Corporate mainstream media and the political pundits on their payrolls are offering many explanations for the massive victory of the BJP in the Uttar Pradesh assembly election. From blowing the klaxon of Vikas, i.e. development, the cliché used by the BJP since the 2014 general elections to dupe the people, to blaming the concrete manifestation of communal hatred spread by the RSS and its affiliates, everything that can be given credit for the outstanding performance of the BJP in the state is used by these political pundits of the corporate mainstream media to prove their point.
Many political activists, who harped on an anti-BJP Dalit–Muslim unity to defeat the saffron bloc in its time-tested citadel, felt betrayed and demoralised after the Uttar Pradesh assembly election results were out. The 39.7 per cent of total votes cast in the Uttar Pradesh assembly election went to the BJP, including the lion’s share of the vote from the constituencies with large Muslim and Dalit voter base. It was a tight slap to the aspirations of those who wanted to see the blue wave sweep the saffron traces from the heartland of cow-belt. Nearly 34.40 million voters of Uttar Pradesh, among the 204.2 million people living in the state, voted for the saffron brigade led by the RSS if the election results are to be believed. The advocates of the Dalit-Muslim unity and the secular front are not finding any clue about this massive victory of the BJP and how the saffron outfit, despite its notorious track record, managed to polarise a large section of the Dalits and backward caste Hindus under the umbrella of Hindutva.
The arithmetic summary of the Uttar Pradesh elections
A detailed analysis of the Uttar Pradesh assembly election will show that the BJP managed to increase its vote share in the state assembly by 24.7 per cent vis-a-vis its 2012 performance; the party’s total vote share was only 15 per cent in the 2012 assembly elections, but its vote share fell by two per cent from what it got in the 2014 general election. During the 2014 general election, the BJP won 71 out of 80 Lok Sabha seats riding the nationwide anti-Congress wave, i.e. 328 seats out of 403 assembly seats. The BJP secured nearly 42 per cent of the total votes cast by voters of Uttar Pradesh in 2014.
While the BJP experienced five per cent downfall in its vote share after the first phase of the Uttar Pradesh assembly election, the exit poll report published by the Dainik Jagran soon after the first phase of polling actually helped the BJP to project itself as the winning party and win the floating votes from the middle-class and lower middle-class voters in the next phases of the election.
The BSP led by the self-styled Dalit messiah Mayawati was the runner-up in the Uttar Pradesh assembly election in terms of percentage of votes, but the second runner up in terms of the number of seats. The BSP got 22.2 per cent of the total votes, i.e. 19.28 million votes in the 2017 Uttar Pradesh assembly election, but won only 19 seats, which is 61 less than what it did in 2012 but is better than its 2014 election performance. BSP’s position in the 2012 assembly elections was little better, it secured 25.91 per cent of the total votes in the elections and became the runner-up by winning 80 seats.
The disarrayed BSP was irredeemable during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections and couldn’t win any seat in its sole stronghold Uttar Pradesh, despite getting 19.8 per cent of the total votes in the state. The party managed to increase its vote share only by two per cent, however, in face of a resurgent saffron tide, which was propelled by several factors, this is the best one can expect from the right-wing Ambedkarite party.
Akhilesh Yadav and Mulayam Singh Yadav led Samajwadi Party is known for its self-proclaimed secular credentials throughout the country. It’s the party that flaunted its strong and loyal Muslim vote bank a few years back, but provided covert support to the RSS led Hindutva thugs when the latter carried out the most ghastly Muzaffarnagar pogrom in 2013. The Akhilesh Yadav led government allowed the lynching of Muhammad Akhlaq in Dadri’s Bisada village, the Samajwadi ideologues were never affected by the strong waves of anti-Muslim campaigns by Hindutva brigade under bigots like Sakshi Maharaj, Yogi Adityanath, Sadhvi Pragya, etc. under the cover of “love jihad” and “ghar wapsi”. Such culprits, who openly incited the incensed Hindutva followers from upper-castes, backward castes, and Dalit community to lynch Muslims, were not prosecuted under the Muslim-friendly Samajwadi rule, forget punished, for their crimes.
The capitulation of the Samajwadi Party to the aggressive RSS led Hindutva brigade was exposed when the Yadav scion Akhilesh Yadav forged an alliance with the sinking Congress, which neither has any credibility nor has any organisational strength in Uttar Pradesh, except some old Gandhi family sycophants. The alliance with the scam-tainted and directionless Congress brought a massive blow to the fortune of the Samajwadi Party, which saw a great erosion in its vote share and seat count in the state.
