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Welcome to The India Fix by Shoaib Daniyal, a newsletter on Indian politics. This week we have a guest post by my colleague Arunabh Saikia, who, as regular readers would be aware, is criss-crossing the state of Uttar Pradesh in the run up to the Assembly elections (which start just next month, by the way).
Arunabh Saikia breaks down the biggest story from last week: the MLA exodus from the Bharatiya Janata Party. What does it mean for UP as well as BJP’s politics.
There is a churn in the Bharatiya Janata Party in Uttar Pradesh. Last week, the tables turned on the party in a way it rarely has in the Modi era. As many as eleven legislators, including three ministers, put in their papers with barely a month to go for the Assembly elections.
Mass defections are not new ahead of elections. However, this event might have long-term implications for Indian politics given that it threatens to shake up the Modi-led BJP’s winning formula of fusing Hindutva with an appeal to backward castes.
The defections have a clear pattern: most MLAs jumping ship belonged to non-Yadav intermediary caste groups, categorised as Other…