The Economic Times today published an article claiming that Rahul Gandhi’s Dalit Leadership Mission (DLM) has produced results in the recent Uttar Pradesh elections.
The key points of the article are as below.
- Due to seat sharing arrangement with SP, Congress got 27 seats in Reserved Constituencies
- 18 out of the 27 Congress candidates in those constituencies were chosen from Rahul Gandhi’s DLM
- Out of those 18, Congress had not contested in 3 seats in 2012
- In the remaining 15 seats, total number of votes increased from 437448 to 660880 representing a 51% jump in votes for Congress from last time.
- In the 3 seats where it contested now in 2017, but not in 2012, Congress polled between 20000 to 53000 votes which represents a good show
Clearly, the article is biased and is only meant as propaganda for the Congress Vice-President, at a time when his currency is at its lowest, perhaps even within Congress circles.
The article purposely leaves out the fact that in 2012, Congress and SP contested WITHOUT any alliance. In other words, they contested against each other. Whereas in 2017, there was a tie-up between the two.
As a result of the alliance, in almost all these seats in 2017, Congress and SP contested alone. So the correct comparison would be to pool the total votes of Congress and SP from 2012 and 2017 and compare them.
And that’s exactly I managed to do below.
The table below captures the following details
- List of 29 reserved seats in UP (couldn’t manage to narrow it down to the 18 that Economic Times quotes)
- In 8 out of the 29 seats, both Congress AND SP have contested in spite of the alliance 🙂
- Votes polled by Congress in 2017
- Votes polled by SP in 2017
- Total votes polled by Congress and SP in 2017
- Votes polled by Congress in 2012
- Votes polled by SP in 2012
- Total votes polled by Congress and SP in 2012
NOTE: I HAVE ROUNDED OFF THE VOTES TO THE NEAREST THOUSAND IN MOST CASES. THIS DOES NOT AFFECT THE FINAL CONCLUSIONS IN ANY WAY, AS THE NUMBERS THEMSELVES WILL CLEARLY SHOW.
|Reserved Constituency||Congress 2017||SP 2017||Congress 2012||SP 2012|
|Congress + SP 2017||Congress + SP 2012||Increase in votes|
As you can see from the above table(s), in spite of having the entire Samajwadi Party code base at its disposal due to the tie-up, the Congress party has managed to increase the votes in ONLY 5 OUT OF 29 RESERVED SEATS.
And out of these 5, there is no data available to figure out if any of the candidates came from Rahul Gandhi’s DLM, since the Economic Times article does not publish the list of constituencies where candidates from DLM stood.
The Economic Times is comparing Apples to Oranges by leaving out the fact that there was a tie-up in 2017 and no tie-up in 2012.
One more attempt at propaganda for the family caught, I would say!
Edit: It turns out in Duddhi constituency, in 2012, Congress supported an Independent candidate who garnered about 42,000 votes. So in effect, Congress obtained about 77,000 votes in 2012 whereas the figure has actually dropped to 46,000 in 2017. Therefore, it is actually a decline in this constituency as well!