WILL KANSHI Ram’s death affect the Bahujan Samaj Party’s fortunes in UP?
It will, feel BSP leaders.
With Mayawati firmly in the saddle, they hope the party would certainly see a huge upward swing in its popularity graph in the coming election. “We are going to tell the members of the Dalit community that they must rally round Mayawati if they want to see Kanshi Ram’s dream come true,” they say. On various occasions in the past, the BSP workers had been told Kanshi Ram wanted Mayawati to carry on with his mission, a party leader said adding they had already accepted Mayawati as their leader.
Kanshi Ram declared Mayawati his successor in December 2001. Caring little for initial dissension among senior Dalit leaders, Mayawati used the chief minister’s chair to strengthen her hold on the Dalit vote bank.
She launched several schemes for their welfare. Though Mayawati of late turned to the upper caste to increase her tally in the Vidhan sabha election, she had been cautious right through. Not for nothing she announced that her successor would be from the Chamar community. The message was clear: Kanshi Ram’s ideology was here to stay. It is no secret though that all through her career as a politician, Mayawati has required Kanshi Ram’s help – whether it was to check opposition within the party or to send a clear-cut message to her vote bank. With that protective shield now gone, she will perhaps have to work harder to take the party to power in the coming Vidhan Sabha election.
Sympathy, as they say, is already on her side.