with our round-the-clock coverage -- breaking news, updates, analysis et al. Happy reading....