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How BSP played party pooper

The BSP’S dream of playing kingmaker in the Hindi heartland may remain a pipedream in the near future, but it has prevented a landslide Congress victory in Delhi and played a major role in its defeat in Chhattisgarh, writes Nagendar Sharma. Elephant footprint

india Updated: Dec 10, 2008 01:05 IST
Nagendar Sharma

The BSP’S dream of playing kingmaker in the Hindi heartland may remain a pipedream in the near future, but it has prevented a landslide Congress victory in Delhi and played a major role in its defeat in Chhattisgarh.

Mayawati’s BSP emerged as a force to reckon with in 35 out of the 70 seats in Delhi, and helped the BJP beat the Congress in at least eight seats, Election Commission figures show.

In Chattisgarh, the votes polled by the BSP in 33 seats were higher than the margins of victory and defeat between the BJP and the Congress. Of these, 21 went to the BJP.

In Rajasthan also, it did not allow the Congress to touch the majority figure of 101 by making a difference between the winner and loser in 12 seats, majority of these going to the BJP.

It was only in Madhya Pradesh, where there was a huge margin of defeat for the Congress, that the elephant did not really damage it much, though it did affect the final tally in at least 20 seats.

Delhi

The BJP could thank the BSP for its Capital outcome. Had Mayawati’s party not been in the fray, Sheila Dikshit would have led the Congress to a landslide victory with over 50 seats.

Despite the strong BSP showing, the ‘pro-Sheila’ wave won the Congress 20 seats where the votes polled by the BSP were higher than the victory margins.

The BSP also hit the BJP, pushing it to third spot in five seats, where its contest was with the Congress. BJP’s miseries did not end here; it was relegated to fourth spot in three seats, something that looked unimaginable before the elections.

Chhattisgarh

The last thing a divided Congress wanted was an improved BSP performance, and that’s exactly what happened.

In 33 close contests, the BSP votes on each seat were higher than the margins of victory. The BJP gained from this in at least 21 seats, though the Congress also managed to win 12. The BSP also finished second in half a dozen seats.

Rajasthan

BSP’s presence made the difference between victory and defeat in 12 seats. It turned out to be the reason for the Congress falling five short of the majority mark.

Maywati’s party doubled its vote percentage from last time. It finished second in 10 seats and third in 74 seats.

Madhya pradesh

The only state where the BSP’s improved performance did not influence the final outcome.

Though the marching elephant finished third in the entire state behind the BJP and the Congress, saffron victory was so convincing that it outweighs all other factors.

The BSP did dent Congress in nearly 20 seats, but even that would not have been enough for it to catch up with the BJP.