BSP draws a blank, vote share hits all-time low

All these decisions, including remaining aloof from the opposition group, have perhaps worked against the party.
BSP draws a blank, vote share hits all-time low

NEW DELHI: With the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) drawing a blank in the general elections, it turned out to be the worst ever performance of the outfit since its electoral debut in 1989. The party secured just 2.07% vote share. It fielded candidates in 424 Lok Sabha seats, including 80 constituencies in Uttar Pradesh.

The decline in the BSP’s support base was on the expected line as the party evidently didn’t undertake campaign actively and enthusiastically in these elections.

While the opposition INDIA bloc was taking on the ruling BJP fiercely during the campaign, former chief minister of UP and BSP supremo Mayawati preferred to maintain a stoic silence. The Congress made reservation and ‘threat to the Constitution’ its main poll plank but Mayawati remained silent.

She removed her nephew Akash Anand from the post of national coordinator of the BSP in the middle of the campaign for allegedly attacking the ruling BJP. The move didn’t go down well with the party supporters.

All these decisions, including remaining aloof from the opposition group, have perhaps worked against the party.

According to the poll watchers, despite their best efforts, Mayawati’s sympathizers -- mainly the Dalits -- voted in favour of the SP helping it to emerge as third largest party.

Delhi BSP chief Lakshman Singh said that his party failed to put up an impressive fight as the party sympathizers drifted away given the false narrative created by the Opposition on reservation and the Constitution. “It is true that we haven’t got the votes we deserved. Majority of the BSP supporters used their franchise just to stop the BJP from coming to power. It is because of the story woven by the opposition. They shifted to the INDIA bloc SP,” Singh said.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the BSP grabbed 10 seats when it had tied up with the SP and contested in 38 seats. The vote share 3.67 %.

The success was a shot in the arm as the party led by Mayawati had failed to win a single seat in 2014. But the BSP decided to go alone this time. The outfit was formed by Kanshi Ram in 1984 to represent Bahujans -- Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes. It contested the first Lok Sabha polls in 1989. It nominated candidates in 245 seats but bagged only three and vote share was 2.07%.

Incessant fall in BSP’s dominance in electoral politics and its dismal performance suggest that the social engineering formula promoted by the party has lost its charm thus it is marching towards irrelevance, added the poll watchers.

‘A stoic silence’

While the opposition INDIA bloc was taking on the ruling BJP fiercely during the campaign, former chief minister of UP and BSP supremo Mayawati preferred to maintain a stoic silence. The Congress made reservation and ‘threat to the Constitution’ its main poll plank but Mayawati remained silent. She removed her nephew Akash Anand from the post of national coordinator of the BSP in the middle of the campaign for allegedly attacking the ruling BJP. The move didn’t go down well with the party supporters.

Related Stories

No stories found.

X
The New Indian Express
www.newindianexpress.com