NEW DELHI: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is on the way to bust caste code of the Mahagathbandhan (MGB) in Uttar Pradesh as it maintains lead in most of the constituencies, demolishing the poll arithmetic myth of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Samajwadi Party (SP).
This is the first time when the SP and the BSP -- relying on Yadav, Muslim, and Jatav votes -- are ending on losing side even after fighting together.
Till last reports came in, the BJP candidates were leading in at least 30 seats perceived to be MGB strongholds. The only constituencies where the MGB is seen to be wresting seats from the BJP are mainly Muslim-dominated pockets like Nagina, Amroha, Ghazipur, Rampur and Moradabad.
Among other MGB stronghold seats, BJP is trailing in Ballia, Sambhal, Kairana (the SP is leading on all three), Jaunpur, Ambedkar Nagar, Machlishahar, and Bhadohi (the BSP is leading on all).
The BJP had won 71 out of 80 seats in the state in 2014. Defying all the arithmetic, the party is leading on 59 seats as per the trends at 2.40 p.m.
The SP seems to be holding on family bastions Kannauj from where Dimple Yadav is leading, Mulayam Singh Yadav's Mainpuri and Akhilesh Yadav's Azamgarh. However, there is setback for Yadav clan as SP is trailing in Firozabad (from where Akshay Yadav is contesting) and Badaun (the seat represented by Dharmendra Yadav).
A combination of SP and BSP votes in 2014 (when the two parties had contested separately) had shown that MGB was strong on over 40 seats in the state.
But in 2019, it is clear that the two parties were not able to get their vote base transferred to each other.
For instance in Chandauli, BJP's state unit president Mahendra Nath Pandey is leading when all the caste arithmetic on the seat favoured the MGB.
Within the MGB, it is a major gain for BSP which is leading on 12, a major stride forward from nil scored by Mayawati in 2014 elections.
Ajit Singh's Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), the third constituent of MGB, is trailing on all three seats (Muzaffarnagar, Mathura and Baghpat) it is contesting including his son Jayant Chaudhary from Baghpat.