Political parties clueless over high turnout of voters in Uttar Pradesh


Most political parties in Uttar Pradesh are clueless about the reason for high turnout of voters in the two phases that have gone to vote till now. Though each of the political parties has taken a public stance that it is set to gain from this high turnout, the ground reality remains that they are yet to understand the real reason for this high turnout.

Most remarkable is the high turnout of first time voters in various districts. The second reason can be attributed to Muslims and particularly the backward Muslims coming out in large numbers. BSP supporters are claiming that the Dalits are rallying behind Mayawati because the BSP supremo has been able to deliver message that all political parties are targeting BSP for its pro-dalit policies. While BJP leaders say that more first time voters coming out to give their mandate, particularly in towns and cities, means that there is a tilt towards the saffron brigade, the Congress is viewing the greater turnout of voters in the light of its reservation ploy right before the elections and it taking up the issue of Muslim weavers, due to which it claims that the voters are rallying behind it. The hectic efforts of Rahul Gandhi and the usual ‘charming factor’ that Priyanka Gandhi leaves behind wherever she goes for canvassing are being claimed as additional reasons that have made the voters come out. Samajwadi Party leaders are talking about an anti-Mayawati wave in its favour.

The ground situation is far different from what the various political parties are claiming it to be. Waqar Hashim, Advocate and President United Muslim Front whose organization has been working extensively in Muslim areas asking them to come out and vote says that despite going door to door in various Muslim localities, we didn’t tell the voters to vote for a particular party. “Our efforts are concentrated on teaching the voters the value of their vote and since we are not affiliated with any political party, we just asked them to vote,” says Waqar Hashim adding that it appears that the efforts are showing positive results.

If Hashim’s claim is taken as true then the question about who is to benefit the most from this high turnout still remains unanswered. With stakes very high, every party wants to clutch on to its core vote bank and is trying to poach into other other’s territory. Fact remains that more Muslims have come out to vote but in whose favour have they given their vote still remains a million dollar question. One thing that is for sure is that BJP must have benefited the least from large Muslim turnout. But BSP, SP as well as the Congress may gain. Though the voters have kept it a well-guarded secret about their viewpoint, the political parties have become aggressive lately regarding the Muslim issues. The recent spate of Salman Khurshid and the great debate that followed it is being seen due to this realization to rope in as many Muslim votes as possible.

There is also a section which says that there’s been an increase in voting percentage of all the castes and communities, hence the end result may not change in favour of any particular party, some thing that these parties would like the most.

There is a general realization that en masse voting can bring about a change and the very same angry electorate who avoided voting earlier, as they were convinced nothing could possibly change for the better, have come to conclusion that no change can occur unless they go out and vote. In nutshell therefore it is the voters’ way of expressing their anguish with the establishment. Whether they will succeed this time over remains to be seen!