Bahujan Samaj Party president Mayawati on Saturday attributed her party’s rout in the Lok Sabha elections in Uttar Pradesh to a division of Muslim votes, with the majority going with the Samajwadi Party. She also said the OBCs and upper castes had moved to the Bharatiya Janata Party.
The BSP president, however, claimed that there was no dent in the core Dalit support base of the BSP despite “the BJP’s propaganda that the Dalits should vote as ‘Hindus’.”
Ms. Mayawati said that in comparison to 2009, the BSP’s vote share in U.P. increased in 2014. Though the party had failed to win a single seat, it was placed second in 34 constituencies and its vote share was about 20 per cent, she said. She said the BSP was placed third at the national level as far as the number of votes was concerned. The BSP got a total of 2.28 crore votes.
On the BJP’s victory in the State, Ms. Mayawati said the party got only 42 per cent votes, which means about “58 per cent voters rejected the BJP.”
Despite these explanations, Ms. Mayawati has called a meeting of BSP office-bearers from all over India forMay 20 for a review of the party’s performance in the elections. The meeting will be held in Lucknow.
“Like the BJP, the Congress and the Samajwadi Party also harmed the BSP’s prospects through a concerted strategy,” Ms. Mayawati told journalists at her residence.
According to her, this strategy started from the first and second phases of the Lok Sabha polls in the Muslim-dominated areas of western U.P. She alleged that the statements of the BJP’s Amit Shah gave a communal colour to the elections.
Muslims misled Recounting her election meetings, she said she had cautioned Muslims against a division in their votes as it would serve the BJP’s interests. “Muslims constitute about 18 per cent of the State’s electorate and like the Dalits, they should have voted for the BSP. They did not heed my advice,” she said. The BSP president was of the view that Muslims voted for the Samajwadi Party, which “has always exploited them.” “The Muslims will regret their decision,” she said.
Ms. Mayawati claimed that if the Muslims had not been misled by the SP and the Congress, the BSP would have emerged as a balance of power at the Centre.
Ms. Mayawati further regretted that the OBCs did not take her advice seriously that contrary to what the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi had been claiming about his OBC status, he was “not one” and hence the people should not vote for him. “Twenty-one tickets were given to Brahmin candidates by the BSP in U.P., but the Upper Castes also voted for the BJP,” she said.
The BSP chief said the shortcomings of party in the Lok Sabha polls would be addressed.