LUCKNOW: After the BJP’s stupendous performance in the Lok Sabha polls, the Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati may be repenting their decision to keep the Congress outside their alliance.
EC data indicates that had the Congress been a part of the gathbandhan in Uttar Pradesh, the alliance would have been stronger and the repercussion seen on 10 seats.
Though the overall percentage of alliance (38.62%) and Congress (6.3%) put together accounts for 44.92% against BJP’s total vote share of 49.56%, but in seats such as Barabanki, Badaun, Banda, Basti, Dhaurahra, Meerut, Sultanpur, Sant Kabir Nagar, Machhlishahr and Firozabad the combined alliance and Congress votes are higher than BJP. In Firozabad, Shivpal Yadav’s Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party–Lohia played the spoilsport for SP.
On the above seats, the Congress did play the part of a vote splitter giving the BJP a boost. In fact, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi had created a flutter, claiming that she had fielded such candidates who may not win but would dent BJP’s prospects and benefit the alliance.
In Barabanki, SP candidate Ram Sagar Rawat lost to the BJP candidate Upendra Singh Rawat by 1,10,140 votes, while Congress candidate and senior leader PL Punia’s son Tanuj got 1,59,611 votes. Punia is the son of Congress leader PL Punia, who lost the seat in 2014.
If Punia’s vote share was added to SP’s Ram Sagar Rawat’s 4,25,77, BJP’s Upendra Rawat would have fallen short by over 49,000 votes. In Badaun, while SP candidate Dharmendra Yadav polled 4,92,898 votes against BJP’s Sangh Mitra Maurya, who got 5,11,352 votes, Congress candidate Salim Iqbal Sherwani’s 51,947 votes would have been enough for an alliance candidate to sail through. Congress split the Muslims here.
In Banda again, Shyama Charan Gupta of SP secured 4,18,988 and lost by a margin of 58,553 to BJP’s RK Singh Patel who got 4,77,926 votes. However, Congress candidate Bal Kumar Patel got 75, 438 votes, which, if added to Gupta’s share, would have made him a winner by 16,500 votes.