The Bahujan Samaj Party's (BSP) poor showing in the Maharashtra, Haryana and Arunachal Pradesh assembly polls has dealt a blow to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati and her dreams of ruling the country.
The BSP, which she heads, failed to open its account in Maharashtra - the land of the party's biggest icon BR Ambedkar - and failed to score beyond one seat even in Haryana. It is yet to take birth in Arunachal.
Mayawati had not only projected her party as a potential "kingmaker" in both Maharashtra and Haryana but she had also pumped in a lot of energy to carve out a place for the BSP in both states. Hoardings outside the Mumbai airport as well as other parts of Maharashtra showed her as the country's "future prime minister".
According to the party's own evaluation, its vote share has gone down in comparison to that in the April-May Lok Sabha polls. As against a 15 per cent vote share in the Lok Sabha elections in Haryana, it plummeted to a paltry 7 per cent in these polls. In Maharashtra, this figure has fallen from five per ent to 4.5 per cent.
What made matters worse for Mayawati was the BSP's sworn political foe Samajwadi Party marching way ahead, by bagging four seats in Maharashtra.
A pall of gloom has descended at the party headquarters here. Party general secretary Satish Chandra Misra, known to be Mayawati's closest confidante, has chosen to go underground, in an apparent facesaving bid.
Mayawati had been banking on the support of Dalits in the poverty-ridden and Dalit-tribal dominated Vidharbha region of Maharashtra. However, the only seat the party managed to touch in the number two position was Latur city and this too was attributed to the dominant Muslim vote.
Of the 24 Maharashtra seats on which BSP stood at number three position, seven had Muslim candidates.
As for Haryana, the party's nominees lost their deposits in bulk. The sole winner - at Jagadhri - was a Muslim, Akram Khan, who defeated his Congress rival by a margin of more than 4,000 votes. Only on two seats could the BSP manage to stay on at second position, while figuring at the third place in 12 places.
Evidently, Mayawati's biggest worry now is forthcoming by-elections to 11 state assembly and one Lok Sabha seat in Uttar Pradesh early next month. If the outcome of these polls has any bearing on them, bad news may be awaiting her.