Bahujan Samaj Party’s vote share has declined in Karnataka

Special Correspondent

The party fielded candidates in all the Lok Sabha seats in the State

All the party’s candidates have forfeited

their deposit

BANGALORE: Despite fielding candidates in all the 28 Lok Sabha constituencies in Karnataka in the recent polls, the percentage of votes polled by the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has dipped in comparison with the Assembly elections held last year.

The BSP’s vote share came down from 2.7 per cent during the Assembly elections held during May 2008 – when the party had contested 217 out of the 224 seats — to 1.66 per cent during the recent Lok Sabha elections, even though the party was in the fray in all the Lok Sabha constituencies.

Not only has the BSP’s vote percentage declined, the party candidates forfeited their deposits in all the constituencies in the State.

A dip in the BSP’s vote percentage in the recent Lok Sabha polls in Karnataka comes after the party had been gradually increasing its vote share in successive elections.

Vote percentage

The party, which contested nine Lok Sabha seats in 2004, secured a vote percentage of 1.22 per cent. The party entered the fray in 102 of the 224 Assembly constituencies during the simultaneous polls and managed to get 1.74 per cent of the votes. Subsequently, during the 2008 Assembly polls in the State, the BSP contested 217 seats and its vote share climbed to 2.7 per cent.

The decline in BSP’s vote percentage assumes significance in view of the party’s strategy to improve upon its vote share by fielding candidates in all the constituencies even though the party did not have a real chance of winning in most of the constituencies.

BSP leader Mahesh told The Hindu that the party had polled a total of 4.24 lakh votes in Karnataka during the recent polls.

“But, we will be introspecting on the reasons for the party’s poor performance in the coming days and draw up plans and programmes to revitalise the party”, Mr. Mahesh said.

Though Mr. Mahesh denied the possibility of a change of guard in the party’s State unit, BSP sources said the party’s organisational structure could be overhauled with a view to strengthening the party.

Meanwhile, BSP’s state unit president Marasandra Muniyappa and other senior leaders including Jigani Shankar, Bulla Subba Rao, Mahesh and Gopinath left for Lucknow to attend a meeting convened by party supremo and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati on Tuesday.

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