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Dynamic of electoral behaviour in Uttar Pradesh: a study of lok sabha elections from 2009 to 2019

Abstract

Uttar Pradesh is one of the significant political spaces that offers a genuine academic analysis to Electoral Geography students. This political space interestingly presents the electoral dynamics rooted in many socio-cultural variants and has a more significant bearing on the electoral behavior of the masses in Uttar Pradesh. In this respect, the present paper organizes its conceptual design to correlate the electoral behavior of voters of Uttar Pradesh with the effects of the elements of culture and social structure. Primarily, this paper analyses the factors that control electoral behavior. It includes demographic politics, religion, cultural symbols, language, social stratification (Caste and sub-caste), rural–urban divide, and identity politics. These are the dominant factors in the social space of Uttar Pradesh that essentially controls the electoral behavior. The tendencies involved in the recent elections are observed in terms of electoral mobilization by political parties in Uttar Pradesh. The spatiality of populism, media campaign, caste alliance, religious sentiments, nationalistic issues, and leadership traits is the emerging trends utilized in the multiparty political democracy in Uttar Pradesh. Hence, the article is an ethnographic exploration of the relations between politics and social stratification, religion, and caste/community in Uttar Pradesh. This paper aims to examine the implications of cultural mobilization on these lines. Further, it observes how power has been transferred from parties that claim to favor social justice and subaltern politics like Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party to Bhartiya Janta Party. This paper is generally based on secondary and archival sources; census data and electoral data are extracted from Newspaper reports, census, and the Election Commission of India. Primarily, It is a qualitative study where descriptive and analytical methods are applied. Arguments are framed through case studies and electoral data reports. The quantitative aspect of the analysis is represented through diagrams, graphs, and election statistics. The study shows that the evolution of the politics of Uttar Pradesh shows a visible sign of polarization mainly on the communal lines. Issues relating to the development of the region and its people are often sidelined in the face of communal division. Other factors like the ideology of the political party, local issues, caste, gender, and personality of the candidate intervene but with marginal effect.

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Acknowledgements

This study would not have been possible without the cooperation and advice of my respected two of our best seniors and Dr. Ashis Kumar Parshari, Dr. Rustom Ali, Dr. Mainul SK. Finally, I thank all the members and respondents of the political parties and the Election Commission of India, CSDS, for valuable information. The author also acknowledges the financial assistance provided by the University Grants Commission (UGC) to carry out the current research work.

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Correspondence to Firoj Biswas.

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Biswas, F., Khan, N., Ahamed, M.F. et al. Dynamic of electoral behaviour in Uttar Pradesh: a study of lok sabha elections from 2009 to 2019. GeoJournal (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10708-022-10685-6

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Keywords

  • Uttar Pradesh
  • Electoral behaviour
  • Social space
  • Election
  • Political party