During the 2012 Uttar Pradesh assembly election the SP won 224 seats by getting 29.5 per cent of the votes cast then and in the 2017 elections, the party could only 54 seats, 47 of its own and 7 from its ally, Congress. The SP secured 21.8 per cent votes, i.e. 18.92 million votes, while the Congress got 6.2 per cent of the votes, which is a 5.43 per cent less than its 2012 vote share. The Congress could manage 5.4 million votes during the assembly election. The number of votes that the SP-Congress alliance got during the Uttar Pradesh assembly election 2017 cannot be a yardstick to judge either party’s performance due to the complicity of an alliance where it’s hard to find the actual reflection of mass support for any one party.
In the game of alliances, the NDA allies like Apna Dal and SBSP gained 9 and 4 seats respectively, which again was their maiden victory in the state and was caused by the BJP and RSS’ contribution to these parties, though the sharing of seats with such outfits angered many veteran and youth workers of the RSS and the BJP, who were harping for tickets from their constituency during the assembly elections.
Factors that led to the BJP victory in Uttar Pradesh
There is no single factor that led to the outstanding performance of the BJP in the state, which even surpassed its achievements during the peak of the Ram Mandir movement, the tempo that helped BJP to carve a niche for itself among the upper-caste elite Hindu North Indians in the following two decades and a half. The combination of multiple factors, along with a strong propaganda machine and socio-economic equations contributed to the massive victory of the BJP in the Uttar Pradesh assembly election.
We are going to analyse the reasons that contributed to the victory of the BJP by combining the socio-economic and political factors that played the crucial role during the state assembly elections and we will try to not analyse the propaganda of the Modi-led Hindutva brigade, which hailed the so-called “surgical strike” and the demonetisation drive as great achievements of the Modi government.
Factor one-: Socio-economic condition of Uttar Pradesh
Voting is controlled by several complex economic factors in Uttar Pradesh, an agrarian state, where the feudal landlords, local usurers, moneylenders, land and real estate mafia, and local gangsters decide which party the poor and the downtrodden masses, especially from the Dalits, Muslims, backward castes, etc., who are economically dependent on them, should vote for. They decide it and the poor who are economically dependent on them, oblige unconditionally. That’s the power of the feudal system and the guns of the powerful patriarchs of the diverse rural society of Uttar Pradesh. Votes are also bought for money, alcohol, or promise of a favour post the elections.
Most of the political activists in Uttar Pradesh who works for the mainstream right-wing parties like the BJP, Congress, BSP, SP, or the RLD, are paid a huge amount of money by their local leaders, who are mostly people from a criminal background. Loyalty towards a party comes from the sum of money the candidate and the party can offer to the local influencers and also lucrative financial baits are offered to the influencers in case the candidates are elected, courtesy to the patronage of those influencers.
By pulling in the support of the feudal landlord Thakurs, a large section of the Yadavs, and Kurmis, the BJP ensured that it will get the votes of the landless and poor peasants who are economically dependent on these landlords and cannot disobey their commands as that would mean violent repercussions, including murder, rape, or simple social boycott. This report on a village in Bundelkhand is an example of what the feudal landlords can do to those peasants who dare to violate the laws of bonded slavery and feudal repression.
Uttar Pradesh is the strong bastion of classic feudal production relations and the rural poor are never politically free to chose their own candidates until they are commanded so by strong local musclemen, landlords, money lenders, or usurers. It was the sphere where BJP was far ahead of its competitors and they not only consolidated the traditional vote bank of the saffron brigade among the Thakurs (landlords) and the Vaishyas (money lenders and local usurers), but also forayed into the backward caste and Dalit vote banks of the SP and the BSP respectively to wean away a large section of these influencers to reap poll benefits.
Over years the RSS has supported the sugar mill owners, the capitalists, the big landlords with their service of disuniting the working class and peasantry. The pogrom of Muzaffarnagar was executed by the RSS to drive a wedge between the sugarcane farmers on communal lines so that on one hand, the sugar mill owners can get leverage in price bargaining with a fractured and the weak Bharatiya Kisan Union, and on the other hand, the land mafia of Shamli, Muzaffarnagar can profiteer by grabbing and selling the land vacated by the Muslims who fled from their villages.
