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Mysterious electoral strategy of the BSP!

By Rakesh Ranjan- 09 May 2024


New Delhi (09.05.2024): Divesting BSP leader Akash Anand, a green horn in politics, from all official responsibilities for making some irresponsible comment against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its leaders in no way technically relieve him from the culpability or the legal liability. Anand was entrusted with all those responsibilities barely six-month ago including being successor of former UP CM Mayawati. When the entire political atmosphere of the country is vitiated with such comments but none took any such action, so the decision of Mayawati certainly bears some meaning. Interestingly neither calling the BJP and its leaders as anti-national is done for the first time nor welcoming political party workers with shoes. Maulana Sajid Rashidi made a similar shoe jibe when the Uttar Pradesh government ordered verification of Madrasas but the matter petered out.
Since Lok Sabha elections are going on with full swing, the decision to remove him from the party positions holds currency. There are two strong arguments besides many others posed by warring quarters in Indian politics on the removal of Anand. The first argument that comes from leaders from I.N.D.I.A who say that BSP-led by Mayawati is working as B team of the NDA with all its decisions harming the opposition unity; the BJP is of the view that by same logic Rahul Gandhi, Digvijay Singh, Sam Pitroda, Mani Shankar Aiyar are star campaigner of the BJP as people sardonically say. As a political conglomerate, the I.N.D.I.A must talk sense. There is another argument that says BSP leaders always avoided such kinds of personal attack and violence but this is absolutely untrue as the same BSP had slogans like Tilak, Taraju aur Talwar Inko Maro Jute Char before reconciliating to Hathi Nahi Ganesh Hai, Brahma Vishnu Mahesh Hai
But the way BSP supremo is conducting herself from almost past one-and-half-years, her deafening silence was loudly heard on many issues detrimental to the opposition block as one keen political observer articulated her moves in this fashion. So, is it really true that BSP is afraid of something and working on quid pro quo to help the BJP electorally as I.N.D.I.A block is calling it a vote-cutter to give advantage to the BJP as every political party is facing ED wrath except the BSP despite the fact that Mayawati too is accused of having disproportionate assets. Responding to vote-cutter allegations, Mayawati accused the SP and the Congress for failing to give Muslims proper representation. When the rug beneath the feet of I.N.D.I.A block candidates is pulled by the BSP, they are resorting to such baseless attacks. There are around 19 per cent Muslim population in Uttar Pradesh which holds sway over 16 Lok Sabha constituencies in the state. Every political party including the one that has a base in Hyderabad is trying to woo them. 
This is to recall that an alliance of the BSP with the Samajwadi Party brought alliance 15 seats in Uttar Pradesh in 2019 LS elections but Mayawati not joining I.N.D.I.A is ensuring a triangular fight in Uttar Pradesh dividing Muslim and Dalit votes to benefit the BJP. Looking at the behaviour of Dalit voters in Uttar Pradesh who prefer to vote the BJP if they have to choose between BJP and SP and similarly Muslims would prefer to vote BSP if they have to choose between the BSP and BJP. In such a scenario fielding more Muslim candidates will certainly give advantage as the BSP has fielded 20 Muslim candidates out of 72 names it declared so far which for the opposition alliance is likely to divide Muslim votes. Now, change of candidates on certain seats that are important to I.N.D.I.A are casting doubt over BSP’s election strategy if it wants to win its election or harm INDIA block. The SP has fielded just four Muslim candidates out of 60 nominations – Rampur, Sambhal, Kairana and Ghazipur while the Congress fielded just two candidates. Is it BSP's fault that they are committing strategic mistake?   
The BSP replaced Azamgarh LS candidate Bhim Rajbhar with a Pasmanda Muslim woman candidate Sabiha Ansari. The hope of Azamgarh election being one-sided for the SP after BSP leader Shah Alam (Guddu Jamali) joined the SP is doused with Ansari in the fray on the seat. Azamgarh, Varanasi, Bhadohi and Mau have sizable weaver (Julaha) community that Sabiha belongs to and here the contest is among BJP’s Dinesh Lal Yadav aka Nirahuwa, SP’s Dharmendra Yadav who is cousin of Akhilesh Yadav and Ansari. BSP fielded Muslim candidates in Varanasi, Gorakhpur, Mahrajganj, Bhadohi, Ambedkarnagar and Sant Kabir Nagar constituencies. Niyaz Ali is fielded against the PM in Varanasi while Jawed Simnani from Gorakhpur where they stand a very little chance except helping in forfeiting deposits of opposition candidates.
BSP has fielded Muslim Khan from Badaun against Aditya Yadav, another cousin of Akhilesh Yadav and son of Shivpal Singh Yadav but any division of votes in the constituency will cost the SP very dear. BSP changed Firozabad candidate Satyendra Jain to replace Chaudhary Bashir to take on Ramgopal Yadav’s son Akshay Yadav, Sarwar Malik is fielded from Lucknow against Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Imran bin Zafar against Akhilesh Yadav in Kannauj.  
But the opposition block seems to be suffering from Ostrich Syndrome as the BJP strategizes its elections well in advance and uses some specific plans to win elections but that is done at the last minute before that it tries to increase its vote share organically. The BJP along with RSS have been working among Dalits from long and Dalits have been voting for the BJP with conviction as a large section of urban Dalits are sanskritised and take pride in being proud Sanatani. BJP’s Pasmanda outreach is another effort that is paying dividend to the party, which might not have benefited the party so far on expected lines but they have certain plans. Moreover, the BJP cannot make strategy to offer victory to the opposition on platter as they wish to. They way opposition is behaving, it appears as they are complaining that why BJP is not losing election which is nothing but laughable.
(Rakesh Ranjan)

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