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Mayawati's resignation from Rajya Sabha: A fit of rage or eye on 2019 Lok Sabha elections?

Mayawati’s decision to put in her resignation in Rajya Sabha is not something she has done in a fit of rage. In fact, it comes across as a calculated strategy towards reviving the fortune of her party

Written by: Akhilesh Shukla, New Delhi [ Published on: July 18, 2017 20:13 IST ]
In recent past, Behenji’s traditional Dalit vote bank
Image Source : PTI In recent past, Behenji’s traditional Dalit vote bank slipped to the BJP

Former Prime Minister PV Narshima Rao once termed Mayawati’s phenomenal rise in politics as a ‘Miracle of Democracy.’ Once referred as the 'Dalit queen' by the media in the West, Mayawati has lost her Midas touch in UP politics in the last few years. In 2014 Lok Sabha elections, her party posted its worst ever performance, with none of its candidates managing to register a win. The party has zero presence in the Lower House of the Parliament.

So was the case in the recently concluded UP Assembly elections. Behenji’s traditional Dalit vote bank slipped to the BJP -- the saffron party which Mayawati has termed ‘Manuwadi’ in many of her past speeches. The BSP managed to win only 19 seats in Assembly elections, their lowest tally in almost three decades. The numbers do not bode well for the BSP's chances to its supremo back to Rajya Sabha when her term would end in April next year.

Mayawati’s decision to put in her resignation in Rajya Sabha is not something she has done in a fit of rage. In fact, it comes across as a calculated strategy towards reviving the fortune of her party. Her resignation today seems to be a political antic, just another bid to paint the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi as anti-Dalit. This is the message that Mayawati would like to see going out to her Dalit voters. Mayawati realises that her contest is no more with the Yadav family of UP and its Samajwadi Party but the Lotus, which is blooming at a phenomenal pace. And given the recent victories of BJP in UP, both in the state Assembly and the Lok Sabha, it would be challenging for BSP and Mayawati to make their presence felt in the Lok Sabha elections 2019.

It was BJP all over in 2014. The Yadav family was the solitary case that managed to retain its seats in UP. All others were swept away in the Modi wave. Political pundits predict that chances are low for the opposition in 2019 elections as well. In such a scenario, it is high time for Mayawati to start preparing for the Lok Sabha polls, which is two years away, to make some presence felt. In a case of no major victory, both Mayawati and BSP would lose political relevance in state and central politics.

Mayawati’s resignation today should thus be seen as the BSP supremo’s well-planned strategy to take on the BJP in 2019 elections with new zeal and enthusiasm.

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