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HindustanTimes Sat,25 Oct 2014

BSP vote share takes 11% slide in state

Vishal Joshi, Hindustan Times  Karnal, May 18, 2014
First Published: 20:52 IST(18/5/2014) | Last Updated: 20:54 IST(18/5/2014)

Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) suffered a sharp dip of 11% in its vote share in Haryana this time as compared with its performance in 2009.
In 2009 Lok Sabha elections, the BSP's vote share was 15.73%  and it had finished second in vote share in the state, ahead of Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) and the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP).

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Despite surging in the last general elections, the BSP had not won any seat in the state and it only improved it performance in 2004 Lok Sabha polls, in which the party was polled 4.98% votes.

However, this year the BSP finished fourth in the state and secured just 4.6% votes, less than 2004. This time, the party had high hopes from Karnal and Ambala (reserved) constituencies. While the political turncoat and Ror leader Maratha Virender Verma got 1,02,608 votes in Karnal, BSP's Ambala candidate Kapoor Singh was polled 1,02,627. With 8.6% and 8.4% vote share, Verma and Singh finished fourth, respectively.

Mange Ram from the reserved segment of Sirsa got only 20,750 votes which is 1.6% of the total votes polled there. Political analysts say that the BSP failed to give a leader in the state.

"The surge in BSP's share last time was due to direct impact of the then Uttar Pradesh chief minister and BSP president Mayawati's political appeal when she was seen a probable candidate for the post of prime minister," said an observer.

Known for her clout in a section of the Scheduled Castes, the success of her "social engineering" formula was clearly visible in the state in 2009. The party had managed to capture votes from other castes such as Rors in Karnal, Meo Muslims in Gurgaon, Rajputs in Bhiwani, Sainis in Kurukshetra, Brahmins in Rohtak and the Banias in Hisar, by fielding strong candidates of these castes.

Also, at a rally in Karnal in March 2008, Mayawati had made a pitch to non-Jats by saying that she wanted a non-Jat chief minister in Haryana.
This invited support from various factions and before the last general elections, Mayawati and her party gave shelter to disgruntled leaders from the Congress, the BJP and individuals from different caste. Even the HJC had an alliance with BSP for a brief period but both parted ways before the LS polls.

BSP state president Naresh Saran said that the party would introspect the outcome of the results."We were expecting better results but it is a matter of indepth study to know what went wrong," he said.


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