By Pradeep Kapoor
LUCKNOW: Bahujan Samaj Party is the only opposition party which held the review meeting with all the 403 candidates contesting last assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh and started preparations for 2024 Lok Sabha polls. There is a great demoralisation in BSP leadership and workers after worst ever performance of Party in UP Assembly polls concluded in March when Party could win only one seat with total votes share of 12 per cent.
In order to instill confidence BSP national President Former CM Mayawati announced that large scale changes would be made in the organisation in near future. BSP has removed all the 18 zonal Coordinators and decided to appoint four leaders in each assembly segment. These leaders will be from upper caste, backwards, dalits and Muslims.
Instead of street corner meetings, these leaders will directly talk to members their own caste and brief them about BSP and it’s philosophy. And they would submit reports to central leadership. Mayawati has also appointed three coordinators who would look after the assignments to be given to them time and report directly to her
Earlier in UP Assembly polls, BSP depended on Brahmin community to repeat the magic of 2007 when Party came to power on its own. This time BSP also played Muslim card by fielding more than 80 candidates but the minority community supported Samajwadi Party in direct election with BJP.
Akhilesh Yadav succeeded in emerging as the main challenger which resulted in support from 80 per cent of Muslim votes and weaning away dalit votes from BSP and making significant gain in OBC votes taking the vote share of Samajwadi Party to 32 per cent from 20 per cent received in 2017 elections.
Having learnt lessons from UP Assembly polls, BSP has reverted back to earlier policy of sarvjan hitay and sarvjan sukhay which means winning support from all section of society. There is no doubt that BSP is facing biggest challenge to rebuild the party which was set up by her mentor Kanshiram in 1984 after struggle and hardwork of several years.
There has been large scale exodus of senior leaders and workers during last few years. Majority of those leaders who were close to founder Kanshiram are no longer with party now. Samajwadi Party and BJP succeeded in weaning away BSP leaders and vote share plummeted which was evident in 2022 assembly results.
Significantly, those BSP leaders who left the Party charged the Party leadership of giving importance to money power which weakened the cause for which the Party was formed. Even after worst ever performance, Mayawati still has retained the support of her own sub-caste in dalits while others left for other political parties. Soon after the elections, Mayawati blamed Muslim community for the poor performance of her Party. She said that had Muslim decided to support BSP she would have formed the government.
As a part of her strategy, her attack was focused more on Samajwadi Party and Congress than on main rival BJP.
At a time when BJP and Samajwadi Party are working to break whatever dalit support left with BSP, it would be very difficult task for Mayawati to rebuild the Party and strengthen the organisation at grass-root for 2024 Lok Sabha polls.
Mayawati has made her brother Anand as national vice-president and nephew Akash as national coordinator to look after building the Party and strengthen the organisation at grass-root. Mayawati will have to remove tag that she was’ helping and advising BJP on various issues rather than fighting saffron brigade on misgovernance. (IPA Service)
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