The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), which is contesting in more than 200 wards during the April 23 municipal elections, will use April 14, the birth anniversary of Bhimrao Ambedkar, for intensifying its campaign.
Ambedkar, who was born on April 14, 1891, is considered as an idol by the BSP.
Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati will address a gathering of party workers at Delhi’s Talkatora stadium on that day instead of holding a rally.
“She (Mayawati) will not address any rally, but we have arranged a meeting where party workers and candidates will be present. The date has not been decided yet, but it will be around the birth anniversary of Ambedkar ji,” said CP Singh, Delhi president of BSP.
BSP will plan its campaign around the birth anniversary and will organize meetings during the week-long celebration.
“The celebration will continue for the entire week and this will be our campaigning strategy,” said a BSP leader.
Delhi BSP president CP Singh said the party will not be weighed down by its past failures. “Whatever the result of the Uttar Pradesh elections, we are ready to contest in full strength during the civic body polls,” he said.
The party was a key player in the Capital during the last civic body elections and was the third major contender after the BJP and Congress. It won 15 seats in the 2012 municipal elections, with over 10% vote share.
A source said BSP’s strongholds were Muslim-dominated areas as well as places in Outer Delhi. In the 2008 assembly elections, the BSP won the Badarpur and Gokalpur seats, and came second in Narela, Badli, Deoli, Tughlakabad and Babarpur.
The party also secured 10,000-30,000 votes in 40 other seats.
However, the BSP’s successes was before the AAP entered the scene in 2013. The BSP’s vote share dipped from 14.05% in 2008 to 5.35% in 2013, and further plunged to 1.3% in the 2015 assembly elections after that.
During both the 2013 and 2015 assembly polls, it did not even win a single seat.
Singh, however, claimed that he was not worried. “Voters gave AAP a chance in the last assembly elections. But now they are tired of all the three parties – the BJP, Congress and AAP. We will give them a viable alternative,” he said.
However, another BSP leader admitted, on the condition of anonymity, that the party’s chances of making an impact in the municipal polls were slim – given its poor showing in the last few elections. Making things worse was its sordid performance in the recently concluded Uttar Pradesh assembly polls, where it managed to bag just 19 seats.