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    OpinionsAfter big fat ‘zero’, Mayawati rejigs BSP for comeback BSP supremo blames...

    After big fat ‘zero’, Mayawati rejigs BSP for comeback BSP supremo blames INDI Block for the Party’s collapse in polls


    By Sushil Kutty

    Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati has been thinking — a human trait which she had almost given up on over the past several years while the party slid into near total irrelevance even as her favourite nephew grew into her sandals. Of significance, however, is the fact that, as always happens, it is after the fact that wisdom dawns and the regret and sense of loss creeps in. Mayawati is no exception though in her bailiwick, she is Queen of all that she surveys.


    Mayawati is course-correcting. The feeling that the party has gone to the dogs and got a big fat ‘Zero' in the 2024 elections has breached the walls of her impregnable Lucknow mansion. It is humiliating, especially for a supremo who nurses a mountain of an ego, but then which party head does not have a massive ego. Maybe, perhaps, with the exception of Biju Janata Dal's Naveen Patnaik. The point is Mayawati has learned some lessons from the BSP's poll debacle and she is back to “thinking” with a clear open mind.


    News coming out of Mayawati's mind says it has occurred to the lady politician that Muslim voters who were voting for the BSP left in droves and voted for the Congress and the Samajwadi Party. Not a month ago, Mayawati announced her disappointment and had said that she had learned her Muslim lesson, promising not to be generous in selecting Muslim candidates ever again. But then, the Muslim strategy was up against Mayawati's strategy and the Muslims were focused on defeating the BJP and not in decimating the BSP.


    Now, after further ‘manthan', Mayawati has realised that her party's traditional Dalit vote-bank was “misguided by misleading propaganda of rival parties”. The INDI-Alliance took almost all of it and this reflected in the BSP's lousiest showing in any elections. This amount of shifting allegiance hadn't been seen in a Hunza's lifetime, and it is no secret that the Hunza lived for a minimum 100 years. In Uttar Pradesh at least, the opposition's INDI-Alliance was one single bloc with the Congress and the Samajwadi Party achieving near total unity of purpose.


    This didn't escape Mayawati's post-poll analysis. The BSP supremo, who has reinstated nephew Akash Anand as the national coordinator of the BSP and as her eventual successor after losing patience with him, couldn't help but concede that the bloc reaped from focusing on the issue of “Save the Constitution”, “reservation”, and the “Caste Census” while Mayawati sat in stupor and failed to place her finger on the voter's pulse. Mayawati has chosen “due to confusion created by the rivals” as the reason for the BSP getting a big fat zero.


    The BSP Chief said the “party that exploits the weaker sections grabbed power”, the arrow aimed straight at the Samajwadi Party. Mayawati, a four-time Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, has personal reasons to hate Akhilesh Yadav's party and her comments on Samajwadi Party are part of an old rant. Mayawati now laments that the INDIA bloc campaign concentrated on “Saving the Constitution”, an option which she too had if she hadn't decided against joining the Congress-led INDI-Alliance, which had different strokes for different states.


    Now, planning for the future, the BSP will contest bypolls in Uttar Pradesh, in Uttarakhand and in . Thereafter, the assembly elections in Maharashtra, and Jharkhand hoping a good performance in these states will help the BSP reinstate itself in the voters' fickle minds. BSP office-bearers have been collecting post-poll data on the party's poor showing and the reports are in Mayawati's hands.


    Point No.1, a big section of the Dalit, the BSP's core voter, shifted to INDIA bloc. BSP vote-share plummeted from 19.43% in 2019 to 9.15% in 2024. Point No.2, BSP has no MP in the 18th Lok Sabha — the score five years ago was 10 MPs. Surely, how could Mayawati sleep on the zero showing? Her clout within the BSP has been dented. Her Muslim vote-bank has found new anchorage and it will take much persuasion for the disloyal Dalit to return to familiar shores. Point No.3, Mayawati and her party has a humongous task at hand — pull the BSP out of the morass it finds itself in.


    BSP leaders and BSP office-bearers have been told to hold cadre camps all over Uttar Pradesh. These camps will inform supporters of how they were fooled into thinking that the Constitution was “in danger” or that “reservation” was under threat without the BSP knowing about it? Mayawati has got into her head that “rival parties”, meaning those in the INDI-Alliance, were the real enemies and not necessarily the Bharatiya Janata Party.


    Mayawati wants the cadre camps to spread far and wide the Bahujan Samaj Party's policies and ideals. A massive district-wise membership drive is on the cards and membership fee has been slashed from Rs 200 to Rs 50. The current big enemy of Mayawati and the BSP has been identified as the Congress and the Grand Old Party's “anti-Dalit agenda”. Mayawati has asked partymen and party women to be wary of the Congress' dirty tricks department.


    The Congress, she says, was anti-Bhimrao Ambedkar as well as anti-Dalit. What did the Congress do during all the time the Congress was in power at the Centre and how could such a party talk about saving the Constitution? The Congress steadfastly refused the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes the full benefits of reservation, which was guaranteed under the Constitution.


    The BSP Chief seems to know only now how much the BSP had been damaged during the years of neglect at the hands of the BSP leaders, none of whom had definite roles under Mayawati's sweeping powers. If anybody should be blamed for the BSP getting a “Duck” in the 2024 general elections, it is Mayawati, and Mayawati alone. The BSP's most powerful leader believes the NDA government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi will fold anytime and the BSP should be ready for the consequences — she gives little credence to talk that the INDI-Alliance will form the government when the NDA government fails and falls. (IPA Service)




    The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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