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Mayawati rejigs poll strategy in state

The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has decided not to bank fully on its social engineering experiment and will instead woo the voters of all classes.

india Updated: Sep 30, 2009 01:24 IST
Yogesh Joshi

The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has decided not to bank fully on its social engineering experiment and will instead woo the voters of all classes.

During the Lok Sabha polls held in May this year, the party had failed to break ground.

During the general elections, the BSP contested 47 of 48 seats and fielded six Brahmin candidates, but failed to win any seat.

This time around, the party has fielded candidates in all 288 constituencies.

However, unlike during the Lok Sabha elections, it has pitted only five Brahmins, mostly in Vidarbha.

The BSP polled around 18 lakh of seven crore votes (about 2.5 per cent). This was worse than the party’s performance in the previous Assembly polls when it secured around four per cent votes.

“This time we are going at ground level while being low profile and [taking up] issues relating to the common man,” said Vilas Garud, BSP state unit chief.

Party President and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati is slated to tour the state next week.

She will address rallies in Pune and Mumbai on October 4 and visit Parbhani and Nagpur on October 8.

She is also likely to address four other meetings later, possibly in Aurangabad, Wardha, Thane and Vidarbha region.

Political observers feel that one reason for the BSP’s failed attempt at social engineering in the state could be the low percentage of upper caste voters.

“Unlike in Uttar Pradesh where Brahmins account for 13 per cent, Maharashtra has only 3 per cent Brahmins,” said political analyst Prakash Pawar.

“Under such circumstances, they cannot pull the required voteshare to win elections,” added Pawar.

“Imported from outside, some party candidates went away from the party after losing the Lok Sabha polls. So we decided to give more tickets to BSP workers,” said a party leader.