BSP national executive committee meeting today, Mayawati likely to be projected as PM candidate
The national executive committee meeting of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) on Saturday is likely to project Mayawati as the party’s prime ministerial candidate in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and also evaluate pre-poll alliances with the Congress in upcoming assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chattisgarh.
“Apart from giving approval to a pre-poll alliance (in 2019) , the executive committee is likely to pass a resolution announcing Mayawati as prime ministerial candidate,” a senior BSP leader said, asking not to be identified.
On Friday, a day before the meeting, BSP leaders and workers launched a campaign on social media demanding the announcement of the BSP chief as the PM candidate in the 2019 general elections.
“She is the tallest Dalit leader with a pan-India appeal. Though BSP suffered crushing electoral defeats in the 2012 assembly, 2014 Lok Sabha and 2017 assembly elections, its support base is still intact,” the BSP leader said. To be sure, the party has no representatives in the Lok Sabha, but the leader says there is enough reason to back Mayawati for PM.
“The BSP has an organisation in over a dozen states and has won seats in the assembly election in these states as well. Her projection as the PM candidate will mobilize the Dalit community in support of the alliance,” the BSP leader added, asking not to be identified. In the 2009 Lok Sabha elections too, the BSP had projected Mayawati as its prime ministerial candidate.
Back then, a cutout of Parliament was placed on a dais in the state unit’s office and the slogan “Haathi Dilli jaiga’ (elephant will march to Delhi) was engraved on the walls of the city. The elephant is the BSP’s electoral symbol.
That wasn’t to be.
“The scenario has changed in the run-up to the 2019 election. The BSP has announced a pre-poll alliance with the SP to defeat the BJP, which is trying to make inroad into its Dalit vote bank,” said Anant Rao Akela, founder-member, BSP.
The executive committee will also discuss the pre-poll alliances of the party with the SP in Uttar Pradesh, the Indian National Lok Dal in Haryana, and the Janata Dal (Secular) in Karnataka. Members of the executive committee will also mull over the proposal for a pre-poll alliance with the Congress in MP, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh where assembly polls are due at the year-end.
Mayawati was not keen to join hands with the Congress, but her meeting in Bengaluru this week with United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi and the obvious warmth on display there is likely to cut the ice and pave the way for an alliance, the first BSP leader said.