These economic factors lured the majority of the landlords, capitalists, mafia, and land sharks to the BJP, which promised them more dominance, power, and money if a supportive BJP government was formed in the state. Though the SP-Congress alliance and the BSP too tried to woo these forces, but their offers lacked the substance and the appeal in comparison to the offers of the BJP. Hence, BJP easily swept the constituencies where the bonded labours, landless peasants, poor workers and artisans are politically handicapped due to their economic dependency on the rich and the usurers.
Factor two: The Dalit plus Muslim and the Dalit vs Muslim equations
Long before the dates of the Uttar Pradesh assembly election were announced, the mainstream corporate media started to portray the elections as the BJP’s effort to wean the Dalit votes from the camp of Mayawati and the BSP supremo’s agenda of uniting the Dalit and Muslim votes to ascend to power on her own. These equations were placed as binaries as if the Dalits, the Muslims, or the upper-caste Hindus were all homogeneous vote blocs and there was no contradiction within the blocs themselves.
Opposite to popular narratives in the mainstream media, neither the Dalits nor the Muslims does form any homogeneous political grouping that can be weaned away by any single political party in Uttar Pradesh. The Dalit community and the Muslims had an antagonistic history in many parts of the state, especially in Western Uttar Pradesh. The upper-caste and lower-caste Muslims don’t think alike, though they may be equally persecuted for their faith by the Hindutva forces and its friendly state machinery.
The upper-caste Muslims are more inclined to the Congress Party and the Samajwadi Party, and their hatred towards the Dalits, backward castes, including the Dalit (Pasmanda) Muslims and backward caste Muslims, would not let them support any political party that talks about the empowerment of these socially ostracised and oppressed communities. The upper-caste Muslims are not supporters of the lower-caste Muslims, who are mostly the poor and landless peasants, workers, artisans, small shopkeepers, butchers, and in other professions that are considered low standard by the elites.
While the lower-caste Muslims never find any representation in the political sphere, their voice and demands are further buried by the mainstream political parties that call themselves secular; the upper-caste elite Muslims occupy both the religious leadership and political leadership of the community in all parties of the right-wing. The upper-caste and rich Muslims exert tremendous influence on the entire community in Uttar Pradesh as they have monopolised both economic resources among the community members and also control the theocratic institutions of various sects within the community.
The broad masses of poor and oppressed caste Muslims, including the Pasmanda community, face both economic and social deprivation everywhere and are the most persecuted section of the Muslim community. However, no political party represents their interest in the parliamentary space and as their communities have no representatives, so their voices are unheard while the upper-caste (Sheikh, Pathan, Syed, etc.) and elite Muslims hijack the entire community’s political and social voice.
Similarly, the Dalits are not homogeneous as well. According to the Socio-Economic Caste Survey 2011 report, nearly 4.29 per cent of the Dalits in Uttar Pradesh have a monthly household income of ₹10,000 and above and 82.40 per cent of Dalits live with a household income less than ₹5,000 a month. This socio-economic diversity within the community makes it impossible for the entire community to think alike, which is against what the Ambedkarites and neo-leftists would preach.
According to the findings of the Socio-Economic Caste Survey 2011, only 5.97 per cent of the Dalit community is employed in either government or private sector enterprises in Uttar Pradesh. This bloc of privileged Dalits will think differently than what the majority of the Dalits would think about their socio-economic or political problems. Though many of these Dalits may be employed in jobs that demand menial labour, including cleaning toilets or drainage system, but they remain in an economically secure position due to their employment vis-a-vis the Dalits who are left with no employment opportunities, except working as bonded labour for the upper-caste Thakurs, or the backward caste Yadavs and Kurmis.
Among the Dalits involved in agriculture, 42 per cent are landless peasant households, who are dependent on the feudal landlords for their survival and cannot vote against the diktats of the feudal lords or local money lenders, who belong to upper-caste Hindu society. Any act of defiance from these Dalits would mean their social and economic ostracisation, which even the biased state machinery cannot overturn in the state that is infamous for its caste apartheid and communal oppression.
The talk of a free Dalit vote bank can be limited to those 4.29 per cent of the Dalit community, who have higher than ₹10,000 earning for their households per month, even though this income is also not an assurance that the Dalit members from this socio-economic bloc are politically free to choose their leaders, until the feudal lords or upper-caste men doesn’t tell them so.
