Vikas Saraswat
UP Assembly Polls 2012 Analysis – Kalyan Singh Effect
This article originally appeared in centreright.in. CRI content has now been subsumed in swarajyamag.com. The views expressed here are personal and do not necessarily reflect those of the editors of swarajyamag.com

Now that the votes have been counted and it’s time probably to take stock, someone in the BJP offices, unfazed by the disappointment over the poor show in UP assembly polls, it is hoped is, still labouring over the numbers.  One of the foremost things which should strike BJP is the Kalyan effect which has damaged BJP chances seriously in Aligarh, Bulandshahr, Etah, Firozabad, Mainpuri, Farrukhabad and Badaun districts.

On its own Kalyan Singh’s Jan Kranti Party (Rashtrawadi) might have just five runners up places in the tally to show up. Kalyan’s son Rajveer has lost Debai to Shri Bhagwan Sharma of Samajwadi Party by a mere 3000 votes.  Premlata Devi lost Atrauli, Kalyan’s home town, to VireshwarYadav of Samajwadi Party by 9000 votes and Mukesh Rajput lost Bhojpur constituency in Farrukhabad District to JamaluddinQureshi of SP once again by 17000 votes. But these figures in isolation make an incomplete reading of the picture. What is important is that the 3500 votes in Debai, 22000 votes in Atrauli and 28000 votes in Bhojpur which BJP candidates polled there would have helped these candidates sail through the posts.  The story was repeated in Amritpur constituency of Farrukhabad District, where Dr JitendraYadav lost to Narendra Singh Yadav of SP by 18000 votes. Here too the winning margin was less than the 29000 votes polled by Sushil Kumar Shakya of BJP.

Debai, Atrauli, Bhojpur and Amritpur aren’t the only seats where Kalyan Singh’s Jan Kranti Party and BJP’s votes put together add up to beat the winner. The story is repeated in Anupshahar,Bulandshahar, Kasganj, Amanpur, Kaimganj, and Farrukhabad assembly constituencies. Major SuneelDuttDwivedi , BJP candidate from Farrukhabad who lost to independent Vijay Singh by a mere 147 votes will certainly be ruing the 9405 votes polled by Mohan Agarwal of JKP. So would Virendra Singh Sirohi, BJP candidate from Bulandshahr who lost to MohdAleem Khan of BSP by 7000 votes. JKP’s Sanjeev Rama got more than 20000 votes in this constituency.

The division of votes brought in by Kalyan Singh isn’t a one way loss for BJP. It affects Kalyan more than the BJP, for out of the 10 seats where BJP’s votes added to those of Kalyan’s JKP are more than that of the winning candidate, in 7 seats it is Kalyan Singh’s candidates who fared better than BJP candidates.

Elections, however,as they say, are not merely about numbers adding up. They are also about the chemistry brought about by alignment of forces. In Kalyan’s case, with an ideologically similar electorate, coming together with BJP would have certainly given an impetus, more than a lazy psephologist’s academic exercise in addition begged for. In constituencies like Marhara (40000 plus and a runner up position), Barauli (30000 plus), Chharra (20000 plus), Aliganj (25000 plus,) Bilsi (17000 plus), Badaun (11000 plus), Agra Rural (10000 plus), Mainpuri (15000 plus) and Jalesar (13000plus), where the numbers even after adding to the BJP’s do not add up to be consequential, the proverbial chemistry could have still affected the outcome. A case in point is Chhibramau constituency in Kasganj district. SP, BSP and BJP candidates polled between 60000 to 70000 votes. Kalyan’s  5000 plus votes  could had the potential of changing the electoral dynamics.

Among the other constituencies where JKP polled 3000 to 5000 plus votes are Kannauj and Tirwa both Kannauj District, Hasanpur (JyotibaPhule Nagar), and Bhogaon in Mainpuri District and Jasrana in Firozabad.