The decision of the Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party and Rashtriya Lok Dal to contest the upcoming by-elections to 11 Assembly seats in Uttar Pradesh on their own is likely to give a distinct advantage to the Bharatiya Janata Party.
A look at the vote share of the BJP and the SP-BSP-RLD alliance in the 2017 Assembly elections in segments that will be facing bye-elections, gives an indication of the things to come.
SP, BSP and RLD had contested separately in 2017 and their vote share has been added up now to show the alliance vote share.
The Tundla assembly segment in Agra is a seat that has been vacated by Uttar Pradesh Minister S.P. Singh Baghel (who has been elected to the Lok Sabha). In 2017, the vote share of the BJP in this constituency was 48.49 per cent while the alliance votes were 48.47 per cent. If the alliance parties contest separately, their vote share will split which will be advantage BJP.
In the Igas assembly segment, the BJP had got 55 per cent votes while the alliance ended up with 31.88 per cent vote share.
In the Gangoh assembly segment, BJP had got 38.78 per cent votes in 2017 whereas the alliance parties together got 35 per cent votes.
The Assembly segment where the alliance scored over the BJP is Jalalpur where BJP got 32.30 per cent votes and the alliance got 61.81 per cent votes. The Jalalpur BSP legislator was Ritesh Pandey who has now won the Ambedkar Lok Sabha seat. Ritesh Pandey and his father Rakesh Pandey wield considerable influence in the region and the BSP can look forward to retaining the seat.
Another such assembly constituency is Rampur where the alliance got 73.36 per cent votes, compared to the 25.84 per cent votes that went to the BJP.
In Zaidpur, in Barabanki, the BJP got 43.84 per cent votes in 2017 while the alliance got 51.31 per cent votes.
Balha, in Bahraich district, is another BJP stronghold where the party had scored 52.3 per cent votes in 2017 while the alliance trailed behind with 43.6 per cent votes.
The prestigious Lucknow Cantt seat is also facing bye-elections after former Uttar Pradesh Minister Rita Bahuguna Joshi won the Lok Sabha election.
The BJP had got 51.2 per cent votes and the alliance ranked second with 47 per cent votes. Aparna Yadav, Mulayam Singh’s younger daughter-in-law had contested the seat on a Samajwadi Party ticket in 2017.
In Kanpur, the Govind Nagar seat had been won by former state minister Satyadev Pachauri who got 60.88 in 2017 while the alliance got 47.67 per cent votes. Pachauri has been elected to the Lok Sabha now.
In Pratapgarh, the BJP had got 44.17 per cent votes and the alliance (SP and BSP together) had polled 48 per cent votes. The division of alliance votes between SP and BSP will give an advantage to the BJP.
The Manikpur assembly seat in Chitrakoot was also won by the BJP in 2017 with 44.5 per cent votes while SP and BSP together got 48.09 per cent vote share.
Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Maurya said: “These figures prove that the BJP continues to enjoy the confidence of the voters and we are going to win all 11 seats in by-elections. The alliance performance is there for all to see and the division of votes between them will give a stronger edge to the BJP in the bye-elections.”