Maya names nephew Akash star campaigner for U’khand, Punjab bypolls - Hindustan Times
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Maya names nephew Akash star campaigner for U’khand, Punjab bypolls

By, Lucknow
Jun 23, 2024 06:26 AM IST

After the Lok Sabha elections on May 7, the BSP chief removed Anand as the party’s national coordinator and her designated political successor

Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati’s decision to name her nephew Akash Anand as a star campaigner of the party for the assembly bypolls in Uttarakhand and Punjab has led to speculations that the latter may soon resume his role as a key face of the party.

Akash Anand’s name figures in second place after Mayawati in the list released ahead of the party’s meeting on Sunday. (File)
Akash Anand’s name figures in second place after Mayawati in the list released ahead of the party’s meeting on Sunday. (File)

Anand’s name figures in second place after Mayawati in the list released ahead of the party’s meeting to review its performance in the recent Lok Sabha elections. Bypolls are set to be held for two seats in Uttarakhand and one in Punjab.

After the Lok Sabha elections on May 7, the BSP chief removed Anand as the party’s national coordinator and her designated political successor saying that he was not “fully mature”.

On June 20, HT reported about Anand’s possible return in the national leadership role of the party after getting strong support from the party functionaries before the BSP’s poll review meeting on Sunday.

Apart from the BSP chief and Anand, Mayawati-loyalist Ram Ji Gautam also figures in the list of star campaigners. The ten others are from the party’s Uttarakhand unit.

The list dated June 21 was undersigned by BSP’s national treasurer Sridhar.

After his removal, Anand’s campaign events were also cancelled. But a review report submitted by BSP sector and zonal coordinators hinted that his return might help the party regain its vote share in the future.

The BSP failed to win any seat in the last general elections and its vote share fell to 9.15% from 19.43% in 2019. Jatavs, the party’s core vote bank, comprise 11.7% of the total population of Uttar Pradesh.

The 2024 elections were the party’s second-worst electoral performance since its inception in 1984.

A senior BSP functionary said Akash Anand’s removal from the key role sent a wrong message to the party’s cadres and voters.

He said BSP candidates secured over 50,000 votes in 19 out of the 26 seats in U.P. where voting was held till the third phase of elections. In six out of the 26 seats, the party was polled over one lakh votes, he added, noting that the party’s performance deteriorated after Anand was restricted from campaigning. He explained that BSP candidates secured 50,000 votes in 25 seats, which were 39% of the 64 seats in the state where polling was held after the third phase.

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