BSP Prefers Indoor Meetings to High-decibel Campaigning
Despite putting up candidates in 520 Lok Sabha seats, which is the highest by any political party, including the Congress and the BJP, the silence of BSP chief Mayawati and the party’s low profile campaign has left the political commentators a baffled lot.
However, if the analysts were to believe that the BSP had been outpaced by its rivals, they couldn’t be anymore wrong. Actually, the party has gone back to its tried and tested method of holding closed-door camps for its workers, door-to-door mobilisation and awareness campaign among the Scheduled Castes to ensure their votes. And the party’s silent campaign has ensured that there are no banners, posters, TV ads or huge cutouts of BSP leaders adorning the skyline. Not only that, hardly anyone from the BSP is seen on the TV debates.
The strategy adopted by the pro-Dalit party for the upcoming LS polls is in stark contrast to Mayawati’s whistle-stop campaign for the 2012 UP Assembly polls. But this time round, she has become very selective in addressing the public meetings for the BSP candidates.The BSP has had an early start to its LS campaign, which got under way some six months ago, when the party also finalised its list of candidates.
Mayawati had called a meeting of about a dozen of her ‘commanders’ (loyalists who have been working with the BSP since the days of its founder Kanshi Ram ) at her residence in Delhi in November where she briefed them on her strategy for the LS elections. The meeting was such a hush-hush affair that even her lieutenants Satish Chandra Mishra and Nasimuddin Siddiqui were not kept in the loop regarding it.
The ‘commanders’ were neither from the upper castes nor the OBCs, but strictly the SCs and mostly Jatavs,to which the BSP chief belongs. Mayawati would be the only politician who had started working for the 2014 elections soon after her defeat in the 2012 Assembly elections in the state and she had announced the names of the BSP ‘Lok Sabha prabharis’( in-charge of the Parliament constituencies, who were none other than the party’s candidates. It was due to this that there was not a single murmur or voice of dissent when Mayawati reeled out the list of the BSP’s 80 candidates.
It was decided at the closed-door meeting that the party would adopt a silent campaign this time, modelled on the lines of the BAMCEF (Backward and Minorities Employees Federation) formed by Kanshi.
And the gathering was informed that the main focus was on the indoor ‘cadre camps’– a gathering of small group of the SCs for ideological brainwashing.