Samajwadi Party registers best-ever performance in Lok Sabha elections | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Samajwadi Party registers best-ever performance in Lok Sabha elections

Jun 04, 2024 08:23 PM IST

The SP, whose previous best performance was in 2004 (35 seats), has emerged as the single-largest party in the most populous state and the third-largest nationally

Former chief minister Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party (SP) has registered its best performance in the Lok Sabha elections, winning or leading on 38 of the 80 seats in Uttar Pradesh after a string of electoral reverses since 2017. SP’s strike rate was the highest among the bigger parties. It won or was leading on 38 of the 62 seats it contested. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) could win only 32 of the 76 it contested in Uttar Pradesh.

A Samajwadi Party supporter in Lucknow on Tuesday. (AP)
A Samajwadi Party supporter in Lucknow on Tuesday. (AP)

The SP, whose previous best performance was in 2004 (35 seats), has emerged as the single-largest party in the most populous state and the third-largest nationally. It played a key role in reducing the ruling BJP to 32 seats from 62 in 2019 in Uttar Pradesh.

The SP-Congress alliance won or was leading on 44 seats compared to 36 of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in the state.

The SP, which increased its tally seven-fold, won 35 seats in 2004 when SP founder Mulayam Singh Yadav headed the government in Uttar Pradesh. It has managed to improve its tally despite remaining out of power for seven years.

The SP increased its vote share to 33.38% vote share compared to 18.11% in 2019. In the 2022 Uttar Pradesh assembly polls, the SP improved its vote share to 32.1%. Its tally of seats also went up to 111 from 47 in 2017.

In 2022, the SP began expanding its base beyond its Muslim-Yadav vote bank to stitch together a caste coalition of non-Yadav Other Backward Classes (OBC), Yadavs, Dalits, and Muslims. Akhilesh Yadav has called the combination PDA or pichada (backward communities including non-Yadavs), Dalits, and alpsahkhyaks (minorities). He launched a PDA caste census bus yatra across the state in June.

Yadav, who pitched the caste census as the path to social justice, centered the ticket distribution plan around the PDA formula and caste census to counter BJP’s Hindutva and Ram Mandir planks.

The SP left 17 seats for the Congress, which too echoed Yadav’s caste census demand. Ahead of the 2024 polls, the SP reorganised its national and state executives, giving most posts to non-Yadav OBCs, Dalits, Muslims, and Yadavs. The same formula was adopted in ticket distribution.

The SP gave tickets to 27 non-Yadav OBCs, five Yadavs, 15 Dalits, four Muslims, and 11 upper caste leaders. The SP gave the Bhadohi seat to the Trinamool Congress (TMC).

The SP-led alliance ignored BJP’s Hindutva, Ram Temple, and Hindu-Muslim plank and instead focused on social justice, youth, unemployment, paper leaks, caste census, and economy.

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