Assessing the Bahujan Samaj Party’s (BSP) poor performance at the Uttar Pradesh assembly election where it won only 1 out of 403 seats, Mayawati said that even the Dalits voted for the BJP as they feared a return of the Samajwadi Party’s “jungle raj”.
“BSP’s supporters, who are mostly upper-caste Hindus and from several OBC communities, feared that if the SP were to come back to power, the state would be thrown back to the jungle raj and goonda raj of the past. Hence, they went ahead and voted for the BJP,” Mayawati said.
The BSP head also blamed Muslims for supporting the SP that, in turn, impacted BSP’s numbers. “To defeat the BJP, the Muslims trusted SP. This has cost us. We have learnt a harsh lesson from trusting them (Muslims). We will keep this experience in mind and change accordingly,” Mayawati said.
Saying that the BJP could have been defeated if the Muslims had supported them, she explained: “If the votes of Muslims and Dalits had combined, we could have repeated what the Trinamool Congress had done in West Bengal. If there was a three-way battle, as it was expected, BSP would have had very different performance and the BJP could have been stopped.”
The leader also said that BJP had an “aggressive anti-Muslim” campaign, leading to a deceptive narrative. “From the feedback that I have received, the media put out manipulated surveys. It played a role in deceiving people, especially Muslims. A message was put out that the BSP was BJP’s B team, when in reality, it is just the opposite,” Mayawati added.
The tallest Dalit leader in contemporary Indian politics, however, reposed faith in the party workers and said that things will improve in the coming future.
The BSP’s vote share of 12.84% is just a shade higher than its lowest ever, in 1993, of 11.12% of the votes, nine years into its formation.