An election is a formal process of electing someone to public office or voting on whether to accept or reject a political proposition. It is the central tenet of democracy, in which the people choose their representatives.
In India, elections are held for Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, State Legislative Assemblies (Vidhan Sabha), and Legislative Council (Vidhan Parishad). Elections are held in accordance with constitutional provisions and enacted legislation by Parliament. Article 324 of the Indian Constitution details the Election Commission’s mandate in India.
Uttar Pradesh Assembly Elections, 2022
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came into power after the previous assembly election held in 2017 with Yogi Adityanath as Chief Minister. In the Panchayat Elections held in 2021, Samajwadi Party (SP) won 760 wards, 719 wards by Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP), 381 wards by Bahujan Samaj Party, Indian National Congress won 76 wards, Aam Aadmi Party got 64 and All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) won 22 wards and smaller parties won 1114 wards.
The 18th Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly election was held for 403 members or assembly seats. The Chief Election Commissioner of the Election Commission of India (ECI), Sushil Chandra, announced the Legislative Assembly election of Uttar Pradesh to be held in seven phases from 10th February to 7th March. The counting of all the votes and the result of the election were declared on 10th March 2022.
With the announcement of elections, the Model Code of Conduct became effective in the state. Physical rallies were prohibited till 15th January due to Covid related concerns. All the polling stations were instructed to be equipped with the covid mitigation facilities. The election was scheduled to be held in seven phases starting from 10th February to 7th March.
Parties And Alliances
1. Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP)
BSP a National Political Party was formed in 1984 with the objective to represent the people belonging to the backward section of the society i.e., people belonging to Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST), and Other Backward Classes (OBC), along with the other minorities.
The National President of BSP Mayawati Prabhu Das declared that BSP will compete in the upcoming election on 403 seats without the alliance of any other party, on the occasion of the birth anniversary of BSP Founder Late Kanshi Ram. However, around nine small political parties with a similar notion against BJP and Samajwadi Party showed support for BSP. The nine parties included Janshakti Party, Vishwa Shanti Party, SanyuktJanadesh Party, Awaz Party, SarvajanSewa Party, Adarsh Sangram Party, Pacchasi Parivartan Samaj Party, Akhand Vikas Bharat Party, and SarvajanSewa Party.
2. Samajwadi Party
SP was formed in 1992 by Mulayam Singh Yadav. It is a Social democratic Political Party and its National President is Akhilesh Yadav. Samajwadi Party contested election on 343 seats out of 403with the alliance of seven other parties, were Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (Lohiya), Janvadi Party (Socialist) and Nationalist Congress Party contested on 1 seat each, Mahan Dal contested on 2 seats, Apna Dal (Kamerawadi) contested election on 5 seats, Rashtriya Lok Dal on 33 seats and lastly Suhledev Bhartiya Samaj Party on 17 seats.
The first political party to join the alliance was Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD)and they demanded to compete on 60 seats initially but later it was settled on 33 seats. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Samajwadi Party also discussed forming an alliance, but they were unable to do so, due to disagreements over seat-sharing.
3. National Democratic Alliance
NDA or National Democratic Alliance contested the election with 3 alliances, Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) with 370 seats, The Nirbal Indian ShoshitHamara Aam Dal or NISHAD party contested 16 seats and Apna Dal (Sonelal) competed with 17 seats.
NDA also had talks with parties like Janta Dal (United), and Hindustani Awam Morchabut the alliance didn’t happen due to the differences in discussion of seat-sharing. On 13th January, the national democratic alliance announced their seat-sharing agreement, with the NISHAD Party securing 16 seats, the Apna Dal securing 17, and the BJP competing for the remaining 370 seats. However, six of the NISHAD party candidates fought under the BJP symbol.
4. United Progressive Alliance
- Alike BSP, Indian National Congress contested the election on 401 seats individually, under the leadership of Priyanka Gandhi, breaking the alliance with SP and BSP, claiming that the leaders of these parties were nowhere seen during the 2017 Unnao Rape Case and the Hathrasgangrape and murder case in 2020. Around 40% of the total tickets i.e., 160 tickets were given to female candidates.
