ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Messages, Mathematics and Silences in BJP’s UP Win

The Bharatiya Janata Party consolidated the support of the “leftover” castes such as the Gujjar, Tyagi, Brahmin, Saini and Kashyap who are not counted in the typical matrix fashioned for years on the basis of the “dominant” groupings like the Jats, Muslims and Dalits. Accompanying the mathematics were a slew of ideas about Muslims and Yadavs as oppressors, and a strategic silence so as to not polarise all Muslim votes to benefit the BSP.

(This article was earlier posted in the Web Exclusives section of EPW website.)

The first striking feature of the seven-phased Uttar Pradesh (UP) polls was the ambiguity or thesilence maintained by the Hindu voters, especially those from the upper castes who have been vocal in articulating their preferences in previous elections.

Whenever we met the Brahmins,Rajputs and Banias singly or in small groups, we found them curiously reticent, replying in generic terms about the principal parties and contestants in their constituencies. In the past their answers would be contextualised in a broader perspective, embellished with historical nuggets, statistical data (subject to cross-verification) and insightful anecdotes.

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Updated On : 30th Mar, 2017
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