The Samajwadi Party is working on a different strategy regarding this. After two experiments in the last two elections in the state, this time the party is emphasizing on smaller parties instead of any big party. Its purpose is to stop vote-sharing among the opposition parties in the state. The Samajwadi Party formed an alliance with the Congress and the Bahujan Samaj Party with opposite ideologies. But, no concrete result of these alliances came out. The election results of the year 2017 and the year 2019 are a sign for the SP that big parties take their votes, but they do not succeed in connecting their vote bank with the Samajwadi Party. Discussions are going on from the SP side with Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party and Asaduddin Owaisi’s AIMIM. Earlier, pictures of Akhilesh Yadav with Rashtriya Lok Dal’s Jayant Chaudhary have heated up the political discussion. Along with this, preparations are being made to add Omprakash Rajbhar and Krishna Patel to the Samajwadi Party. Akhilesh is trying to bring uncle Shivpal Yadav along. The seat-sharing has not been finalized, but Akhilesh has made preparations to enter the electoral fray with a large alliance of smaller parties. However, in the midst of all this, the question has started arising from within the Samajwadi Party that if the vote banks of the big parties are not transferred to the SP, then what will be the benefit to the smaller parties?
It is most important to stop the division of votes
The distribution of votes has been the most important issue in the electoral politics of Uttar Pradesh. All political parties have made their vote pockets. Efforts are being made continuously to preserve and enrich this vote bank. In this the role of regional parties has become very important. The regional parties, born out of Congress opposition and the result of regional public aspirations, established themselves as a major political force in the states. However, the base of such powerful regional parties has been weakening for some time now. If we look at the politics of the state, it becomes clear. In this, the Samajwadi Party has established itself as a political power in the state. However, since the year 2014, there has been a lot of effort to increase the decreasing power, its result has not been visible.
SP grew out of Mulayam’s ‘hard’ image
Mulayam Singh Yadav, who became the Chief Minister in the Janata Dal government on 5 December 1989, made a big vote bank in Ayodhya during his tenure through strictness on Karsevaks. When his government fell on 24 January 1991, he decided to form his own party. After the formation of the Samajwadi Party on 4 October 1992, Mulayam once again became the Chief Minister of the state on 5 December 1993. This government lasted for three years. After this the Samajwadi Party once again came to power in 2003 and Mulayam became the Chief Minister. In the year 2012, a full majority government of SP was formed and this time Mulayam’s son Akhilesh Yadav took charge of the state.
SP trying to increase mass base
Samajwadi Party is trying to increase its base. However, he could not get success in the last elections. Even after forming an absolute majority government in the 2012 assembly elections, the Samajwadi Party failed to stop the rise of the BJP in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. The party could not save itself from breaches in its Aadhaar vote bank as well. Its effect was visible in the assembly elections in the year 2017 and the party lost power. However, at that time Akhilesh Yadav aligned with Congress’s Rahul Gandhi and gave the slogan of two youth jodi. At the same time, in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the party entered into an electoral pact with the Bahujan Samaj Party even after the opposite ideology and it could not be successful.
Seats decreased more than vote bank
The toughest for the Samajwadi Party has been the steady decline in the number of seats. If we look at the 2012 assembly elections, the SP got 29.15 percent votes and the seats got 224. In 2007, the party got 25.43 per cent of the vote and 97 seats. There was an increase in 127 seats due to an increase of about four per cent votes. In the 2017 assembly elections, the SP had an alliance with the Congress. Due to this the party got 21.82 per cent vote share and only 47 seats. Congress was seen shrinking in the state with 6.25 vote share and 7 seats. The BJP, which brought 15 per cent vote share and 47 seats in the 2012 assembly elections, got the benefit of the Modi government at the Center and in the 2017 UP elections, the party won 312 seats with a vote share of 39.67 per cent.
An eye on the decreasing trend after the Lok Sabha elections
The fall in the vote share of the parties in the Lok Sabha elections is seen in the assembly elections. In the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, SP got 23 seats with 23.26 percent vote share and BJP got 15 seats with 20.27 percent vote share. In the 2012 assembly elections, the BJP had seen a loss of five per cent votes. In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP got 42.63 percent votes and 71 seats. The SP had to be satisfied with 22.35 per cent votes and five seats. In the 2017 assembly elections, the BJP had to face a loss of about three per cent votes. However, in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP got 62 seats with 49.98 percent votes. At the same time, the vote percentage of the Samajwadi Party has come down to 18.11 percent. However, the seats remained the same as in 2014, even after the party had an alliance with the Bahujan Samaj Party.
vote transfer biggest issue
Transfer of votes has been the biggest issue for the Samajwadi Party. After the alliance with BSP, it was believed that the aunt-babua pair would cause big damage to the BJP. But, the BSP managed to win 10 seats with a vote share of 19.43 per cent, which was reduced to zero in the 2014 elections. Meaning, BSP got the SP’s vote share transferred to its side. The alliance with the Congress in the 2017 assembly elections was also not successful. The traditional votes of the Congress have been divided into different pockets. At the same time, SP, which got the key to power by adding votes of some other sections along with Muslims and Yadavs, is now finding it difficult to absorb the votes of other sections.
Discussion on alliance with RLD and other parties
All the parties are now trying to stop the scattering of vote bank regarding the UP elections. However, the issue of stopping the BJP in this election is not the issue. This is the reason that in the opposition Samajwadi Party under the leadership of Akhilesh Yadav, Bahujan Samaj Party under the leadership of Mayawati and Congress under the leadership of Priyanka Gandhi have started their election campaign. On the other hand, Modi-Yogi is running a continuous campaign. In such a situation, along with the vote divided in the opposition, efforts are being made to reconcile the split vote from the BJP. Samajwadi Party is making big preparations for this. However, with this a question is coming from within the party that when the party does not bring the votes of the big parties, then what will be the benefit of bringing these small parties together?
May help in increasing strength
It is believed that the SP can increase its strength through smaller parties. After the farmers’ movement, all the opposition parties are trying to convert the discontent among the farmers into votes. Even though the repeal of the Agriculture Act has been announced by PM Narendra Modi, farmers are still on the Delhi border. Akhilesh’s efforts by adding Rashtriya Lok Dal are trying to bring the vote of this class from BJP to SP. At the same time, efforts are being made to align the Dalit-Backward vote bank by bringing Om Prakash Rajbhar of Subhaspa and Krishna Patel of Apna Dal (Communist). Apart from this, efforts are also being made on the side of SP by connecting Aam Aadmi Party and other parties to stop the division of votes. Its effect can be seen in the form of a positive alliance in the electoral field.