MAPi - Micro Analytical Projections (INTELLIGENCE)
MAPi Uttar Pradesh Phase VII
Red: Equal Fight
Dark Green: SP-INC Alliance Taking Big Overall Lead
Light Green: SP-INC Alliance Taking Small Overall Lead
Dark Saffron: BJP Taking Big Overall Lead
Light Saffron: BJP Taking Small Overall Lead
Dark Blue: BSP Taking Big Overall Lead
Light Blue: BSP Taking Small Overall Lead
Uttar Pradesh Election Latest Updates Phase VII - 8-Mar-2017
Our expectations about BJP from the last phase were not very high as this wasn't supposed to be a great catchment area for the saffron party. Yet, the day seems to be progressing reasonably well for the BJP as the proverbial media expected "collapse in Kashi" hasn't come about, at least as per raw numbers. If anything Modi has ensured that there is a saffron sweep in Benares. Also, the party seems to be doing okay in other districts too, barring possibly the one large district of Jaunpur. Like in most districts, the SP-Congress alliance is not winning many districts outright, yet has remained at the heels of the frontrunner throughout. The Samajwadi performance in this election has been like this; it hasn't overwhelmed anywhere like the last time around in 2012 but then, it hasn't faced full collapse under the weight of anti-incumbency either. Overall raw numbers do not portend well for Akhilesh Yadav and his fans, so now they heavily depend on minor internal variations in caste turnouts and are possibly hoping for a much below par performance by the BJP. All that initial bravado of the Grand Alliance is definitely missing. Thus what stands between BJP and big margin victory is mostly the relative turnout of the large social coalition that the party has built with deep social engineering.
"Alka nahi Chingari hai, veer purush ki naari hai!" seems to have sunk the BSP's Muslim mascot, the Ansari brothers. Mohammadabad, the Ansari stronghold since 1985 where they have only lost once in 2002, seems to be cracking once again. In 2002, Krishnanand Rai had managed to defeat them but was murdered in cold blood for his defiant democratic act. Today, after a decade, his widow, Alka Rai is again contesting on the BJP ticket and has managed to unite large groups of Hindus. The fact is that there are only 25000 Muslim votes in this seat and yet the Ansaris' writ runs large here because they manage to keep the Hindu populace terrorized and in control. Today Alka rai seems to have broken the Hindu barriers as even the 30000+ Yadavs seem to be supporting her over the Congress candidate. What is also helping BJP is that she is the only Bhumihar candidate in fray and is consolidating the large number of her caste votes. In Gazipur town seat, what we are trying to check for is whether Sangeeta Balwant has got both her caste Bind votes as well as BJP's core upper caste votes, in which case she should be easily through. Even in Saidpur, where BJP has never been in contest since 1996, Vidyasagar Sonkar's candidacy has pit him directly in fight with BSP. This is how the Shah strategy of consolidating USHV is working from seat to seat beyond just merely banking on Modi's popularity.
[Imp Note: Today, the last day of UP elections, we are ending our MAPi beta project for the time being. We now have the task of auditing and analyzing all data points for our final report based on actual exit poll numbers and not just MAPi]
Another sideshow of UP elections 2017 is whether Anupriya Patel, the daughter of late Sonelal Patel can emerge as the tallest Kurmi leader of the state in the coming years. She has charisma, but probably lacks the right set of advisers and political skill to wade through the serpentine socio-political paths of a complex state like Uttar Pradesh. Today, at least in her LS home district of Mirzapur, BJP and NDA are doing reasonably well as per our pre-noon reportage. For instance, in the town seat, Ratnakar Mishra, the priest of Vindhyavasini is proving to be an inspired choice by the BJP, especially as sitting SP MLA Kailash Chaurasiya is facing a lot of anti-incumbency while Muslim votes are also getting split due to BSP's Pervez Khan. Raw reportage also continues to show solid showing by the BJP in Varanasi where PM Modi's honor is at stake. There are some reports that even Muslims are voting for the BJP here, but one needs to be extremely cautious about any such numbers. Jaunpur though is showing a bit of weakness for the BJP, but that is along expected lines as BJP has at least come back into the reckoning in this district after more than 2 decades and there seems to be a close 3 cornered fight here as of now and as per raw district level numbers.
"Koi Yadav yahaan bolta hi nahi, Akhilesh ka kaam kya bolega?" questioned Mahesh Sonkar, a small time businessman in Mirzapur. This is the general assessment here about the Akhilesh government as people told us, "Agar koi yahan SP government ke kaam ke baarey mein bolega tho jootein padenge". The pathetic state of Mirzapur can be gauged by the dusty non-existent internal roads throughout the district. This is where Akhilesh Yadav's much touted development politics fails to go beyond Lucknow and parts of west UP. This is also the reason why the lopsided media campaign of propping up Akhilesh as the "mini-Modi" of Uttar Pradesh failed so miserably despite spending millions upon millions of rupees. Fact is that Akhilesh Yadav and his SP government have completely failed the Poorvanchal region which had given them huge number of legislators. This is the reason why BJP's OBC social engineering has had such high degree of success in the east. Meanwhile, BSP keeps surprising by staying in contest in every phase. The third pole of UP politics is very much alive and refusing to collapse which is why this election has become such an interesting race.
As Uttar Pradesh votes for one last time today, we begin the day from the ancient Hindu city of Varanasi. For many months before today, hundreds of articles and ground reports have been filed from here about how the city is angry with the Prime Minister and how BJP may lose all the seats here. Our first set of reportage shows no such trend at least in terms of raw votes. BJP is comfortably ahead in Varanasi district and should do well here in terms of seats. Of course, by now the media narrative has probably shifted to blaming the PM for campaigning like a "nukkad neta" in Varanasi and belittling the office of the Prime Minister! This is the strange paradox of Indian liberal establishment wherein Manmohan Singh who completely outsourced all governance to 10 Janpath and never campaigned seriously anywhere in India was hailed as a great PM despite massive corruption and near total policy paralysis whereas Modi who constantly seeks public support by fulfilling his democratic obligations is termed as a dictator! Varanasi did give an answer to these liberals on May 16th 2014 and may yet give another fitting reply on March 11th.
The Modi roadshow seems to have galvanized the local cadre and the internal differences may have been sorted to a large extent at least for now. Cleaning of Ganga is the big issue here and NaMo must concentrate on giving some tangible results for 2019. Today we would also know the impact of demonetization on weavers which has been endlessly harped on by many journalists for the last 3 months. Yet Varanasi district is not all about BJP's huge campaign push, for there was enough depth to strategy too. For instance, in Rohaniya, where Apna Dal despite being an NDA ally has put up its candidate is helping BJP indirectly by splitting the Kurmi vote between 3 strong Kurmis while BJP's Bhumihar candidate is easily ahead today. This gives us an inkling into the Shah strategy which doesn't just aim at winning safely but is willing to take risks to capture those areas that belong to the enemy camp.