By Pradeep Kapoor
LUCKNOW: The Bahujan Samaj Party is the only opposition party that held the review meeting with all 403 candidates who competed in the last assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh and started preparations for the Lok Sabha elections in 2024. There is a great demoralization in the BSP management and workers after the worst performance in the Party’s history in the UP Assembly polls ended in March, when the Party was able to win only one seat with a total vote share of 12 percent.
In order to instill confidence, the national president of BSP, former CM Mayawati, announced that large-scale changes would be made to the organization in the near future. BSP has eliminated the 18 Zonal Coordinators and decided to appoint four leaders in each segment of the assembly. These leaders will be from high castes, backwards, Dalits and Muslims.
Rather than meeting on street corners, these leaders will speak directly to members of their own caste and brief them on BSP and its philosophy. And they would send reports to the central leadership. Mayawati has also appointed three coordinators who will deal with tasks that will be given time and will report directly to her.
Previously in the UP Assembly polls, the BSP relied on the Brahmin community to repeat the magic of 2007 when the Party single-handedly came to power. This time, the BSP also played a Muslim card by fielding more than 80 candidates, but the minority community supported the Samajwadi Party in the direct election with the BJP.
Akhilesh Yadav managed to emerge as the main challenger, resulting in 80 percent support of the Muslim vote and taking Dalit votes away from the BSP and gaining a significant increase in OBC votes, leading to the vote share of the Samajwadi Party to 32 percent of the 20 percent received. in the 2017 elections.
Having learned the lessons from the UP Assembly polls, BSP has returned to the previous policy of sarvjan hitay and sarvjan sukhay, which means winning support from all sectors of society. There is no doubt that BSP faces the greatest challenge in rebuilding the party that was created by his mentor Kanshiram in 1984 after several years of struggle and hard work.
There has been a large-scale exodus of top leaders and workers in recent years. Most of the leaders who were close to the founder Kanshiram are no longer in the party now. The Samajwadi Party and the BJP managed to alienate the BSP leaders and the percentage of votes plummeted, which was evident in the results of the 2022 assembly.
Significantly, the BSP leaders who left the Party accused the Party leadership of giving importance to the power of money, thus undermining the cause for which the Party was formed. Even after her worst performance ever, Mayawati has retained the support of her own Dalit sub-caste while others have gone to other political parties. Shortly after the elections, Mayawati blamed the Muslim community for the Party’s poor performance on her. She said that if Muslim had decided to support the BSP, she would have formed the government.
As part of his strategy, his attack focused more on the Samajwadi Party and Congress than on its main rival, the BJP.
At a time when the BJP and the Samajwadi Party are working to break any remaining Dalit support for the BSP, it would be a very difficult task for Mayawati to rebuild the Party and strengthen the organization from the ground up for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
Mayawati appointed his brother Anand as national vice president and his nephew Akash as national coordinator to oversee Party building and strengthen the organization from the ground up. Mayawati will have to remove the label that he was “helping and advising BJP on various issues rather than fighting the saffron brigade for bad governance”. (IPA service)
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