The pollsters have said that it would be a BJP sweep in Uttar Pradesh. There was a momentum in favour of Akhilesh Yadav prior to the elections, but in post poll scenario all that changed if exit polls turn out right.
Pollsters say that if the Samajwadi Party loses, then it would be due to two major factors. One, Akhilesh Yadav should have stayed away from the Congress. This could have had a bearing on the SP’s chances according to exit polls. Secondly, after winning the symbol battle before the Election Commission of India, Akhilesh continued to associate with his uncle Shivpal Yadav.
Akhilesh wanted to portray the image he does not believe in the thug brand of politics and hence wanted to stay away from his uncle. However, despite all that, he never really broke away and this could have been a factor that went against the SP.
The SP-Congress alliance also did not help factor much in the Muslim votes. The alliance according to the exit poll will get 70 per cent of the Muslim votes. This is the same that the SP had won in 2012 when it went alone.
Why a big BJP win was predicted:
According to the exit poll conducted by India Today-My Axis India, the BJP’s resounding victory would be largely due to the consolidation of the non-Yadav OBC vote. This sector appears to have felt neglected by the current dispensation in UP and may have shifted to the BJP in large numbers.
The exit poll projected that the BJP will get 57 per cent of the Kurmi vote, 63 per cent of the Lodh vote and 60 per cent of the remaining non-Yadav OBC vote. This was a big vote bank for the SP in the 2012 elections and became the decider.
The projection of Keshav Prasad Maurya as the UP BJP chief also may have convinced the the non-Yadav OBC voters that they would have a say. His elevation also may have helped the BJP shed the upper-caste tag.
Axis suggests that demonetisation has had no impact on the voters. It also says that the BJP will win 64 per cent of the Baniya votes. The BJP will also get 55 per cent of the Kaysath vote, 62 per cent of the Thakur vote and 62 per cent of the Brahmin votes.
BSP hardest hit:
The Bahujan Samaj Party’s Maywati, according to all exit polls would be the biggest loser. She has managed to hold on to the support of the Jatav community. However she did not manage to add voters from other communities, exit polls suggest.
The Axis poll suggested that the BSP will get 77 per cent of the Jatav votes. The non-Jatav votes for the BSP has been projected only at 43 per cent.