Maya’s Mission: Dilli Chalo

Pradeep kapoor Lucknow

Mayawati has now decided to concentrate on bijli, sadak and paani in UP to achieve her ‘Mission Delhi' in the coming Lok Sabha polls. She has learnt her lessons from the recently-concluded assembly polls in Delhi, where Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) fared far below expectations. BSP supremo has concluded that people voted Sheila Dixit, Shiv Raj Singh Chauhan and Raman Singh governments back to power on the basis of their good governance. Mayawati has also indicated that she might go it alone in the coming Lok Sabha polls--a strategy on her part that does not bode well for BSP's electoral prospects. The ground reality is that Mayawati will need outside support to form a government at the Centre, even under the best case scenario. So if she is really serious about making a bid for the ‘Delhi throne', she must learn the art of coalition and power sharing. And in that context, Left parties are her best option, says a political analyst.

The assembly results of five states indicated that BSP could not pose much of a challenge to the Congress and BJP.This has sparked a discussion in Lucknow political circles whether the Mayawati factor in Indian politics is overrated. Although, BSP had fielded over 500 candidates in these states and was expecting at least 40 seats, it got only 17. The amount of money spent by BSP in these states was phenomenal. Besides, Mayawati had deployed all ministers, MPs, MLAs and important office-bearers in these states for campaigning.

The party, for the first time, won two seats in Delhi, improved its tally in Rajasthan (from two to six), Madhya Pradesh (from two to eight), and held two seats in Chhattisgarh. In Delhi, it won the Badarpur and Gokalpur seats. As against 2003 assembly polls, when its candidates forfeited their deposits in 36 of the 40 seats, the BSP came second in five constituencies this time.

In MP, the party got 10.61 per cent votes in the 157 seats it had contested last time and won only two. This time, it not only won eight seats (Joura, Morena, Gwalior Rural, Sewda, Pathariya, Rampur-Baghelan, Sirmour, Teonthar) but also improved its vote share. In 2003, it had forfeited deposits in 122 of the 157 seats, but this time it was second in 10 constituencies and polled more than 10 per cent of the votes in 51 constituencies.

In Rajasthan, the BSP got 6.4 per cent votes in the 124 seats it had contested last time and won only two. This time it won six seats (Nawalgarh, Udiapurwati, Bari, Saporta, Dausa, and Gangapur). Last time, it had forfeited deposits in 110 of the 124 seats it fought for. This time, it came second in 10 constituencies. The party's performance in the tribal Chhattisgarh was well below what Mayawati expected. It won just two seats (Akaltara and Pamgarh) in the state.

Mayawati has displayed an exemplary hold on the dalit as well as the upper caste vote banks in the past elections in UP. Nationally though she has a long way to go. Statistics reveal that BSP, on its own has not been able to garner a clear cut majority in any state apart from UP. Many opine that BSP has spurned the Left parties but an alliance with them can enhance its political clout, just like the SP-Congress tie up. To ensure a smooth victory in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, her best bet lies in being a part of a larger political alliance.