Global Slowdown contributes to BSP's electoral loss

The result exposed Mayawati's claims that people of UP were happy with her government

Pradeep Kapoor Lucknow, Hardnews

The shock defeat of BSP candidate Amar Singh Saroj in the Badhoi assembly by-election has interesting implications. Besides striking a major blow to Mayawati's prime ministerial ambitions, the results also indicate how global slowdown can impact the electoral fortunes of a party in power. Badhoi is a major carpet weaving center of Uttar Pradesh that has been ravaged by economic slowdown.
Madhubala Pasi of the Samajwadi Party won the election by 5,200 votes even though the BSP had mobilised all resources to retain the seat. The result is being considered as an embarrassment for the UP chief minister.

The by-election was held following the death of BSP MLA Archana Saroj, sister of Amar Singh Saroj. The result exposed Mayawati's claims that people of the state were happy with her government.

Significantly, the low turnout of Brahmins also contributed to the BSP's loss. This shows that the numerous bhaichaara meetings organised by the BSP all across UP (to woo Brahmins) have been a failure.

Huge turnout of rich Muslims (in the carpet export business) establishes the fact that they still support Mulayam Singh Yadav despite his alliance with Kalyan Singh. Singh was responsible for demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1992. Hardnews learns that the anger of the muslims engaged in the carpet industry was compounded by the misery that has followed the global slowdown of the last few months. Badhoi result that ways provides enough indications of how export centers in different parts of the country are going to behave.

The presence of mafia-turned-BSP politician Mukhtar Ansari's kin in Badhoi was also a factor which drove Muslims away from Saroj. BSP state president Swami Prasad Maurya blamed the internal bickering in the party over the nomination as the reason for defeat of the party.

The poor performance of the Congress also exposed its weak standing. It got less votes than the much smaller Pragatisheel Manav Party. The Congress candidate was placed seventh and got only 2,275 votes while the candidate of Pragatisheel Manav Party got 4,298 votes and was placed fourth.

Samajwadi Party general secretary Amar Singh said that even though they were aware of Congress' weak position as exposed in the Badhoi by-polls, his party still wanted an alliance with the Congress in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.

The result of Badhoi by-polls also established the fact that the main contest was between the SP and the BSP even as national parties like the BJP and the Congress lost their deposits.