IndiaWhy Mayawati, who once 'pampered' BJP in UP, is marginalized in the...

Why Mayawati, who once ‘pampered’ BJP in UP, is marginalized in the politics of the state today


  • The BSP, which has been at the center of the politics of UP since the 90s, did not have much discussion in the state elections for the first time.
  • Mayawati, who was the Chief Minister of UP four times, now faces the challenge of maintaining her political existence.
  • Mayawati, who was in power with the support of BJP for 3 times, caused maximum damage to her
  • BSP got a big setback due to the tremendous rise of BJP in UP in 2014, the account was not even opened in the Lok Sabha elections.

New Delhi
Politically, the electoral environment of UP, the largest state, is currently looking like a bipolar contest between BJP vs SP. The BSP, which has given a new status to Dalit politics at the national level, is seen out of competition in its own stronghold UP. In the last few years, all the big leaders of the party have joined other parties. Election after election, the performance of the party is showing a decline. Let us try to understand where in the last 3 decades the BSP, which gave the Chief Minister to UP 4 times in the last 3 decades, is in this election. Why is the BSP, which once limited BJP to 51 seats in UP, today itself is being marginalized in the politics of the state?

This time too Mayawati on the path of Ekla Chalo
Barring a few elections in UP, the BSP has followed the policy of Ekla Chalo Re every time. After the infamous guest house scandal in the 90s, the experience of breaking the alliance with the Samajwadi Party was so bitter that Mayawati pulled out of pre-poll alliances. Mayawati may have formed the government by forming a post-poll alliance with the BJP, but never formed an alliance before the election. In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Mayawati formed a well-known alliance with the Samajwadi Party, but the performance was not special and soon the alliance broke down. BSP is also going to fight the 2022 UP assembly elections alone. The special thing is that this time BSP will not even release the election manifesto.

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BSP’s threat was heard for the first time in national politics in 1993
Kanshi Ram founded the Bahujan Samaj Party in 1984. He made Mayawati the political heir when he won. The 1993 assembly elections saw BSP’s threat at the national level for the first time when it won 67 seats in the UP assembly elections. There are about 21 percent Dalit voters in UP. Apart from this, around 20 percent are Muslim voters. The strength of BSP was Dalit+Muslim equation. Two years later, in 1995, Mayawati became the Chief Minister of UP for the first time. The first Dalit woman who became the Chief Minister of a state. However, she remained in power for only 4 months. She became the CM for the second time in 1997 and this time too she was able to stay in the chair for only 6 months. In 2002, Mayawati became the Chief Minister for the third time and this time she remained the Chief Minister for 15 months.

BSP’s performance in UP assembly elections

UP assembly elections BSP seats Vote Share (%)
1993 67 11
1996 67 19.64
2002 98 23
2007 206 30.43
2012 80 26
2017 19 22

Historical performance of BSP in 2007, then downhill
The performance of BSP in the 2007 UP assembly elections was historic. BSP came to power for the first time with a pre-majority victory, winning 206 out of 403 seats. The vote share stood at 30.43 percent. The credit for this is given to the social engineering of BSP. By putting forward Satish Chandra Mishra, BSP was successful in cultivating non-dalits, especially Brahmins. With the Dalit + Muslim + Brahmin formula, the BSP ended the era of coalition governments in UP for two and a half decades. But since then the BSP’s performance started a phase of rapid decline. In 2012, the BSP could win only 80 seats. The vote share declined to 25.95 per cent. In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the BSP could not even open the account. In the 2017 assembly elections, the party was reduced to 19 seats and the vote share fell to 22.24 per cent.

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Strange coincidence of BJP and BSP
Mayawati was the Chief Minister of UP 4 times and out of these 3 times it was possible with the support of BJP. The interesting thing is that the BJP with whose support Mayawati remained in power also caused the most damage. BSP played a big role in toppling the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government at the Center in 1999. The BSP had assured the BJP of the support of its 5 MPs, but during the trust vote, Mayawati announced at the last minute that her party would vote against it. The result was that the Vajpayee government lost the trust vote by just one vote. Incidentally, as the BSP got stronger in UP, the BJP got weaker. In 2007, when the BSP first came to power in UP with the former majority, the BJP was reduced to 51 seats. In 2012, it weakened further and could win only 47 seats. But in 2017, when the BJP won a unilateral victory with 312 seats, the BSP was reduced to 19 seats. It is as if the wheel of time has turned 180 degrees. The BSP, which once ‘pampered’ the BJP in UP, has become marginalized in the politics of the state with the saffron party getting stronger again.

BSP’s performance in the last Lok Sabha elections

Lok Sabha Elections BSP got seats
1996 11
nineteen ninety eight 5
1999 14
2004 19
2009 21
2014 00
2019 10

The reason for BSP’s ‘disadvantage’
Mayawati’s tenure as Chief Minister from 2007 to 2012 was in discussion due to negative reasons. Opponents started calling her the ‘daughter of wealth’. Mayawati was welcomed by wearing a ‘garland of notes’ on her birthday and even in election meetings. The names of his ministers and MLAs started appearing in the NRHM scam. One after the other the CMOs were killed. In the parks that Mayawati built, she got her idols installed along with the Dalit great men. Huge sculptures of elephants were installed. Opponents managed to make his image as a leader who shed money like water on the statues of elephants instead of development.

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In 2012, the Samajwadi Party came to power with an absolute majority. In 2014, the BSP flew away in the Modi wave. Couldn’t even open account in Lok Sabha elections. The non-Jatav Dalit vote slipped to the BJP. After being away from power, Mayawati’s trusted leaders started leaving BSP one by one. BSP’s once stalwarts like Naseemuddin Siddiqui, Babu Singh Kushwaha, Swami Prasad Maurya either joined other parties or were fired on charges of anti-party activities. Mayawati’s style of functioning was also a major reason for the decline of BSP. Leaders of other parties like Akhilesh Yadav, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra are taking to the streets. Election tours. Enthusiasm among the workers. But Mayawati did not take to the streets on any issue. This demoralizes the workers and the organization is getting weak. Meanwhile, other Dalit leaders like Chandrashekhar Azad are emerging.

Can Mayawati make a comeback?
By the way, if we look at the figures, in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, BSP is the second party in UP with 19 percent vote share. managed to win 10 Lok Sabha seats but the credit goes to the alliance with the Samajwadi Party. The BSP has managed to retain around 20 per cent vote share even in its worst phase. That is, it cannot be completely ignored.