By Pradeep Kapoor
LUCKNOW: This month’s civic polls in Uttar Pradesh are very crucial for BSP national President Mayawati and her party as the results would show whether the combination of dalits and Muslims is still effective in winning seats for the BSP. Ever since the party was formed in 1984 by late Kanshiram, for the first time BSP national President Mayawati is playing aggressive Muslim card in civic polls to test water for crucial Lok Sabha polls next year.
Former chief minister Mayawati repeatedly appealed to muslim. Community to join dalits to capture power in UP. She also welcomed muslim leaders joining her party and them gave prominence in party organisation.
Significantly BSP national President Mayawati has given 11 mayoral tickets out of total 17 to Muslims giving clear message to the community that combination of minority community and dalits is powerful enough to capture power. Mayawati has given three tickets to OBC and two to dalits. Mayawati has shown courage to put Muslims in other category seats as well to send the message to the voters in the state.
For the first time Mayawati has deviated from earlier social engineering of giving prominence to upper castes especially brahmins which helped the party to capture power in 2007. So much so, brahmin face of party Satish Mishra who was virtually number two, has been sidelined. His position has now been given to nephew of Mayawati Akash Kumar.
With her aggressive muslim card, Mayawati also aims to damage arch rival Samajwadi Party which enjoyed support of muslim community in all assembly and Lok Sabha polls since 1990 when Mulayam Singh Yadav as chief minister ordered firing on karsewaks in Ayodhya to protect Babri Masjid. It was only on the basis of powerful combination of Yadav and muslims and other castes, Samajwadi Party came to power so many times. Muslim community is also aware that thrice Mayawati became chief minister of UP with the help of BJP. So much so Mayawati also campaigned for BJP in Gujarat polls.
It would be worth mentioning here that BSP entered into alliance with Congress in 1996 assembly polls when the party contested in 300 seats leaving 125 for Congress. But soon after the polls, Mayawati terminated the alliance while putting entire blame on Congress for its failure to convert votes for BSP candidates.
Again in 2019Lok Sabha polls, BSP entered into alliance with its arch rival Samajwadi Party while ignoring infamous 1995 state guest house case Mayawati was allegedly attacked by SP leaders. So much so she withdrew case against Mulayam Singh Yadav.
Although BSP gained in the 2029 elections and reached the tally of 10 from nil in Lok Sabha while SP could only retain its five seats won in 2014. But Mayawati dissolved the alliance after the polls. BSP registered consistent decline in vote share since 2012 assembly polls and witnessed worst ever performance in 2022 assembly polls when Party got only one seat with 12 percent votes mainly dalits. Now not only Mayawati and her party but other major political parties are watching whether aggressive muslim card will help BSP to capture seats in ongoing civic polls in UP. (IPA Service)