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Pending cases, CM aspiration may keep Mayawati away from SP

While BSP chief has kept the door open for continuing the alliance, she will try to look for new vote banks as she did before the 2007 assembly election.

Jun 06, 2019, 07.20 AM IST
BSP chief Mayawati
NEW DELHI: BSP chief Mayawati’s decision to go solo in the forthcoming assembly by-elections to 11 seats of Uttar Pradesh has come as surprise to many. Is a fear of the probe agencies dealing with her disproportionate assets case behind her decision? Or is she preparing the ground to emerge as a chief ministerial contender in the assembly elections in the state in 2022?

She has clearly been the gainer in the SP-BSP-RLD alliance in the recent Lok Sabha election as her party moved from scoring a nought in 2014 to bagging ten seats this time.

The SP is stuck at its previous tally of five seats and even lost party pocket boroughs of Kannauj, Badaun and Firozabad. The BSP increased its vote share by at least 15% in 21 out of the 38 Lok Sabha constituencies that it contested in UP in this general election. Barring the seats where the Congress had put up good candidates, the jump in BSP’s vote share appears to be more than the Dalit-Muslim combine. The BSP would not have won seats such as Jaunpur, Ghosi and Ghazipur without the support of Yadavs.

One of the reasons for Mayawati wanting to break ties with the SP could be the pending cases of disproportionate assets against her. While the cases against SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav and party chief Akhilesh Yadav were closed recently, those against Mayawati are still pending. The BSP contesting alone will strengthen the BJP’s chances further in the by-polls. She may even try to pull strings with the Centre to get the same treatment as the Yadavs.


Mayawati has always stayed with the party in power at the Centre.

In 2004 and 2009, the BSP had on its own given a letter of support to the UPA government though it already had a majority.

Another factor could be her belief that the SP is a much-weakened party as Akhilesh Yadav’s own family members – wife Dimple and cousins Dharmendra and Akshay – lost their elections. Yadav votes are getting split between the SP and BJP and on certain seats even the Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party of Shivpal Yadav.

In the long run, if the SP loses a chunk of Yadav votes to the BJP it will not be an option for minority voters who would shift to any party that is in a position to defeat the BJP.

Mayawati, who has tried in vain to get Muslim votes to her side, may fit this slot with her captive Jatav votes.

The Dalit-Muslim combination has worked well for her, especially in western UP.

Mayawati’s main target is the 2022 assembly election in UP. While she has kept the door open for continuing the alliance, she will try to strengthen her position and look for new vote banks as she did before the 2007 assembly election. Although the BJP is a formidable political force in the state, the BSP and SP, as well as the Congress under Priyanka Gandhi, are eyeing the anti-incumbency that is likely to grow against the Yogi Adityanath government in five years.

With 47 MLAs in the present UP assembly, the SP will get one Rajya Sabha seat. Mayawati is said to have ambitions of coming to the Upper House till the slot of UP CM opens up. Her latest manoeuvre may be a ploy to cobble together the requisite numbers for a seat there.

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