The Bahujan Samaj Party’s plan to expand its bases in Haryana and Maharashtra suffered a jolt on Thursday as the party won just one seat in Haryana while failing to open its account in Maharashtra.
The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leadership was hoping to emerge as kingmaker in Haryana as it had secured 15.75 per cent votes in the Lok Sabha elections in May.
At the start of the election process, the BSP had tied up with Bhajan Lal’s Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC) to dent the Congress votebank. The alliance however crumbled as the HJC decided to contest the election in alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Despite the setback, the BSP had high hopes, fielding candidates in 86 of the state assembly’s 90 seats. BSP supremo Mayawati campaigned for the party and addressed about six public meetings in various parts of the state.
With an eye on the large chunk of Scheduled Caste voters, BSP leaders belonging to the Dalit community from Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Delhi were assigned for electioneering.
Yet, the BSP failed to repeat the Lok Sabha election performance and had to remain content with one seat. Its candidate
Akram Khan won from Jagdhari, defeating his nearest rival Subhash Chand of the Congress by about 4,000 thousand votes.
BSP candidates were runners-up in Prithala, Punhana and Sahona seats in Haryana and stood third in about 12 constituencies, bringing some consolation to the party.
The BSP’s Haryana in-charage Man Singh Manhera told HT, “We will review our performance and strengthen the organisation for the next electoral battle.”
It was a complete washout for the BSP in Maharashtra where the Scheduled Castes constitute 30 per cent of the voters. Having decided to go it alone in the western state, the BSP had fielded candidate in 281 of the assembly’s 288 seats.