It was back to basics for Bhaujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati. To keep her base vote-bank, Dalits, intact, she has decided to field loyal party members Vir Singh and Raja Ram for Rajya Sabha polls.
With 80 members in the legislative assembly, BSP can send only two candidates to the upper house. There was speculation that Mayawati would apply social engineering formula in the selection of the Rajya Sabha candidates as well and in that direction, a Dalit candidate along with a Brahmin candidate might be nominated.
“Both Vir Singh and Raja Ram are committed to party ideology, are working at grass root and trying to expand the base of the party,” she said.
To check in-fighting among the party leaders, Mayawati clarified that the selection of candidate from backward, Muslim or upper caste community might have led to dissension among the cadre.
Riding on the social engineering formula (Dalit/Brahmin/Backward) the BSP captured power in the 2007 assembly elections. The leaders belonging to the Brahmin community were given important positions in the organisation as well as government as the party planned to extend its base with the support of the combination.
However, the shift of the upper caste and backwards to BJP in the recent Lok Sabha polls and Muslims rallying behind Samajwadi Party forced Mayawati to alter her strategy.
Sanjay Singh, a political observer, said with eye on the 2017 assembly elections, she wants to make it clear to her core supporters that BSP would remain a Dalit based party.