Akhilesh Yadav, the
man who led Samajwadi Party’s poll charge in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly
elections, said Friday that the elections have shown the BJP’s seat share can
be reduced. Yadav, 38, the former chief minister, thanked voters for their
support. “We have shown that the BJP’s vote count can be reduced. This decline
would continue.”

“More than half of
the falsehoods have been wiped out, the rest will follow. The struggle in
public interest will continue,” the Samajwadi leader wrote in Hindi on Twitter
a day after the election results were announced.

The Assembly
election results showed the BJP win a compelling majority of 273 seats out of
403. While this was a massive victory, the party’s seat share has actually gone
down since 2017 when it held 312 seats in the 403-seat Assembly in India’s most
populous state.

The Samajwadi
Party, poised to form the government prior to the polls, saw a large rise in
its seat share in the Assembly but fell far short of the majority mark. The SP won
111 seats on its own. The rainbow coalition led by SP has 125 seats to its
name. In 2017, the SP had won only 47 seats.

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SP posted a vote
share of 32% against BJP’s 41%.  

Yadav emerged as a
principal challenger to the Yogi Adityanath-led BJP government in the state at
a time when the space of the Opposition shrank consistently across the nation.

Going into the
Uttar Pradesh polls, Yadav sought to stay away from large overarching alliances
that require ideological adjustments. Instead, the SP formed alliances with smaller
players significant in certain regions of the state. That experiment seemed to
have worked well, at least better than how things were when SP fought the 2017
Assembly polls in alliance with the Congress and the 2019 Lok Sabha polls in
alliance with the BJP.