Worst ever performance for BSP as BJP hijacks social justice plank to eclipse Mayawati
The outfit formed to represent Bahujans — Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes — has shrunk to just one seat in the 403-member House in the state.
Published: 11th March 2022 03:54 AM | Last Updated: 11th March 2022 09:13 AM | A+A A-
NEW DELHI: It was the worst ever performance for the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and its supremo Mayawati who once lorded over the UP politics in the first half of 1990s and early 2000s.
The outfit formed to represent Bahujans — Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes — has shrunk to just one seat in the 403-member House in the state. The vote share is 12.8 per cent.
Mayawati was at helm in UP four times between 1995 and 2012. According to the experts including political observers and leaders of other parties, continuous decline in BSP’s dominance in electoral politics and the dismal performance on Thursday amply suggested that the social engineering agenda being played out by it is apparently losing sheen and the party is inching towards irrelevance.
Ajay Gudavarthy, associate professor at Centre for Political Studies in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and also political theorist, said that shift (inroads in BSP vote bank) had been happening since 2014.
“Agenda of Mayawati was social justice, which meant partly welfare and second Dalit empowerment. Both are being offered by the BJP in a different way; in a more effective manner. It is also giving empowerment in terms of Hindu and political representation. What is left for Mayawati to offer except the fact that she claims that she is a Dalit. Practically, it is an exhausting agenda for these people,” he said.
On Thursday, BSP managed to grab one seat in Punjab with 1.77 per cent vote share and two in Uttarakhand with 4.82 per cent.
The BSP had won 19 seats in 2017 and the vote share was 22.23 per cent. But in the same year, it failed to open its account in Uttarakhand and Punjab and vote share was reduced to seven per cent and 1.5 per cent respectively.
Gudavarthy said that the other reason for the disenchantment of BSP voters is that the perception of development and growth has changed.
It is no longer about subsistence, he added. “It is not that they are not going to get development and growth under the rule of BJP but they imagine.’’