While people jostle with each other to catch a few seconds with “Mantri” by which name the BSP supremo Mayawati’s confidant Ramveer Upadhyay goes in the poll-bound Uttar Pradesh, the ever-swelling crowd of hundreds cutting across caste and religious divide could well indicate the swing of voters. Some want justice for a brother murdered, while others complain that their villages have not yet got electricity connections and a few even press him for admission in schools for their wards; Upadhyay meets all of them patiently before he slips into a red Pajero for an exclusive interaction with Manish Anand on the campaign trail.
In the run up to the UP Assembly elections, scores of senior leaders, including Swamy Prasad Maurya, Dara Singh Chouhan, Brajesh Pathak, SPS Baghel, quit the party. Will exodus of such high profile leaders affect the prospect of the party?
They will all face political deaths. We have seen that all those who had quit the BSP in the past to join other political outfits just withered away in their political career. People will punish them. The BSP is as strong as ever. Such leaders had their identities because of the BSP only.
The family feud within the Yadav clan appears to have made the UP polls Akhilesh Yadav centric. How is the BSP coping up with the challenge posed by the incumbent chief minister?
Akhilesh Yadav is not at all in the reckoning. His uncle Shivpal Singh Yadav is enough to defeat him. There is already a huge exodus of political leaders and workers from the ranks of the SP.
Unlike the 2007 and 2012 polls when the SP and BSP were seen as only alternatives before the people, the BJP made a strong comeback in the state in 2014, and is being seen a top contender in this elections as well.
The BJP still continues to be weak in the state. In 2014 elections, people believed that Modi once elected would transfer Rs 15 lakhs in their bank account. During his Lucknow rally last month, people expected that after demonetization, he would at last announce the transfer of Rs 15 lakhs in the bank accounts of the poor. He had promised to create two crores jobs each year. Now, Modi is close to complete three years in office, but there is no semblance that any of his promises would be fulfilled. Therefore, the people are coming around the BSP in this elections.
The BSP has fielded 100 Muslim candidates. But there are no hints of party winning the minority support in a big way.
Under the rule of the Samajwadi Party, the Muslims have seen communal riots and violence on a regular basis. The goons of the SP have unleashed “Goonda raj” in the state. The Muslims have suffered the most. The Muslims know that Mayawati takes care of all communities without any bias.
The SP-Congress alliance is seen formidable.
The Congress is on a ventilator. The SP is left with no base. It’s seen as a party of goons. When faced with a certain defeat, Akhilesh Yadav sought a crutch from the Congress. They will all be decimated with the rise of the BSP.