LUCKNOW: Touted to be the kingmaker at national level in 2019, BSP chief Mayawati’s political ambitions were swept away in the strong Modi wave with victory in 10 seats coming as the only solace.
BSP had contested 38 seats of its share in alliance with Samajwadi Party (SP) and Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) in UP. BSP’s had failed to win a single seat in 2014. The political pundits, however, attribute BSP’s success to the gathbandhan. The other two allies – SP and RLD-- fared badly. While SP failed to add even a single seat to its previous tally and 2019 polls were more of a moral jolt to it as it stood losing its strongholds, RLD failed to open account yet again as both party chief Chaudhury Ajit Singh and his son Jayant lost their respective seats in Muzaffarnagar and Baghpat.
Significantly, BSP emerged as the only gainer among three alliance partners. Even more, Mayawati, who was already calling the shots in the gathbandhan, consolidated her position further holding the key to continuation of the alliance. The 10 seats which BSP added to its previous tally of zero included, Ambedkar Nagar, Bijnor, Nagina, Amroha, Lalganj, Saharanpur, Shrawasti, Ghosi, Ghazipur and Jaunpur.
Despite having withstood the saffron surge, win in 10 seats failed to amuse Mayawati as the gathbandhan failed to score as per expectations. However, she reiterated her stand over alliance saying it would continue. Camping in national capital since last week, the BSP supremo has got into the review
mode seeking state-wise results of her party. Moreover, huddled by her close confidants, Mayawati is also analysing gathbandhan’s seat-by-seat results to get the sense of mutual vote transfer among allies.
While she had summoned her MPs and senior party leaders to Delhi, the BSP chief appointed newly-elected Nagina MP Girish Chandra as leader and Jaunpur MP Shyam Singh Yadav deputy leader of party’s parliamentary board. Danish Ali, the JD(S) turncoat, who won from Amroha, was appointed chief coordinator.
As the results were trickling in, Mayawati had put the blame of her party’s poor show on EVM yet again. She had accused BJP of manipulating results in UP leaving 15-16 seats to ward off the suspicion of foul play. In fact, country’s closest fight was witnessed in Machhlishahr wherein BSP’s T Ram
was defeated by BJP candidate by 181 votes. After thee back to back defeats in 2012, 2014 and 2017 polls, Mayawati tied up with arch-rival Samajwadi Party to regain lost ground in UP. She deftly worked
out the seat-sharing formula, allotting respective strongholds to the alliance partners.
While BSP was fighting maximum number of seats in western UP, Yadav belt had gone to the SP. The RLD contested on three Jat-dominated seats — Baghpat, Muzaffarnagar and Mathura. The BSP and the SP had shared equal number of seats in east UP.
To hone gathbandhan’s fortunes, Mayawati, Akhilesh Yadav and RLD leader Ajit Singh addressed over a dozen public meetings to ensure maximum mutual transfer of votes to each other. Taking the fight to the next level, the gathbandhan had started projecting Mayawati as its PM candidate against BJP’s Narendra Modi to counter the charge of leadership paralysis at the fag end of campaign.
“Not only that she doesn’t have a pan India appeal, she even failed to cut much ice with the voters in Uttar Pradesh. In fact, gathbandhan and even the political pundits failed miserably in gauging the public mood as the voters chose to remain silent this time,” said Prof AK Mishra, a political scientist. He, however, added that despite the opposition rout BSP succeeded in sustaining its vote share at around 19 percentage points.