Bhagidari Parivartan Morchawas is an alliance of seven Political Parties, i.e. All India Majis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen, Jan Adhikar Party, Bharat Mukti Morcha, Janata Kranti Party, Bharatiya Vanchit Samaj Party, Peace Party of India and Rashtriya Ulama Council to fight the election on 403 seats.
Left Front was an alliance of four political parties to contest the election on 403 seats- Communist Party of India, Communist Party of India (Marxit), Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist), and All India Forward Bloc.
Aam Aadmi Partycontested individually for 403 seats after the talks fell down to form an alliance with SP.
Shiv Sena initially announced to contest election on 403 seats individually but later it came down to 45 seats.
AIMIM contested election on 100 seats.
Manifestos Of Parties And Alliances
1. National Democratic Alliance
- The Bhartiya Janata Party’s manifesto was released by Amit Shah, Yogi Adityanath, and Swatantra Dev Singh on 8th February titled ‘Lok Kalyan Sankalp Patra’.
Farmers: Farmers will receive free electricity for agriculture in the next five years. ‘Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Agri-Infrastructure Mission’ worth Rs. 25,000 crore to establish cold chain centers, godowns, and processing plants across the state. Minimum Support Prices (MSPs) for wheat and rice are established. 5000 crore to be invested in sugarcane mill refurbishment. Payments to sugarcane growers must be made within 14 days and, in the event of a delay, interest must be added. The state will create around six ‘Mega Food Parks.’
Women: Financial assistance would be increased from 15,000 to 20,000 under the ‘Mukhya Mantri Kanya Sumangala Yojana.’ Financial help of up to one lakh rupees for the marriage of girls from impoverished families. Each Holi and Diwali, the ‘Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana’ will provide two complimentary LPG cylinders to women. Commuting is free for women over the age of 60 on public transportation. 1000 crore would be spent on ‘Mission Pink Toilet,’ while widows’ monthly stipends will be increased to 1500. CCTV cameras will be put in public areas and close proximity to educational institutions. Pink Police stations will be installed in 3000 locations. Under the UPPSC, the number of women employed in government positions will be doubled.
Education: Upgrading of the state’s 30,000 secondary schools and institutions. Universities, like Aligarh’s Raja Mahendra Pratap University and Azamgarh’s MaharjaSuheldev University, will have improved infrastructure with world-class amenities. ‘Mission Kayakalp’ will be launched to create furniture for primary schools, such as tables and benches.
2. United Progressive Alliance
Congress national secretary Sonia Gandhi unveiled the party’s manifesto, titled “Unnati Vidhan,” which she termed “Jana Ghoshna Patra.” In the manifesto, the party has assured to waive the farm loans within 10 days of forming the government. Additionally, the election manifesto promised to halve farmers’ electricity bills and cancel the bill during the Covid-19 epidemic period. Cases brought against journalists will be withdrawn, and those imprisoned illegally will be released. Five more Legislative Council seats will be added for groups like as artisans, weavers, farmers, and ex-servicemen. The SC and ST communities will receive free education from kindergarten to post-secondary level. Cooks in schools will have their salaries hiked to Rs 5,000. The manifesto guaranteed Rs 50 lakhs in compensation to COVID warriors who lost in the pandemic. Adhoc instructors and Shiksha Mitras will be regularised based on their expertise and compliance with the rules. According to the manifesto, families impacted by the COVID pandemic will receive financial help of Rs 25,000.
3. Samajwadi Party
- Akhilesh Yadav on 8th February released the manifesto for the upcoming UP state assembly election.
Farmers: MSP will be provided to all crops with the ensured payment to the farmers within 15 days. By 2025, all farmers should be debt-free. A debt relief law will be enacted to aid small farmers. Farmers with less than two acres of land will receive two bags of DAP and five bags of urea, irrigation electricity, an interest-free loan, insurance, and retirement benefits. Rs 25 lakh to be paid to farmers who died as a result of the farm protests. A farmer’s memorial dedicated to farmers who have perished in farm protests. Establishment of Kisan Bazaars in each district.