Mayawati herself could win an absolute majority in Uttar Pradesh only when she stitched the BSP’s Jatav Dalit vote bank with the Brahmin vote bank of the Congress and the BJP that she poached in 2007. However, her experiment lived for a shorter period and by 2014, her party was nowhere to be seen in the political arena, where only the BJP and the SP were wrestling for power.
During the years between 1992 and 2002, the BJP did little to woo the Dalits towards itself and kept wearing the badge of being a party of the Kshatriyas and Vaishyas of Uttar Pradesh and represented the interests of these two blocs. It was only after its tragic defeats in the polls since 2004 onwards that the BJP and the RSS tried to woo a section of the Dalit landlords, and since 2014 it succeeded in weaning a large section of the non-Jatav Dalit landlords, middle and lower middle-class people, by using anti-Muslim rhetoric against a purported “Islamic invasion threat” throughout the state.
As the BJP successfully poached on this very monopolised zone of Mayawati after breaking all barriers erected by her, it became easier for the saffron bloc to fulfil the dreams of the founders of the RSS, who were keen to bring the Dalits, Tribals and backward castes under the umbrella of Hindutva to use them as the foot soldiers against the Muslims, communists, and other democratic forces. More Dalits were signed up by the Hindutva outfits like the VHP, the Bajrang Dal, and other outfits that share the vision of the RSS in Uttar Pradesh, between 2013-2017 than the number of Dalits the BSP could reach out with its Dalit-Muslim unity proposal.
Mayawati failed drastically to retain her own hold over the Jatav Dalit vote bank, forget her attempt to poach the Muslim vote bank of the SP and the Congress. Her failure was caused by the lack of funds in the BSP quarters and thus its loose grip on the feudal landlord class, gangsters, land mafia, etc. who could have influenced a large part of the voters living under their reign to vote for the BSP. The failure of the BSP to consolidate and retain its vote bank contributed to the victory of the BJP in the Uttar Pradesh assembly election than the tampering with the EVMs, as Mayawati would blame.
Factor three: Anti-Muslim rhetoric of the BJP
During the Uttar Pradesh assembly election saga, the BSP and the SP-Congress alliance fought over the Muslim votes. These parties struggled to solicit the reactionary Muslim fundamentalists so that the latter could influence the Muslims to vote these parties and kept projecting themselves as the true representatives of the Muslim community. BSP and the SP-Congress alliance tried every trick they could to wean the Muslim middle-class and lower-middle class families of the state in both rural and urban areas. Their bitter fight for the legacy title of being the true representative of the Muslim community (means the representative of the most orthodox and reactionary section of the Muslim community in the state) confused the Muslims on one hand and turned away the floating Hindu voters, especially those from backward castes, Dalits and other oppressed sections, from these parties.
The BJP represented itself as the true representative of the entire Hindu community and called for all castes to unite under the saffron banner of Hindutva to counter the growing “Muslim appeasement” in the state. The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, and the BJP President Amit Shah, carried out slanderous campaigns against the Muslim community during the Uttar Pradesh assembly election and their aggressive pitching for Hindutva had won the hearts and minds of the feudal landlords, the money lenders, black marketers, criminals, and land mafia from the upper-caste Hindu community, who wanted to assert their hegemony in the state by ousting the Muslim community’s elites from wherever the latter holds influence or property.
While the upper-caste Thakurs and Baniyas were aligned with the BJP since ages, it was the newly founded fanfare of the RSS and the BJP among the backward caste feudal lords and ganglords that added feathers to the BJP’s poll fortune and helped it to expand its reach to those territories that were earlier forbidden for the saffron brigade.
Through extensive campaigns that propagated misinformation and fake news to incite communal hatred, the RSS powered propaganda machinery of the BJP proliferated in Uttar Pradesh since 2012, a year before Narendra Modi was anointed as the leader of the BJP’s parliamentary battle. By using the channels like social media, mobile messengers, toady media outlets, the BJP kept pushing the agenda of anti-Muslim bigotry throughout Uttar Pradesh.
The RSS has been successful so far in inculcating the minority complex in the minds of the majority community of the Hindi heartland. The majority Hindu community is subjected to a sublayered propaganda by the Hindutva brigade, which makes them believe that they are victims of the minority community’s repression and the Muslims are aiming to subvert the Hindu religion by turning into a majority community using the political parties that appease them. This propaganda is spread through the Saraswati Shishu Mandir and other propaganda channels of the RSS that are empowered with the patronage of subsequent governments led by parties of different hues.
