In Uttar Pradesh, the electorates gave 73 seats to the saffron alliance giving merely five seats to the Samajwadi Party and two to the Congress, while the BSP that got around 21 percent votes drew a blank in 2014. The same scenario emerged in Bihar where the BJP and its alliance partners won 31 out of the 40 seats on offer, with BJP winning 21 seats, Ram Vilas Paswan’s LJP winning 6 seats while now estranged Upendra Kushwaha’s RLSP winning 3 seats. The BJP and its allies won as many as 104 seats from these two states, forcing the opposition on the back-foot and winning two third majority with alliance partners in Lok Sabha.
But scenario seems to have completely changed over the last more than a year, handing BJP one defeat after the other, first in by-elections and later in crucial assembly elections. In the assembly elections of November, the BJP flopped across the Hindi heartland, conceding all the three states to the Congress party that seems to have rejuvenated under the leadership of a metamorphosed Rahul Gandhi. With the three heartland states gone and all the pre-polls surveys predicting heavy losses for the BJP and its alliance partners in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections, it is a forgone conclusion that the best is over for the BJP.
Dalit-Muslim-Yadav alliance unnerves Sangh
There is no denying that the Dalit-Muslim Yadav alliance has unnerved the Sangh. The BJP and the Sangh have been rattled to such an extent that the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat wrongly quoted Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar to create a wedge between the Dalits and the Muslims before the all-important Lok Sabha elections slated to be held in the next couple of months.
While speaking in Allahabad, Bhagwat told a saffron crowd, “Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar was well aware of the nefarious designs of Muslims. He always warned against any kind of association (political) with the Muslims. Now, efforts are being made for a Dalit-Muslim alliance. Babasaheb had himself termed these jihadis untrustworthy. We need to make aware people about this”.
While the hatred that the Sangh has for Muslims was more than evident from his speech, Dalit experts who have read extensively Babasaheb said that the statement cannot be traced to the Dalit icon. A Hindustan Times report, while quoting Dr NKS More, associate professor, Ambedkar University, Lucknow, said: “If Bhagwatji has said this, then he is misquoting and misappropriating Ambedkar. It is a clear deviation from the perception of Dr Ambedkar on minority and ‘minorityism’.” The leaders of the Bahujan Samaj Party also condemned Bhagwat for trying to create a wedge between Dalits, Muslims and Yadavs. They said Bhagwat seems to have been blinded by the sure loss that the BJP and its allies are set to suffer in the forthcoming elections.
Ambedkar’s scathing criticism of Hindu Mahasabha, is not lost to many. While criticising the extremist Hindu outfit, Babasaheb wrote in his ‘Pakistan, or, The Partition of India’, “It is no use saying that the Congress is not a Hindu body. A body which is Hindu in its composition is bound to reflect the Hindu mind and support Hindu aspirations. The only difference between the Congress and the Hindu Maha Sabha is that the latter is crude in its utterances and brutal in its actions while the Congress is politic and polite. Apart from this difference of fact, there is no other difference between the Congress and the Hindu Maha Sabha.
Dalit-Muslim-Yadav alliance in UP
The BJP and the RSS seem to be clearly unnerved by the recent turn of events in the state. The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Samajwadi Party (SP) alliance has threatened the BJP across the state that sends the largest number of MPs –80 to be precise – to the Lok Sabha. The recent pre-polls surveys conducted by different organizations suggest that the BJP and its allies will suffer humiliating poll reversals in the most populated state. One pre-poll survey claims that due to the BSP-SP alliance the BJP will lose at least 60 seats in the state and it will win no more than five seats if the SP-BSP alliance also somehow or the other accommodates the Congress party.
Dalits make around 21 percent of the state population while Muslims make around 20 percent of the population. Yadavs make close to 9 percent of the population in the state. Taken together, they make more than fifty percent of entire population of UP. In case of the BSP and SP alliance in the state, the majority of Muslims are expected to vote for the alliance, while the Dalits are expected to vote heavily for the same alliance. The same will be true of the Yadav voters, particularly in seats where one of their own is alliance’s candidate. If the Congress becomes part of the alliance, the Muslim vote will go en-block to the grand alliance. In this scenario, a large number of upper caste people will also vote for the Congress and the alliance, enabling the grand alliance to win more than 75 seats from the state. This caste arithmetic seems to be unnerving the saffron lords of Nagpur.
Grand Alliance in Bihar
While the BJP has support of Ram Vilas Paswan in Bihar and Nitish Kumar, the maverick chief minister, the opposition alliance of RJD, Congress, Manjhi, Kushwaha and several other small parties will ensure that it will not be able to repeat its performance in the crucial state. Muslims, Yadavs, Dalits, and other OBCs will ensure a thumping victory for the opposition alliance, if the alliance partners are able to reach consensus on seat sharing. There are reasons to believe that everything is not well within the Maha Gathbandan, nonetheless the electoral compulsions are going to keep them together. Muslims make 17 percent of the population in Bihar, while Yadavs make 14 percent of the population, Kushwaha around 7 percent while Dalits and Mahadalits make another 16 percent. The by-election results indicate that these castes are solidly behind RJD-Congress-Manjhi Mahagathbandan.
The uneasiness of the Sangh patriarch against the Dalit-Muslim-Yadav alliance is not very strange indeed. He seems to have foreseen what the future has in store for RSS satrap in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections.
More columns by Syed Ubaidur Rahman:
BSP-SP alliance minus Congress party is an advantage for BJP
Why VHP's efforts to exploit Ram temple proved a dud this time
Asia Bi and the misuse of blasphemy law in Pakistan
Hashimpura massacre by police– Finally, a semblance of justice
Will Owaisi-Ambedkar alliance in Maharashtra benefit the BJP?
Modi with Syedna: PM's Muslim outreach is a lost cause now
Mob lynching in India - The menace is growing