In the coming U.P. elections my prediction is that the BSP will get a clear majority. My reasons are as follows ;
Elections in U.P. as in Bihar, are ordinarily on the basis of caste and religion. The exception to this is when there is a wave, e.g. the Modi wave in the Lok Sabha elections of May, 2014. But this wave is now spent.
Mayawati has a solid 20% SC vote bank, and this is unshakeable.
SP has about 17%, viz. Yadavs ( about 9% of the population ) and some other OBCs. OBC s are no doubt about 30% of the U.P. population, but they are not one caste, nor all with S.P. For instance, Kurmis, the second largest OBC group ( about 7% ), are traditionally hostile to Yadavs.
BJP has the upper caste Hindu vote, but upper castes i.e. brahmins, rajputs, banias, etc are altogether only about 18% of the U.P. population. One cannot win an election by getting only 18% votes, one needs at least 30% ( it is not necessary to get 50% as others
are divided ).
This is the basic dilemma for BJP. How can they win with only 18% votes ? The only way out for them is to arouse communal feelings and instigate communal riots, e.g. in Muzaffarnagar. That way a section of OBCc and SCs may gravitate towards them, as it happened in the Ram Janmabhumi agitation.
But the Ram Mandir card has been played out, and is no longer effective. Anti Pakistan hysteria is now being tried, hand in glove with the TRP driven media, but I doubt this hysteria will last long.
That leaves the 18% Muslim population of the state. Which way will Muslims vote this time ? That will be the decisive factor.
In the last Assembly elections they voted for SP, but I doubt they will do so this time. Events in Dadri, Muzaffarnagar, Ballabhgarh, etc, the worsening law and order situation, and the corruption of many SP leaders have totally disillusioned the Muslims regarding SP.
The psychology of Muslims is to do ' tactical ' voting, i.e. voting for the strongest party which can defeat BJP. For Muslims the enemy is BJP. Now that Muslims are disillusioned with SP, that leaves only BSP as the alternative choice, and so it logically follows that this time they will vote massively for BSP.. Muslim votes will not be divided this time. ''Ghar wapasi ', hate speeches by Adityanath, Sadhvi Prachi, Sakshi Maharaj, Togadia, etc, events in Dari, Muzaffarnagar, Ballabhgarh, and the activities of ' gau rakshaks ' have ensured that.
As regards Congress, it has no vote bank, and can only ride piggy back on Mayawati's shoulders, as it rode piggy back in Bihar on the shoulders of the Mahagathbandhan.
The result of this analysis is that BSP will get 20% SC votes+18% Muslim votes, i.e. 38%, a clearly winning combination