The Saraswati Shishu Mandir alumni, who form a broad base of the RSS’ foot soldiers throughout India, also came out in open to carry out door to door campaigning in the areas where upper-caste and lower caste Hindus as well as Dalits live to promote the BJP as the only party that can give a fitting reply to the “assertive Muslims” who were stereotyped as a homogenous community, united to the core, and wants to establish a “Sharia-based theocratic state in India” using the support of Pakistan and Middle East countries.
During this campaign, the BJP promised to teach the Muslims a lesson in the state using the examples of Gujarat and Muzaffarnagar. The incensed backward caste and Dalit youths, whom the RSS used as its rambunctious mob against the Muslims and other minority communities in the state, became addicted to the money, power, and social status that the saffron brigade provided them and became loyal stooges of the Hindutva thugs.
By not fielding a single Muslim candidate in a state with nearly 20 per cent of Muslim population, the BJP sent the message to the 22 per cent upper-castes, 40 per cent OBCs, and a major part of the 21.2 per cent Dalits that it is going to repress the Muslims by establishing a Hindutva fascist government in the state as well. This identification of itself as the true representative of the Hindu community at a time when all parties were trying to identify themselves as the true representatives of the Muslim community, contributed immensely to the victory of the BJP in the Uttar Pradesh assembly election, especially in all urban and semi-urban areas of the state, where the communal antagonism is at the peak.
Factor Four: Lack of an alternative agenda
While the Uttar Pradesh assembly election was supposed to be a triangular battle between the BJP, the BSP, and the SP-Congress alliance, it rather became a battle between the BJP and everyone else. Both the SP and the BSP had ruled the state multiple times and despite their tall promises of social justice or economic development, no material changes took place in the lives of the people. There was not the slightest degree of harm caused by these parties to the existing inhuman feudal production relation and even these parties failed to provide the basic amenities to the people. Electricity, water, jobs, social-security, etc. remained aloof from the lives of the people despite tall talks on Ambedkarite and Lohiaist ideology by both the BSP and the SP. The BJP took this opportunity to show these two parties as anti-development and less concerned about the poor and projected itself as a party trying to bring a wave of welfarist measures in the state.
Rather than providing an iota of relief to the people, the parties like the SP and the BSP filled their own coffers and that of their leaders with an immense amount of illicit wealth earned through corruption. Exhibiting her ill-gotten wealth, Mayawati wanted to tell the Dalits that the rise in her wealth and possession is a sign of wealth and power of the Dalits of Uttar Pradesh. A cruel joke that the Dalits didn’t like after several trysts with her government in the past. Mayawati had no agenda that could bring any substantial development in the state and would have let the Dalits, the Muslims, and the other backward castes live a better quality life. She was rather monotonic and kept repeating her meaningless cliches on social justice and equality that the Dalits and other oppressed communities heard several times in the past and those cliches had lost their appeal.
By tieing the knot with the corrupt and scandal-ridden Congress, which died in Uttar Pradesh decades ago, the Samajwadi Party lost the little chance it had to revive its poll fortune among the upper-caste urban elites and middle-class who liked his pro neo-liberal economic policies. By forming an all-out opportunist alliance with the moribund Congress that exposed the crisis within the Samajwadi Party caused by a family feud over the command of the party and the party’s organisational weakness to combat the BJP in the electoral battlefield, the SP leadership under the helmsmanship of Akhilesh Yadav signed the surrender treaty long before the polling started. The SP-Congress alliance had been formed without any particular agenda or programme than to counter the rising tides of Hindutva and Modi-fication and for this very reason the alliance was thumbed down in the elections and the Congress was swept out of the state.
The BJP projected itself as a party that spoke about “development” and “better days” for the people of Uttar Pradesh, kept reiterating its promises of bringing better governance and ending the mafia rule of the Samajwadi Party in the state, which neither SP-Congress alliance, nor the BSP could oppose with an alternative policy or agenda. The entire focus of the SP-Congress alliance and the BSP was to oppose the Modi government and its policies in the centre without projecting any resilient plan for the state. Apart from their anti-Modi rhetoric, these two major contenders in the Uttar Pradesh assembly election didn’t disclose what it would provide to the people except for a rule that will keep the BJP away from governance. The middle-class and upper-middle class Hindus were simply not buying the arguments of the BSP and the SP.
