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SP win mirrors Akhilesh’s PDA pitch: 86% MPs are OBCs, Dalits, Muslims | India News

LUCKNOW: Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav’s poll narrative of PDA (Pichhda, Dalit and Alpsankhyak) has come to reflect much more prominently with more than 86% of the party’s elected MPs in Uttar Pradesh coming from OBC, Dalit and Muslim background.
SP’s 37 MPs includes 20 from OBC, eight from SC and four from the Muslim community. Among the upper castes, only one MP each is from among Brahmins (Sanatan Pandey), Vaishya (Ruchi Veera) and Bhumihar (Rajeev Rai), while two are Thakur (Anand Bhadoria and Birendra Singh).
In fact, it was only SP that experimented with the idea of fielding SC candidates from general seats like Meerut and Faizabad.SP’s Dalit candidate Awdhesh Prasad defeated BJP’s Lallu Singh from Faizabad by a margin of 54,567 votes. In Meerut, the party fielded Sunita Verma, a Dalit, who, however, lost to BJP’s Arun Govil by a slender margin of just over 10,500 votes. Verma is the former mayor of Meerut.

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SP ally Congress, which won six seats comprises one MP each from the OBC (Rakesh Rathor), SC (Tanuj Punia) and Muslim (Imran Masood) community. Of the other three, Rahul Gandhi is a Kashmiri Brahmin, Ujjwal Reoti Raman Singh is a Bhumihar and KL Sharma is a Punjabi.
SP and Congress’s combined list of candidates included 33 from OBC, 19 from SC and six Muslims.
At the other end, BJP’s list of MPs is dominated by upper castes, which have traditionally voted in favour of the saffron party since the peak of Ram temple movement that attained a countering overtone against Mandal politics.
Data show that 15 out of 33 BJP MPs (eight Brahmins, five Thakur and two Vaishya) – or 45% of its winners– are from upper castes, which together make up for around 20% of the electorate. Of the rest, 10 are OBC and eight are SC – in what makes up for 55%. This is potentially less than the electoral numbers of OBC and SC, who taken together are well above 60% of the electorate.
BJP allies like RLD and Apna Dal (S) saw election of three more OBC candidates – Rajkumar Sangwan (Jat) and Chandan Chauhan (Gurjar) in case of RLD and Apna Dal chief Anupriya Patel (Kurmi). But that changed the caste equations in the saffron camp only marginally.
The caste matrices of BJP-led NDA and SP-Congress alliance draw a sharp parallel with the past. Data shows that of the five SP MPs in 2019, three were Muslims (Azam Khan, Shafiqur Rahman Barq and ST Hasan) while two were OBCs (party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav and Akhilesh). The party did not have a single MP from upper castes or the Dalit community.
Likewise, out of BJP’s 62 MPs in 2019, 28 (12 Brahmins, 11 Thakur and five Vaishya/other) – making for 45% of the total – were from upper castes. The saffron list included 14 SCs and 20 OBCs (including Lodh, Jat and Gurjar), which made up for around 55% of its total MPs.

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