Lucknow, Apr 7 : Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) president Mayawati is gearing up for a larger role for herself and the party after the Lok Sabha elections. She has addressed four rallies this week, days before the Lok Sabha polls are to start on April 11. In her first rally in UP on Sunday, Mayawati stole the show by her frontal attack on the Congress and plain talk with the muslims asking them to vote enblock for the alliance for defeating the BJP.
The four-time Uttar Pradesh chief minister addressed rallies in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Maharashtra and Telangana with more rallies scheduled in Karnataka, Kerala, Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh and Tamil Nadu and UP. According to party sources said here on Sunday, this is Mayawati’s pitch for a larger role after the polls, probably to be a more acceptable person among contenders even for the top job. Even as Mayawati is gearing up for a larger role after Lok Sabha polls, her party’s graph is sliding in Uttar Pradesh. BSP bagged 27.42 per cent votes and 20 Lok Sabha seats in 2009. In 2014, its vote share declined to 19.82 per cent and did not win a single seat in the state. On reserved seats, where the BSP has its core voters, the party stood third in six out of 17 seats in 2014. (UNI)
The BSP won only 19 out of 403 assembly seats in the 2017 state elections – the vote share rising from 19.82 per cent in the 2014 national elections to 22 per cent in the assembly polls. Recently Mayawati was asked about her prime ministerial aspirations at a press meet, she said that as far as her becoming PM was concerned, the elections were on and the results were awaited. She said, “If we get a chance at the Centre, we will develop the country on the UP pattern. All of this is not new to me. I am a four-time UP chief minister; I have the experience. When election results come out, we will see.”
This is not the first time Mayawati has expressed her national ambitions or is fighting for seats outside Uttar Pradesh. In the last general elections, BSP contested all 503 Lok Sabha seats but failed to win a single one, not even in UP.
The BSP’s vote share was 4.19 per cent in the 2014 elections at the national level down from the 6.17 per cent votes it polled in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections when it contested 500 seats and won 21 seats – 20 in Uttar Pradesh and one in Madhya Pradesh. The last time the BSP won in more than one state outside Uttar Pradesh in any national elections was back in 1996, when the party won six seats in UP, two in Madhya Pradesh and three in Punjab.
BSP sources say what’s different this time is that Mayawati has stitched together pre-poll alliances – with Akhilesh Yadav in her state, actor-politician Pawan Kalyan’s Jan Sena in Andhra Pradesh, and former chief minister Ajit Jogi’s party in Chhattisgarh.