UP: Mayawati to Kickstart Review Meetings to Focus on Regaining BSP’s Lost Ground
Mayawati will inquire about the progress of booth and sector committees in districts and programmes will be organised for voter outreach.
Image Credit: PTI
Lucknow: Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) national president Mayawati will be camping in Lucknow from August 15 to monitor the party's preparations for the 2024 Lok Sabha and other state polls which, party leaders say, is an effort to boost the party’s pan-India footprint.
BSP leaders said party's mandal and zonal unit coordinators and other office-bearers of all 18 divisions in UP were being called in Lucknow for meetings with party supremo. During the meetings, Mayawati will inquire about the progress of booth and sector committees in districts and programmes will be organised for voter outreach — especially Dalit-OBC-Muslim alliance to regain its lost ground in the 2024 Lok Sabha election.
Although the BSP won only one seat in the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections held in 2022, its candidate Shah Alam Guddu Jamali winning over 2.66 lakh votes (29%) to finish third in the June 23 Azamgarh Lok Sabha bypoll has boosted the morale of party workers. Soon after, Mayawati had directed the leaders of the party’s Uttar Pradesh unit to launch a membership drive across the state with focus on the Muslim community.
BSP leaders said Mayawati left for Delhi shortly after her birthday in January and has been staying there since to review the party’s activities in different parts of the country. Before leaving, she had given instructions to form committees at the booth and sector level.
"Booth committees have been formed in most of the districts. Along with this, a sector in-charge has been made for every 10 booths. In this way, 40 to 50 sector in-charges have been made in every assembly. At the same time, a president and five other office bearers have been appointed at every booth. Mayawati will review them after August 15," Ravikant, a BSP leader, told NewsClick.
The party president had given instructions to constitute the committees by July 31. After that she asked for cadre camp. Following her instructions, cadre camps have also been started in many districts of western UP.
While the Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Telangana Assembly elections will be held this year, BSP national coordinator Akash Anand is holding meetings and rallies in these districts to gear up the party cadre for the assembly elections, Vishwanath Pal, state president said.
Since BSP chief Mayawati announced that her party would align neither with the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) nor the opposition Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA), some political experts believe the party will launch a concerted campaign to woo BSP’s core supporters among dalits and non-yadav other backward classes (OBCs) ahead of 2024 general election.
"The kind of results the BSP got in the 2022 Assembly election and urban body polls is mainly due to party workers' disenchantment with the leadership. The party has lost direction in terms of ideology and there is no second line leadership who can connect with the grassroots workers. In such a situation, the cadres are refusing to participate in the political process and are sitting in their homes," Abhishek Singh, a political expert in Lucknow told NewsClick.
The BSP has won 85 out of the 1,420 seats in the corporators category in the state's urban local body polls, while BJP bagged 813 and Samajwadi Party bagged 191.
In the 2017 Assembly polls, BSP had contested all 403 seats and won only 19 while its deposit was forfeited on 81 seats. However, the party had polled over 22% of the total votes cast in 2017.
In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, BSP contested in alliance with Samajwadi Party (SP) in Uttar Pradesh. It polled 19.43% votes and bagged 10 seats while SP won five seats. In the 2022 Assembly polls, the BSP-led by Mayawati managed to win only one of the 403 Assembly seats in Uttar Pradesh. However, the party managed to secure the third-highest vote share by bagging 12.9% of the total votes polled in the state elections, according to Election Commission figures.
Political analyst Amod Kant says BSP party workers are disappointed due to the continuous defeat of the party. Mayawati is well aware of this fact. That's why after the defeat in the Vidhan Sabha polls, the party fought the civic elections vigorously. But there too they did not get any special success.
Echoing a similar view, senior journalist Kubool Qureshi told NewsClick, “BSP is nowhere to be seen fighting against BJP. Its leaders do not have mass base and elections cannot be won only on the basis of cadre. Mayawati is no longer the leader of the dalits, she only has influence among jatavs, that too only 70% per cent, as 30% jatavs are split. Besides, OBCs and Muslim have distanced from BSP. In the past 15 years, Mayawati did not organise any outreach programme for its voters. Despite continuous atrocities on dalits in the state, she never met any victim family nor organised any dalit movement.”
Qureshi said if she contests elections solo, BSP would perform worse than the 2019 Lok Sabha polls and 2022 Assembly elections.
“The election pattern has changed completely in the last 7-8 years. It is one-to-one now. There are voters who either want to defeat BJP while or make it win. The voters will chose their leaders between NDA or Opposition INDIA, but Mayawati do not want contest with with alliance, which with deteriorate her party’s position further,” he said.
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