Resounding Victory of SP-Congress Alliance Shakes UP’s Political Terrain

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A key factor in the alliance’s success was its innovative approach to the distribution of tickets.

Team Clarion

LUCKNOW – The resounding victory of the Congress-Samajwadi Party (SP) alliance in Uttar Pradesh has stunned political pundits. This success and the dismal performance of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its allies has sent shockwaves through the political landscape of the state.

Securing most of the state’s 80 Lok Sabha seats, the alliance’s success has not only taken political observers by surprise but also the INDIA bloc. The implications of this outcome on Uttar Pradesh’s future politics and the upcoming assembly elections remain to be seen, but for now, the focus is on the strategic elements that led to this unprecedented win.

A key factor in the alliance’s success was its innovative approach to ticket distribution. Unlike previous elections, the SP strategically concentrated on non-Yadav Other Backward Classes (OBCs). This time, only five Yadav candidates were fielded, all from the party chief Akhilesh Yadav’s family, while 27 tickets were allocated to non-Yadav OBCs. Additionally, the SP included 11 upper caste candidates, comprising four Brahmins, two Thakurs, two Vaishyas, and one Khatri. The party also fielded four Muslim and 15 Dalit candidates in the SC-specific constituencies.

A senior SP leader reflected on the strategy: “Our party was sure of the support of Yadavs and Muslims. But we wanted to expand our base beyond these two communities and reach out to non-Yadav OBCs and Dalits, which seems to have happened now.”

This approach marks a significant departure from past elections. In 2019, the SP, in alliance with Mayawati’s BSP and Jayant Chaudhary’s Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), fielded 10 Yadav candidates and won five seats. The BJP, in contrast, secured 62 seats, with its ally Apna Dal (S) winning two. In 2014, the SP fielded 12 Yadav candidates, including four from the Mulayam clan.

The BJP’s strategy in the recent elections also differed markedly. The party fielded 34 upper-caste candidates and 25 OBCs, including one Yadav. The remaining 16 candidates contested reserved SC seats. BJP’s campaign focused on large rallies led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, and Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

Conversely, the SP-Congress alliance’s campaign emphasised local engagement over grand rallies. Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi played a pivotal role, particularly in Rae Bareli and Amethi. Rather than holding massive rallies, she attended over 20 corner meetings daily, directly interacting with local communities.

This grassroots approach seems to have paid off. The SP emerged as the third-largest party in the country, securing victories across Uttar Pradesh, including the western, central, and eastern regions, as well as Bundelkhand, which the BJP dominated in the 2014 and 2019 elections.

The election results have sparked extensive discussion and analysis. “This result will undoubtedly influence the strategies and dynamics of the upcoming assembly elections. The SP-Congress alliance has demonstrated the power of inclusive and community-focused campaigning,” a political observer said.

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