Employment: Within three years, the Samajwadi Party’s manifesto promises to provide formal government positions to ‘Shiksha Mitras’ and to employ one crore people in the MSME sector. Additionally, the party has pledged to implement an urban employment scheme similar to the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA). The manifesto promises that the ‘Urban Employment Guarantee Act’ will evaluate and revive the IT sector, creating jobs for 22 lakh people. Appointments to all vacant positions in the state’s education system will be made during the first year of the SP government. The temporary and contractual recruitment systems will be phased out.
Women: The Samajwadi Party manifesto guarantees women in government positions a 33% reservation. This includes women from all socioeconomic classes, and economically disadvantaged groups, including scheduled castes and tribes. Women will also be able to submit complaints to the 1090 power line via email and WhatsApp. Girls will receive free education from kindergarten to master’s level. Reviving the Kanya Vidya Dhan Yojana, which provides girls with a sum of Rs 36,000 upon completion of class 12. Adopting a policy of zero tolerance for organized ‘hate crime’ against women, minorities, and Dalits. Developing the “Dial 1890 Mazdoor Power Line” to address migrant worker issues.
SP manifesto also included providing the families under BPL every year with two LPG cylinders, and 300 units of free electricity. Establishing “Samajwadi grocery stores” to provide rations and other supplies to underprivileged workers, masons, and the homeless. Establishing a “Samajwadi Canteen” that will sell “Samajwadi Thali” for Rs 10.
4. Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP)In place of the manifesto BSP released an achievement folder of the BSP party, stating their past record and comparing the situation and development during their four tenures (1995, 1997, 2002, and 2007).
According to a survey conducted in all the constituencies of UP, it was found that the widest issue was of unemployment in about 73% of the voters, and then the problem of inflation followed by development and the issue of stray animals.
The major campaign was around the farm laws, where all the parties opposed the farm laws brought up by the BJP Government. Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), an organization of farmers campaigned to not support the BJP party in the election and also stated that the manifesto announced for farmers in the election of 2022 was alike the manifesto of 2017 and yet nothing major was done and instead the farm law was introduced creating a widespread distrust among farmers for BJP government. “Mission and Uttarakhand” was launched to appeal to the voters regarding the anti-farmer behavior of the BJP Government. Indian National Congress and Aam Aadmi Party also showed support against the Farm Laws and Akhilesh Yadav the president of SP also stated that if the party comes to power, then the Farm Act won’t be implemented in the state of Uttar Pradesh.
All the parties campaigned on the significant increase in the price of fuel under the BJP government. Akhilesh Yadav said that soon after the UP elections the government will again increase the price of these commodities. He also campaigned regarding inflation, stating under the rule of SP the rate of inflation would be controlled.
Almost all the parties mentioned the issue of unemployment in their manifestos and also during the rallies. Every party stated the best possible way either by increasing the reservation for the backward sections or by increasing the job vacancy.
Slaughtering of Cow is illegal in most places in India. Even after the Anti-Slaughter Laws before 2014, the cases of slaughtering of cows were very common but after the BJP government took up the charge such cases have been reduced.
The handling of the Covid-19 situation by the government was also criticized during the campaigns, stating the gap between the healthcare system and misplacing of covid data. Whereas, in defense, BJP stated the hollow medical system due to the corruption during the times of previous governments.
The BJP government mentioned the effective implementation of law and order under the tenure ship of Yogi Adityanath and also the development made in the field of construction and other transportation facilities.
Even Mamata Banerjee, leader of the Trinamool Congress, was in the pilgrim city for a combined rally with SP President Akhilesh Yadav and RLD ally Jayant Chaudhary.
Swami Prasad Maurya, a former UP Minister in January left BJP and joined SP, hitting BJP with a large number of OBC votes. During the 2017 election Maurya defected to BJP leaving BSP and winning Padraunabut this time the table turned around, after joining SP, Maurya competed against Surendra Kushwaha and lost in the Fazlinagar assembly seat.