Factor Five: Absence of a credible opposition to the BJP
The SP-Congress alliance fought the Uttar Pradesh assembly election without any credibility of its own. The Samajwadi Party’s five-year rule was marred with severe deterioration of law and order situation in Uttar Pradesh due to the unapologetic patronage provided by the Akhilesh Yadav led SP government to the criminals close to the Yadav family and the party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav.
It was well known to the people of the state, especially to the lower-caste and Pasmanda Muslims, that the RSS grew strong in the state under the state support extended by the Akhilesh Yadav led SP government since 2012. The polarisation of the Muslim voters was key to SP’s electoral strategy of uniting the Yadav and Muslim votes. Fear mongering by illustrating the aggressive RSS and other Hindutva outfits was the only way the SP could ensure that the Muslim voters gather under its banner and vote it to power in the state and general elections. However, the SP’s support to the RSS and its allied outfits during the Muzaffarnagar pogrom, during the “ghar wapsi” campaign and the “love jihad” exposed its hypocrisy and evil nexus with the Hindutva brigade much before the elections to the people of the minority community. The Muslim poor couldn’t trust the SP anymore for its dubious credentials.
When the same SP tried to corner the BJP by calling it the riot monger party then its past deals with the saffron brigade came out in open and its soft Hindutva ideology and support to the Brahminical fascist forces were out in the open. The alliance with a fragile and decaying Congress Party was the last nail in the coffin of the ailing SP, which also underwent an internal rift over the control of the party. Even the core supporters of the Akhilesh Yadav led government dumped the party for its alliance with the Congress. The only benefit that the Yadav scion got from the deal was the Congress votes in the account of the SP in some of the crucial assembly seats and those votes helped it to reach 47 seats in the Uttar Pradesh assembly election.
Though the BSP tried to project itself as a harbinger of social justice by uniting the Dalits and the Muslims throughout the state, the party supremo Mayawati didn’t knew that the people of the state will not forget her tryst with the BJP in the past, which even brought Rajnath Singh to the helm of the state. It was the BJP that the BSP allied with after the infamous “Guest House” incident of 1995 when the SP goons led by Mulayam Singh Yadav launched a barbaric attack on Mayawati in Lucknow when the latter withdrew her support from the coalition government led by Yadav, and that alliance placed her at the helm of the state in the 1990s.
The BSP and the BJP became strong allies since 1995, three years after the Babri Masjid demolition and soon after the notorious Gujarat pogrom executed by the BJP and other Hindutva outfits under the direct supervision of Narendra Modi in 2002, Mayawati went to the BJP’s election rally in Ahmedabad’s Maninagar and shared the stage with her ally Modi and Vajpayee. The blood of hundreds of Muslims, who were killed by the Hindutva thugs, was still dropping from the fingers of Narendra Modi when the self-styled Dalit leader shared the stage with him to win Dalit votes for the Brahminical BJP in the 2002 Gujarat assembly election. In Uttar Pradesh, the BSP and the BJP remained in an alliance for power and Mayawati provided the much-required oxygen to the RSS and the BJP during her reign as a gratification for their role in propelling her political career.
It’s only recently that Mayawati attempted to seize the centre stage of the nationwide resurgence of Dalit movement for social justice by projecting herself as a progressive Ambedkarite and an anti-Brahminical warrior. It was during the rule of BSP that the atrocities against the Dalits reached its peak, the Brahminical forces asserted their dominance under the patronage of Mayawati’s social-engineering agenda, and huge amount of ill-gotten wealth was acquired by the BSP supremo and its leaders and much of it was flaunted to mock the poverty of the Dalit people of the state. The immense corruption, nepotism, and narcissism displayed during the reign of the BSP saw its terminal decline since the 2012 elections and the erosion in its vote bank throughout the state. The BSP will not be able to rebuild its fortune anytime soon due to the lack of any credible policy or honest leadership that could place the party at a leverage.
Factor Six: The alleged EVM tampering during Uttar Pradesh assembly election
If we count the allegation of Mayawati (PDF) on EVM tampering along with the above reasons, then it will add the worries expressed by many politicians, academicians, and other intellectuals that the Indian government under Narendra Modi can walk any distance to reach the political and organisational goals of the RSS and the BJP and the government can even change the entire voting process.
During the recently held BMC polls, Independent candidate Shrikant Shirsat scored zero in the same booth where he himself and his family and neighbours voted for him. Since the end of the Maharashtra civic polls (while Uttar Pradesh was undergoing polls) many candidates also raised the issue of the BJP’s IT cell technocrats tampering the EVMs in connivance with the administration and after the results were announced, many candidates in Pune took out a funeral procession of the EVM in protest against what they called a large-scale rigging by the BJP to topple the popular verdict by misusing technology.
