How Akhilesh, not Tejashwi, won Mandal battle | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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How Akhilesh, not Tejashwi, won Mandal battle

By, , ​new Delhi
Jun 05, 2024 04:11 AM IST

Mandal vs Kamandal battle in UP and Bihar shifts in 2024. NDA dominates Bihar but faces major loss in UP. Charts explain the divergence.

Uttar Pradesh and Bihar are two states where Mandal politics took shape in India. It was in these states that the Mandal (shorthand for the ideology of social justice parties) versus Kamandal (short hand for the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Hindutva ideology) battle was fought since the 1990s. Since 2014 onwards, the BJP, along with its allies, had a decisive edge against the forces of Mandal in both. In 2024, politics in these states have diverged in a major way. While the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) will retain its dominance with 30 out of the 40 parliamentary constituencies (PCs) in Bihar, it is set for a massive loss in Uttar Pradesh with just 36 out of the 80 PCs. What explains the divergence in results in these two states which send 120 MPs to the Lok Sabha? Here are three charts which answer this question.

SP chief Akhilesh Yadav in Kannauj on May 7. (ANI)
SP chief Akhilesh Yadav in Kannauj on May 7. (ANI)

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The Congress and its Mandal partner have a similar strike rate in both these states

The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the Congress in Bihar contested 23 and nine PCs, respectively, and the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Congress, 62 and 17, respectively, in Uttar Pradesh . Their strike rate is much better in Uttar Pradesh than in Bihar.

What was different was the caste composition of RJD and SP candidates

While the SP’s candidature was more focused on accommodating other backward class (OBC) groups other than Yadavs, the RJD went with its conventional approach of preferring Yadavs while fielding candidates. What might have made matters worse for the RJD in Bihar was the fact that the Janata Dal (United) put up a lot more non-Yadav candidates, even though the BJP’s candidates in the state were largely upper castes. (See Chart 1 below)

A more representative SP alliance could have got it the critical vote share advantage

The vote share and seat share numbers of the INDIA bloc in Uttar Pradesh tell the story. While the vote share of INDIA bloc is just about four percentage points different, 43.5% in Uttar Pradesh and 39.3% in Bihar, the seat shares vary drastically at 20% and 52% in the two states. If one were to assume that an overwhelming majority of Yadavs and Muslims have voted for the INDIA bloc in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, they should both have a baseline vote share of about 30%. This means that the INDIA bloc in Uttar Pradesh could manage a critical 4%-5% more vote share than it did in Bihar, which has made a drastic difference to the seat shares. Also, the INDIA bloc in Uttar Pradesh has eight upper caste winners compared to none in Bihar. This clearly shows that defeating the BJP in Mandal states will take a more inclusive politics rather than harping on the old Muslim-Yadav equation. (See Chart 2 below)

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