Samajwadi Party workers celebrate the success of their party in the UP assembly elections in New Delhi. PTI/Atul Yadav
The newly-constituted Uttar Pradesh assembly, which has a high number of Muslim and upper caste legislators, indicates that the Samajwadi Party (SP) succeeded in getting overwhelming support from all communities.
The house has a record 68 Muslim legislators — 12 more than the previous high of 56 elected in 2007. Of the 68, a whopping 43 belong to SP, which is set to form the new government. Upper caste legislators also constitute a major block with 57 Thakurs and 47 Brahmins in the assembly. So, Muslims, Thakurs and Brahmins constitute 172 of the 403-member assembly.
However, the BSP also has 15 Muslim legislators — the second largest group from the community — contradicting BSP chief Mayawati’s assertion that Muslims did not vote for her party. Post the March 6 verdict, Mayawati had said Muslims had shifted to SP leading to her party’s defeat.
The BSP managed to win a total of just 80 seats, which include 16 Dalits, 10 Brahmins, five Thakurs and 13 Jatavs. Dalits also have a significant representation with 85 legislators, including 35 Jatavs and 25 Pasis. The victory of 21 Pasis from SP as against two from BSP is a clear indication that non-Jatav Dalit voters were disenchanted with the BSP.
“The Pasi community felt cheated by Mayawati and hence voted for SP and Congress in large numbers,” said Badri Narain, professor at the GB Pant Institute in Allahabad.
The representation from backward communities is 121, which includes 39 Yadavs.
Even though Mayawati has been stressing that her Dalit vote bank is intact, the results show that the SP has made a dent to her vote bank by ensuring victory for 56 Dalit legislators.