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Nightmare for small parties in UP

Mayawati’s dream run in the UP elections is turning out to be a nightmare for smaller parties, writes M Hasan.
None | By M Hasan, Lucknow
UPDATED ON JUN 27, 2012 11:36 AM IST

Mayawati’s dream run in the UP elections is turning out to be a nightmare for smaller parties. Till now, these parties with their narrow vote base had been playing a major role in the state’s electoral politics. But Friday’s results could change all that.

The small parties’ tally this year stands at 15, less than half of the 33 seats they had won in the 2002 elections.

Take for example Ajit Singh’s Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD). The party, which had fielded 150 candidates, won 10 seats, five short of its 2002 tally. The party had shared power with the BJP and the Samajwadi Party.

While V.P. Singh’s Jan Morcha also fared badly, the United Democratic Front drew solace from the fact its candidate Yaqoob Qureshi, who hit the headlines for seeking the Danish cartoonist’s head, won from Meerut.

Mafiosi-turned-politician D.P. Yadav’s party Rashtriya Parivartan Dal won two seats while the Loktantrik Congress managed one seat, one short of its previous tally.

Similarly, the Janata Dal (U), which had contested in alliance with the BJP, managed to retain just one of its two seats.

Apna Dal, another BJP ally, has not won any seat so far. Party president Kurmi leader Sone Lal Patel lost both seats he contested. The party had won three seats last time.

Said Shiv Shran, a social activist: “The smaller parties have lost their credibility over the years.”

The Apna Dal and Janata Dal (U) also proved to be a liability to the BJP. The BJP had given its Orai seat to JD (U) president Niranjan Bhayya who lost to the Congress.

Interestingly, the CPI and CPM could not win even a single seat. In the last election, the CPM had won two seats.

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