Samajwadi Party ends up with its worst vote share in Madhya Pradesh
The Samajwadi Pradesh contested 69 seats in Madhya Pradesh this time and did not even come a close second on any of them
Samajwadi Party (SP) national president Akhilesh Yadav and his party created a lot of hype and launched an intense campaign in Madhya Pradesh, but the party failed to win any seat and ended up with its worst-ever vote share — a mere 0.46%.
With this, the SP’s litany of poll losses has continued ever since Akhilesh took the party’s reins in 2017. First, the SP lost the 2017 Uttar Pradesh assembly polls in alliance with the Congress. Two years later, the Samajwadi Party’s headline grabbing tie-up with arch-rival the Bahujan Samaj Party in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls failed to deliver. Then, the party lost the 2022 Uttar Pradesh assembly polls, and now it has bitten the dust in Madhya Pradesh.
The Samajwadi Pradesh contested 69 seats in Madhya Pradesh this time and did not even come a close second on any of them. This electoral reverse comes despite Madhya Pradesh having historically been the SP’s second-best performance state after Uttar Pradesh. The SP had won four seats with a 1.58% vote share in 1998 in MP, seven with 3.7% in 2003, one with a vote share of 1.9% in 2008, and one seat in 2018 with a 1.3% vote share. Even when it did not win any seat in 2013, its poll percentage was 1.2%.
The poll results also put a question mark on the INDIA alliance of the opposition parties with the SP and the Congress suffering defeats after bickering over seat-sharing.
On 43 of the 69 seats that the Samajwadi Party contested in MP, it bagged less than 1,000 votes. In four assembly constituencies — Bahoriband, Chandla, Jatara, and Niwari — it spoilt the game for the Congress. The BJP went on to win all these four seats. Apart from these four seats, the SP performance was insignificant despite the party carrying out its “best-ever campaign” in the central India state.
Akhilesh campaigned for six days with 24 rallies and road shows, including ‘rath yatras’, in 20 constituencies. His wife and Mainpuri MP Dimple Yadav also addressed a few rallies and roadshows.
The MP polls became a flashpoint between the SP and its INDIA partner the Congress.
Akhilesh Yadav had called the Congress, “a compulsive betrayer” and had also said that it was no different than the BJP.
If the INDIA alliance was not for the state polls, then the SP would think over the 2024 LS polls, he had said.
The Congress said the SP shouldn’t have entered the MP poll fray when it had no standing in the state. Senior Congress leader and former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath had made an “Akhilesh-Wakhilesh” comment indicating that Akhilesh was insignificant.
“These polls have exposed three things,” said Samajwadi Party leader Sudhir Panwar, commenting on the SP and Congress performance in MP.
“First, the decision of the Congress to go solo despite the formation of the INDIA alliance proved counter-productive. Second, it proves that organisational strength is a necessity to counter the BJP. Third, the BJP tactics of its governments’ DBT (direct benefit transfer) schemes like Kisan Samman Nidhi or Ladli Behna schemes have no counter as the opposition can only make promises. In contrast, the BJP government is giving freebies.”
Irrespective of the MP results, the Samajwadi Party is robust against the BJP in Uttar Pradesh with 32% vote share despite the ‘double engine’ government, he said. Asserting that the INDIA bloc’s strength against the BJP endured, he said there would be no complication in seat-sharing among the partners for the 2024 polls.