BSP review meeting today: Maya to confab with party leaders, chalk road map ahead - Hindustan Times
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BSP review meeting today: Maya to confab with party leaders, chalk road map ahead

By, Lucknow
Jun 22, 2024 09:08 PM IST

After the sixth successive electoral debacle of the party in the 2024 Lok Sabha election, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief, Mayawati, has called a meeting of the party’s national functionaries, office-bearers of all state units and party leaders in the state unit office on Sunday

After the sixth successive electoral debacle of the party in the 2024 Lok Sabha election, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief, Mayawati, has called a meeting of the party’s national functionaries, office-bearers of all state units and party leaders in the state unit office on Sunday. The meeting aims to scrutinise reasons for the defeat and discuss future political strategy.

BSP chief Mayawati (HT File Photo)
BSP chief Mayawati (HT File Photo)

Zonal and sector coordinators of the party as well as the in-charges of various states have submitted their report to the party chief over the performance of the party candidates and reasons for the defeat. Mayawati will examine the report in the meeting with the office-bearers and leaders. She will give instructions to party leaders to strengthen the organisation and announce the strategy for the upcoming assembly election in four states as well as assembly by-polls in various states.

Organisation Rejig

After the worst performance in the Lok Sabha election, the change in the organisation is among the top agenda of Mayawati to gear up the party cadre for the upcoming assembly elections. Former coordinator, Akash Anand, who was removed from the post during the Lok Sabha election campaign, is likely to be back in reckoning. By including Akash among the party’s star campaigners for the assembly election by-poll campaign in Uttarakhand and Punjab, Mayawati indicated that Akash will have an important role in the party. He will be made in-charge of the campaign in Maharashtra, Haryana and Jharkhand. Her brother, Anand Kumar, who is vice-president, is likely to be given responsibilities in the organisation. The office-bearers in the state units, sector and zonal units will be reshuffled, non-performers will be removed and party workers in whose area candidates polled respectable votes will be given important posts in the organisation.

Alliance or solo

Mayawati decided to go solo in the 2024 Lok Sabha election aiming to retain hold over the Dalit vote. The lion share of tickets was given to OBC and Muslim candidates. The BSP failed to open its account in the parliamentary elections and its vote shrunk from 19.42% in the 2019 Lok Sabha election to 9.39% in the 2024 election. The shift of the Dalit vote to the SP-Congress alliance has set alarm bells ringing in the BSP.

While a section of party leaders are anxious to regain lost ground and to maintain a hold over its core vote – Dalits, another section of the party leaders are of the view that on the issue of Save Constitution campaign, reservation and caste census a section of the Dalits voted for INDIA candidates. After giving a message to the BJP in the Lok Sabha election the Dalits will return to the BSP fold in the next election.

Azad Samaj Party (ASP) challenge

The victory of ASP chief Chandra Shekhar Azad from Nagina Lok Sabha seat, considered a stronghold of the BSP, has caused rumbling among the BSP leaders. The fear that in view of the shrinking vote base of the party and subdued stand on public issues might lead to the flight of the Dalits to ASP.

Azad who belongs to the Jatav community has launched a campaign and is on forefront on Dalit issues. His following in West UP is increasing which might dent the support base of the BSP.

In Nagina, BSP candidate Surendra Pal Singh was pushed to fourth position. The result clearly shows that the Jatav vote, considered the core support base of the BSP, has shifted to the ASP.

During the Lok Sabha election campaign, Mayawati had sent Akash Anand to Nagina to campaign for the party candidate and to challenge Azad. After the victory of the ASP on Dalit dominated seat, the BSP will redraw its strategy to maintain hold over the Dalit support base.

Muslims and OBC

Mayawati blamed the Muslim community after the defeat in the Lok Sabha election. She said that the Muslim community did not vote for her party despite her fielding many candidates from the community in the election. It seems that the community failed to understand the BSP. In such a situation the party will give them tickets in the coming elections after lots of deliberation, she said.

BSP had fielded 23 OBC and 20 Muslim candidates in the 2024 Lok Sabha election with the aim to maintain its hold over both the communities that have played pivotal roles in the BSP victory in 2007 assembly election as well as 2009 Lok Sabha election. “Despite the Muslim and OBC vote shifting to the INDIA bloc, the party will redraw its strategy to regain their support in the next election, said a BSP leader.

Preparations for assembly elections

Mayawati has called office-bearers of all states to Sunday’s meeting to review the working of the organization. The focus will be on the election-bound states, including Maharashtra, Haryana and Jharkhand where assembly elections will be held this year, as well as Delhi and Bihar going to polls early next year. She will discuss the election strategy with the presidents of all state units as well as senior party leaders who have been made in-charges of various states.

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