The record turnout of voters, mainly youths belonging to Hindu community, in the first phase of polling in Western Uttar Pradesh on Thursday has left the saffron camp celebrating its likely success.
Muzaffarnagar riots seem to have worked in favour of BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi in the same way Godhara changed equations in his favour.
In the 2009 polls, the BSP had won five seats, RLD and SP two each, and the BJP one in Western UP. But this time, Modi factor and the communal divide post the Muzaffarnagar riots seem to have motivated the voters to vote in favour of BJP candidates. If the intelligence inputs and observations of senior police officers posted in Western UP were to be taken into account, the BJP has done an excellent job.
While the Muslim votes got divided among the SP, Congress and the BSP, SCs seemingly voted for the BJP. Muslim votes are not likely to make much of a difference, as the SP and Congress do not enjoy a solid support from the minority community. The Jatavs, however, are likely to have voted for the BSP.
The three BJP MLAs accused of instigating riots - Hukum Singh, Sanjiv Baliyan and Sangit Som - contested the polls from here and felt confident after the high turnout.
The BJP feel that even the traditional seat could not be retained by the Congress.