‘BSP does not align with policies of NDA or INDIA’

On being asked whether the SP is BSP’s main opponent, he refuted it, saying that Akhilesh Yadav’s party do not have sway across UP, but is restricted to certain regions of the state…reports Asian Lite News

As the Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party, once an elephantine force in Uttar Pradesh politics is experiencing a decline in its influence, party national convenor Akash Anand said that the BSP does not align with the “policies” of both alliances -NDA and INDIA, hence decided to go solo in the Lok Sabha polls despite its seat number reducing elections after elections.

Akash Anand, BSP supremo Mayawati’s nephew and her political successor, in an exclusive interview with ANI, said that the record of the party being in alliance indicates its core support base shifting its allegiance to other parties, but the BSP, he added, is currently keeping its vote share intact while being out of any coalition.

“If you see the 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha elections, our vote share continued to remain at 19 per cent, but the number of seats is a big concern for the party. When we were standing alone back in 2014, we managed to get 19 per cent vote share, but our seat count was zero. We went in alliance, our vote share remained the same, but we were able to garner 10 seats. We feel that we do not actually make a lot of headway in terms of increasing our vote share while being in alliance,” Akash said.

He also said that as per the party’s analysis, its core vote share which is mostly the Dalit community shifted to the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress when Mayawati joined hands with once considered its main opponent- Samajwadi Party.

“We also witnessed that core voters of the Bahujan Samaj Party were not convinced to coalition with Samajwadi Party so, we saw some of the vote share moved from us to BJP and Congress. We feel that if we remain in non-alliance then we can at least keep our vote share intact and can increase it. In the future, when time allows we can do social engineering and in the right circumstances and political environment, we will be able to guard more seats,” he added.

As the BSP has chosen to go alone for the Lok Sabha elections despite alliances being firmed up, Akash said that the leading parties of both factions- BJP and the Congress failed to represent the Dalit community for whose rights the party advocates.

“We do not align with their policies and looking at their track record, we do not think that these people will be able to deliver. We do not want to be in a coalition where we are not aligned with our partners’ thought process and their execution style. We tried it with SP and during the campaigning only, we realized that they were not the right partner for us. There were a lot of commitments made, but they could not do anything on the execution level. So, we parted ways with the SP,” he said.

He also took a swipe at the BJP and said that the ruling party does not address the issues emerging at fore forefront like- inflation, employment, security and safety which includes country’s borders too.

“Be it NDA or INDIA bloc, leading parties of both factions- BJP and Congress have been in power with the majority at the Centre and in the state also, but both failed to represent our community. With the BJP, there is even more challenge because of rising unemployment, inflation, safety and security and border issues. And these issues are not being addressed,” the BSP leader said.

On being asked whether the SP is BSP’s main opponent, he refuted it, saying that Akhilesh Yadav’s party do not have sway across UP, but is restricted to certain regions of the state.

“If you come towards Western UP, then they have very little activity on the ground and they have also very little vote share. I would constrain them to one part of UP rather than the whole UP and our competition is not with the SP, but we actually try to keep our voters intact anyhow,” he added.

Notably, the BSP hasn’t done great when it went solo, barring the 2007 assembly polls. In the Uttar Pradesh (UP) assembly elections in 2007, winning 206 seats and becoming the sole majority party. Mayawati was sworn in as Chief Minister for the fourth time without any support of a second party, marking the peak of the party’s electoral success.

However, its performance in polls — both Lok Sabha and assembly — since 1996 reflects the downfall of the party.

In the 1996 Lok Sabha elections, which it fought alone, the party could manage just six seats out of 85 in undivided UP. Similarly, BSP’s attempt to enter other states like Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Karnataka on its own has proved futile.

It first allied with the Samajwadi Party (SP) in 1993, when the two parties formed a coalition government in Uttar Pradesh. Samajwadi Party’s Mulayam Singh Yadav became Chief Minister.

In 2009, BSP registered its best performance in Lok Sabha polls winning 20 seats, closely trailing behind the SP with 23 seats and the INC with 21. In the 2012 state elections, the party could only manage to win 80 seats. SP’s Akhilesh Yadav took over as CM.

In 2014, the party faced a major setback, failing to secure even a single seat in the Lok Sabha polls. BSP’s seat tally went from 80 to 19 in the 2017 state elections. In 2019, the BSP-SP alliance managed to secure 15 seats, with the BSP winning 10 in the 2019 general elections. The BSP only managed to secure one seat in the 2022 state polls. (ANI)

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