Can BJP defend 45 of 71 seats that poll in 4th phase of LS polls
New Delhi, Apr 28: Campaigning has ended for the 71 seats that would go to polls in the fourth phase. There are several crucial seats up for grabs, which includes 13 from Uttar Pradesh, considered to be strongholds of the BJP.
Some of the key contestants in this phase are Samajwadi chief, Akhilesh Yadav, former JNU student leader, Kanhaiya Kumar, Bollywood actress Urmila Matondkar among others.
Polling will be held across nine states on Monday. The states to poll in this phase are Uttar Pradesh (13) , Madhya Pradesh (5) , Bihar, Rajasthan (13) and Jharkhand (3). Polling will also be held in 17 seats in Maharashtra, 8 in West Bengal and 6 in Odisha.
In the 2014 elections, the BJP had won 45 of these 71 seats. The party had won 12 out of 13 in UP, all 13 in Rajasthan, 6 in MP, 3 in Bihar, 3 in Jharkhand, 8 in Maharashtra and one in West Bengal.
Can BJP defend UP:
On Monday, 13 constituencies in Uttar Pradesh will go to polls. The seats that would poll on May Apr 29 are Etawah, Farrukhabad, Hamripur, Akbarpur, Jhansi, Jalaun, Kanpur, Kannauj, Kheri, Unnao, Misrikh and Shahjahanpur.
In 2014, the BJP won 12 out of the 13 seats. The seat at Kannauj was won by Dimple Yadav. That year the BJP's seat share was at 45 per cent while the SP and BSP managed 22 and 20 per cent respectively.
There are 67 assembly segments which fall under the 13 Lok Sabha constituencies which is polling on April 29. In the 2017 assembly elections, the BJP bagged 60 of these 67 seats, which also included 4 of the 5 in Kannauj.
Going by the numbers, the BJP appears to have an edge on these 13 seats. Since 1996, the BJP has had an average vote share of 30 per cent when compared to the 24.5 for the SP. Barring 1999 and 2009, the BJP has fared exceptionally well in these 13 seats. In 1999 and 2009, it did not win a single seat, where as in 2004, it managed just one. In the 1991 elections, the BJP won 7 and in 1996 elections, the party ended up with 10. In the 1998 elections, the BJP had won 8 of the 13 seats.
The Muslims population in these seats is relatively lower, when compared to the rest of Uttar Pradesh.
The Muslims are at around 15 per cent of the population. The Upper Castes are higher in number. In Unnao, Hardoi, Etawah, Kannauj, Kanpur, Akbarpur and Hamripur, the Brahmins are sizeable in number, which favours the BJP.
The SP-BSP combine would look to capitalise on the Dalit votes, who are sizeable in number. The SCs alone account for 23 per cent of the population in these 13 seats.
The fight would be clearly between the BJP and the SP-BSP combine as the Congress is a marginal player in this region. The Congress since 1996 has only had a 14 per cent vote share here. However the party had fared well in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections when it won six seats with a vote share of 27 per cent.
The Congress would hope to do well in Kanpur after it lost the seat to the BJP in 2014. The party had held on to the seat since 1999. In the 2014 elections, the Congress had vote shares in double digits only in Kanpur, Kheri and Unnao- 30, 17 and 16 per cent.