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Mayawati's BSP fades in UP: Is this the end of Dalit politics in north India?

The BSP, that contested on 403 seats of Uttar Pradesh Assembly, won Rasara seat. BSP candidate Umashankar Singh defeated Mahendra of Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party by a margin of over 6,500 votes.

India TV News Desk Edited by: India TV News Desk New Delhi Updated on: March 11, 2022 14:42 IST
up election results 2022,up election result,mayawati
Image Source : FILE PHOTO/PTI

BSP supremo Mayawati shows her inked finger as she leaves after casting her vote, during the fourth phase of UP Assembly elections, in Lucknow, Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2022.

Highlights

  • BSP won just one seat in the just concluded UP Assembly election
  • Mayawati had fielded candidates on all 403 seats
  • With 12.8% voteshare, this is BSP worst show since 1993 assembly election

UP Election Results 2022: "UP election results are opposed to BSP's expectations. We should not be discouraged by it. Instead we should learn from it, introspect, and carry forward our party movement, and come back to power," said Mayawati a day after her - Bahujan Samaj Party - recorded its worst ever performance in Assembly election since 1993. The BSP won just one seat in UP Assembly election 2022. 

Assembly Election 2022: Full Coverage

The BSP, that contested on 403 seats of Uttar Pradesh Assembly, won Rasara seat. BSP candidate Umashankar Singh defeated Mahendra of Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party by a margin of over 6,500 votes. 

Not only the BSP has been reduced to a solitary seat, the party's voteshare has dropped drastically to a poor 12.8%. In its first assembly election in 1993, the BSP had contested on 164 seats winning 67 getting a voteshare of 11.2%.

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Time to write BSP's obituary?

Mayawati, who was the first Dalit woman CM of India, is now leading a party that has just one MLA in Uttar Pradesh, a state which sends maximum number of MPs to Lok Sabha. What is more of a disgrace for Mayawati is that BSP has now become one of the smallest parties in Uttar Pradesh. 

In 2007, the BSP had won a simple majority grabbing 207 seats with 30.4% votes. The 2022 results show that Mayawati's core votebank - Dalits - are now deserting the party and exploring new options. Even Muslims, who were considered to strong supporters of Maywati, have now completely walked away. Though BSP had never been the first choice of minorities, but it enjoyed a handsome 20-23% voteshare in the past. 

Mayawati's lacklustre campaign 

Was Mayawati aware about the poll outcome? Looking by her limited campaigning in the run upto the seven-phase voting in Uttar Pradesh, it appears that the BSP president was aware of Dalits being disenchanted by her kind of politics. 

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Mayawati held only about 20 rallies compared to Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav who made sure that he reaches out to voters in every nook and corner of the state holding rallies and big roadshows challenging Yogi Adityanath. Apart from this, the BSP had no 'star campaigner' barring party supremo Mayawati.

Mayawati's limited interest in the just concluded polls also earned her allegations of playing into the hands of BJP. She fielded Muslim candidates on seats where SP had already named one also raised questions whether BSP was contesting the election only to dent Akhilesh's voteshare . 

The 'blue elephant' that became the symbol of social justice in 1990s now appears to be jaded. Will there be a resurrection?