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

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The Making of a Masked Mandate

The discourse around the forthcoming Bihar assembly elections of 2020 is rife with the usual rhetoric of development brandished by the ruling alliance, while the opposition stresses the underdevelopment of the state. This election is also driven by caste calculations. But the distinctive factor is that of the migrant workers which could prove to be a game changer.

Bihar Assembly Elections, 2020

Caste complacency of the ruling combination necessarily deflects attention from critical self-evaluation.

Failure of the Mahagathbandhan

In the Lok Sabha elections of 2019 in Uttar Pradesh, the contest was keenly watched as the alliance of the Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party, and Rashtriya Lok Dal took on the challenge against the domination of the Bharatiya Janata Party. What contributed to the continued good performance of the BJP and the inability of the alliance to assert its presence is the focus of analysis here.

Mayawati’s Financial Tangles and the Cost to Dalit Politics

Bahujan Samaj Party leader Mayawati seems to be focused on settling scores with her former confidantes-turned-foes. Meanwhile, attacks on Dalits are intensifying and the newly-formed Bhim Sena seems to be a greater attraction for Dalit youth in the state.

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.

Facts and Fiction about How Muslims Vote in India

There is a widely held belief that Muslims in India vote en bloc and strategically to defeat the Bharatiya Janata Party. This misconception has given rise to several wild theories about how Muslims participate in electoral arena—that they vote in large numbers, their decision of whom to vote for is influenced by clerics, they are more concerned about religious issues while voting, and are less supportive of India’s political institutions. This article presents a body of evidence using public opinion and election returns data from Uttar Pradesh to show that the political and electoral behaviour of Muslims is no different from that of any other major community in the state.

Third Democratic Upsurge in Uttar Pradesh

The upcoming assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh point to an electoral battle between the incumbent Samajwadi Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party, which swept the state in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. With a decline of identity politics in the state, the major political parties are trying to outdo each other in engineering alliances, reaching out to hitherto neglected, marginalised groups, under the garb of inclusive politics. Sensing an opportunity, these backward groups are turning away from their identity-based political anchors and being drawn towards parties that promise political and economic empowerment, signalling the beginning of the “third democratic upsurge” in UP.
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