Dharam Singh Saini former UP Minister and four-time MLA lost to Mukesh Chaudhary in Nakur after defecting BJP and joining SP.
The Election Commission had prohibited conducting and publishing Exit Polls between 7 AM on 10th February and 6:30 PM on 7th March. The ban was enforced under Section 126A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951. During the 2017 Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, police arrested the editor of Jagran.com, a website operated by the Hindi newspaper Dainik Jagran, for posting an exit poll following the first phase of voting. The website had projected the Bharatiya Janata Party as the front-runner in the first-round seats.
Akhilesh Yadav described opinion polls as “opium polls”, he stated that these polls mislead the voters and for this purpose, he wrote a letter to the Election Commission on 23rd January in request to put a ban on the telecast of exit polls.
- The result of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly Election 2022 was declared on 10th March on 403 constituencies, held over seven phases from 10th February to 7th March. The Bhartiya Janata Party won 273 seats, the Samajwadi Party won 125 seats, the Indian national Congress won 2 seats and the Bahujan Samaj Party won 1 seat.
Reasons Of BJP’s Victory
Despite various incidents during the election like EVM malfunction, Unattended VVPAT slips, Postal ballots in garbage trucks, and vote-rigging allegations the BJP made history by winning in the second term by a huge majority of votes.
In Uttar Pradesh, the BJP — frequently referred to be the party of Brahmins and Banias — has worked tirelessly to broaden its socioeconomic base. It received non-Yadav backward and non-Jatav Dalit votes. Women voters made up a sizable portion of the electorate. They voted individually and freely, debunking the idea of patriarchal domination. Yogi expressed gratitude in his speech, stating that women voted in huge numbers for the BJP. Women benefited significantly from initiatives such as Ayushman Bharat, which provided free ration, Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana, which provided toilets and homes, and Ujjwala.
The true trench battle took place between the Samajwadi Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party. Priyanka Gandhi attempted to resurrect the Congress with the slogan “I am a girl, I can fight,” but the party’s near-complete absence from the Grassroots and a Central leadership within the party made a significant defeat. Mayawati, the Bahujan Samaj Party’s leader, was conspicuously missing for the majority of the time. Polls predicted she would win between 14 and 20 seats, but now she faces ultimate destruction with a single seat.
The law-and-order situation in Lucknow has been frequently discussed. The overwhelming consensus was that the security situation had much improved under the BJP. That is precisely where the Samajwadi Party, despite huge gains, fell short of victory. Their former label as “goonda raj” will take longer to eradicate.
Despite, Akhilesh Yadav of the Samajwadi Party dealt an excellent hand, but it was not enough because of some inherent problems within his party.
Extremism of Asaduddin Owaisi, In this election, the topic of the Ram Mandir was one of the most important pillars for the BJP, waiving away maximum Hindu votes to their account. In meanwhile the extreme speeches during the rallies of SP contributed to the addition of more Hindu votes towards the BJP from SP.
Top 13 Interesting Facts About UP Elections, 2022
Uttar Pradesh is the largest Legislature in India.
Uttar Pradesh Assembly consists of 403 members.
The Election Commission had prohibited conducting and publishing Exit Polls between 7 AM on 10th February and 6:30 PM on 7th.
Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) did not publish its manifesto in this State Assembly Election.
Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) fought the election on 370 seats.
40% of the total 403 tickets were given to Women candidates by Indian National Congress in this State Assembly Election.
Bahujan Samaj Party and Indian National Congress fought individually in this election.
Even Mamata Banerjee, leader of the Trinamool Congress, was in the pilgrim city for a combined rally with SP President Akhilesh Yadav against NDA.
BJP’s manifesto was titled as ‘Lok Kalyan Sankalp Patra’.
INC’s released its manifestos in 3 tranches for this election.
INC’s first tranche was released on 19th December 2021 and was called ‘Shakti Vidhan.’
INC’s second tranche was released on 21st January 2022 and was called ‘Bharti Vidhan.’
INC’s third tranche was released on 9th February 2022.