The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has improved its performance in Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. BSP supremo and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati’s dream of playing kingmaker in these states, however, will have to wait at least till the next elections.
<b1>The party has doubled its vote share in Delhi and opened its account for the first time in the National Capital, and has also registered its presence in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh. The BSP won seven seats each in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh two seats each in Delhi and Chhattisgarh. This means the predictions about BSP emerging as a major force across the Hindi belt have been proved false.
The results show that the BSP is not expected to emerge as a major player outside Uttar Pradesh in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections. However, if it continues to grow at this pace, it is bound to hit both the Congress and the BJP in future.
The Congress, which had feared that BSP would eat into its vote share in Delhi, Rajasthan, Chattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, is relieved that Mayawati and her party have not been able to damage its prospects too much.
Despite this, it admits that BSP did damage its prospects, though only partially. “We were concentrating only on the BJP and not on the BSP, but we will do so in future. We need to confine it to UP,” said party leader Veerappa Moily.
BJP leaders also admitted that the BSP factor cost it about five seats in Delhi. “We need to do a detailed analysis. Prima facie, it looks to have damaged our prospects in five seats,” said a party leader.
The BSP says its aim is not to damage one party or the other. “We are working on a plan to increase our base throughout the country and we are not bothered by who is damaged in the process. Therefore, to say we solely want to damage others is an incorrect analysis,’ said party leader Shahid Siddiqui.
Speaking to reporters in Lucknow, Mayawati expressed satisfaction over the performance of her party in the elections. “We have increased our vote percentage in all the states and I’m happy to have opened our account in Delhi,” she said.
The road ahead is clear for her. She had told her cadre that final battle would be fought in mid-2009 when she will be the contender for the Prime Minister’s chair. But for now, she will have to be satisfied with being only a bit player outside her home base in Uttar Pradesh.