By Pradeep Kapoor
LUCKNOW: BSP leader Mayawati feels that the Modi government may go for early Lok Sabha polls as things would be difficult for the saffron party next year. She made this clear in her birthday address, which was beamed live through TV channels. She was of the view that elections could be held early along with the assembly elections in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
Mayawati asked her party workers and cadre to prepare for early Lok Sabha polls and strengthen the party organization from booth level to district level. Giving no indication of any alliance, she attacked both BJP and Congress for exploiting the name of Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar to win over the dalits without actually doing anything for them.
Mayawati said her stand was clear on the prospects of poll alliances. She had made it clear during the initiative taken by RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav to unite opposition parties against BJP that a seat sharing formula must be evolved before the elections. Unless this was done, there was no point in any alliance.
She had approached Congress for an alliance in Gujarat, asking for those seats where the party had lost, but Congress declined to share any seat, which prompted BSP to field its own candidates in all the assembly constituencies. It is believed that the presence of the BSP candidates was responsible for defeat of at least 22 Congress candidates along with NCP, which also fielded candidates against Congress.
The BSP leader is worried about the erosion of her vote share by Congress, which is using Gujarat dalit leader Jignesh Mevani all over the country. Mayawati loses no opportunity to attack Mevani, which she did in her birthday address as well. She asked party leaders workers and cadre to be beware of Congress design to send Mewani to UP and other places to win over dalit support, which could harm her party.
BSP is also worried about the erosion of its vote share at the hands of BJP, which is exploited the Hindutva factor in the 2014 Lok Sabha and the assembly polls in 2017. A large number of dalits have voted for BJP in these elections. The absence of any senior leader other than Satish Mishra, MP at her birthday press conference exposed the large scale erosion of dalit voters and their leaders. On such occasions earlier, senior leaders of the party used to be present to show their loyalty. After the debacle of the party in assembly polls, there have been large scale desertions from the party.
Prominent among those who left included Nasimuddin Siddiqui, Swami Prasad Maurya and Indrajit Saroj, Brijesh Pathak and many others. While Nasimuddin Siddqui is with Samajwadi Party, the rest have joined BJP. Most of them charged Mayawati with taking money for giving party tickets. They also accused her of deviating from the philosophy of Ambedkar and Kanshiram, while compromising with upper castes and ignoring dalits and most backwards.
The BSP leader is also unhappy the majority of senior leaders from her party have joined BJP. That is why her main target is none other than Narendra Modi, who is himself playing the aggressive dalit card to weaken Mayawati. Modi played the ultimate dalit card by making a dalit the President of India.
Mayawati in her address also attacked Modi for demonetisation and GST. She said that people were raising their voice against Modi and the RSS, which was evident from the Gujarat poll results. She asserted that despite hectic campaigning in Gujarat, Modi just managed to scrape through with a narrow margin for his party. Had there been a good presence of dalits in the poll, BJP would have been defeated, she claimed.
In the 2007 elections, BSP had won 62 reserved assembly seats with total 30 per cent votes, and was voted to power. But in the 2012 assembly polls, BSP could win only 15 reserved constituencies with total vote share of 26 per cent. In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the party could not get even a single seat in the reserved category, with the vote share declining to 19 .6 per cent.
The BSP leader has now called an important meeting to discuss the strategy to face the Lok Sabha polls and strengthen the party organization to ensure more votes for the party.
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