The allegations of the EVM tampering and technical rigging aren’t new and there were allegations raised against the BJP during the 2014 elections as well when it scored more than the number of voters in constituencies like Varanasi, where Narendra Modi fought against Arvind Kejriwal.
Though the Election Commission has denied any tampering (as if people were expecting an honest nod from Madhusudan Gupta) and vouched for the machines by naming technocrats employed by the Modi government as those who ensure that no political party can tamper with the machines. But the reply of the Election Commission to Satish Misra, the BSP leader (PDF) didn’t say anything about the possibilities of tampering with the EVMs and concealed the fact that the US scientists showed in 2010 how the Indian EVM can be easily tampered, following the complaint from the BJP over a possible EVM tampering by the Congress Party in the 2009 general elections.
EVMs are not tampering-proof and can be easily compromised provided the bureaucracy wholeheartedly supports a particular political force, which in this case is the BJP/RSS, with whom the majority of those in the bureaucracy, i.e. the upper-caste elite Hindus, share a common fantasy. The EVM exercise was also scrapped in countries like Germany for the old ballot system to avoid any electoral frauds caused by electronic tampering. There is a list of questions and answers available on the issue of EVM tampering and they can help those who are naive to get a glimpse of the issue.
The Future of the BJP dominated Uttar Pradesh
The BJP’s rule in Uttar Pradesh will push the state backwards, into the darkness of arch-reactionary Brahminical fascist rule and will transform the local economy of the state into the appendage of foreign monopoly and finance capital. The communal atmosphere will turn more volatile and following the lessons of Dadri and Muzaffarnagar, the RSS and its partners will incite riots and pogroms throughout the state. As the BJP will fail to deliver its promises of development to the poor masses of Uttar Pradesh, it will have to resort to extreme violence, bloodshed and riots to win the general election 2019.
Though the people of Uttar Pradesh had experienced mafia and usurers as political leaders for ages, though they have seen how people who win elections sitting behind bars using their gun power for years, yet the forthcoming fascist rule in the state under the Hindutva banner will be qualitatively different. On one hand, the BJP and its parent body, the RSS, will try to incite communal violence on a limited scale against the Muslims by spreading vitriol against the community through all official channels including the most vulnerable school education, on the other hand, the same government will provide a free reign to its masters like the Reliance group, the Adanis, the Tatas, etc. to loot and plunder the state.
By using the excuse of industrialisation and development, the BJP government will work unapologetically as the die-hard servile agent of the big corporations and help them to aggress upon the farmlands and village/forest lands in the state to extract more profit and to throw thousands out of their scope of livelihood. Often the persecutions of the government will force the people to retaliate against the oppressing corporate-Brahminical fascist forces, however, the lack of an organisation and a clearly defined agenda will push the people back to the mire of exploitation and oppression.
What is to be done?
This government of the BJP cannot be defeated by any simple electoral arithmetic, rather it can be defeated only by building up an alternative political bloc that will be able to connect itself with the poor and downtrodden people by talking to them in their language and understanding their sentiment can provide the best alternative policies, free from the neo-liberal economic dosage, to them. However, none of these right-wing parties like the Congress, SP, or the BSP could free themselves from the neo-liberal economic policies and thus fail to counter the BJP and the Hindutva fascist menace, which conforms the best to the neo-liberal economic structure, through a proper resistance.
A credible people’s alternative can only come from the forces that oppose and resist the neo-liberal economic policies adopted by the Indian ruling clique since 1992 and fights uncompromisingly against the menace of Hindutva fascism. It can only be formed by those political forces grouping together, who are not phrase-mongers of social justice for the downtrodden Dalits, Muslims, backward castes but fights the battle of social justice by integrating it with the issue of economic independence and liberation from the exploitation and oppression laden upon the people by the feudal production relations. Uttar Pradeesh needs a party and a political front that will push the agenda of overthrowing feudal rule in the state and a radical land reform to transform the socio-economic equation of the state. If this political front is not build up anytime soon then the results of the Uttar Pradesh assembly election will be replicated by the BJP throughout the country.
An avid reader and a merciless political analyst. When not writing then either reading something, debating something or sipping espresso with a dash of cream. Street photographer. Tweets as @la_muckraker