Strategic misstep? How BSP's votes in 16 Lok Sabha seats could have altered NDA's majority | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

Strategic misstep? How BSP's votes in 16 Lok Sabha seats could have altered NDA's majority

Jun 06, 2024 05:51 PM IST

Lok Sabha election results 2024: Fourteen of these seats were won by the BJP, and two by its allies, Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) and Apna Dal (Soneylal).

Former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) drew a blank in the Lok Sabha elections, repeating its 2014 performance in terms of seats but even worse in terms of vote share. In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, BSP secured a decent 19.77% vote share in Uttar Pradesh, Mayawati's party garnered less than 10% votes in 2024.

Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati (HT File Photo)
Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati (HT File Photo)

However, in 16 constituencies, the number of votes garnered by the BSP exceeded the winning margin of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) or its allies, according to The Times of India report, a scenario that highlights the potential impact the party could have had if it had aligned with the opposition bloc, INDIA.

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The 16 critical seats are Akbarpur, Aligarh, Amroha, Bansgaon, Bhadohi, Bijnor, Deoria, Farrukhabad, Fatehpur Sikri, Hardoi, Meerut, Mirzapur, Misrikh, Phulpur, Shahjahanpur, and Unnao.

Fourteen of these 16 seats were won by the BJP, while two were won by its allies: Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) and Apna Dal (Soneylal). If these seats had shifted to the INDIA bloc – and that's a big if – the National Democratic Alliance (NDA)'s tally would have decreased to 278 seats, with the BJP holding 226 of those.

Without an SP-BSP alliance, the BJP, which secured 33 seats in Uttar Pradesh, could have been reduced to just 19 seats, a significant drop from the 62 seats it won in 2019.

While it is not certain that the BSP's votes would have automatically transferred to the SP-Congress alliance, anecdotal evidence, according to TOI, suggests that a significant portion of the BSP's core base supported the INDIA bloc in this election.

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The BJP finished with 240 seats, considerably less than the 370 it aimed for and the 303 seats it won in 2019. The saffron party, with the support of its NDA partners who secured 53 seats, is still on course to form the government for a third term. However, the scenario could have been different if Mayawati had led the BSP into the INDIA bloc.

On Wednesday, Mayawati blamed the poll debacle on the Muslim community and said they did not vote for BSP despite the party fielding significant candidates from the Muslim community.

“The BSP has been giving tickets to candidates belonging to the Muslim community in earlier elections, as they are an important part of the Bahujan Samaj. It seems that the community failed to understand the BSP. In such a situation, the party would give them tickets in the coming elections after much deliberation,” she said.

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