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BJP Or Congress, Who Will Benefit Most From Mayawatis Move To Go Solo?

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NEW DELHI: BSP supremo Mayawati on Monday declared her intent to contest the upcoming 2024 Lok Sabha elections solo. Emphasizing the strengthening of BSP for the welfare of Dalits, backward classes, tribals, and minority communities, Mayawati strategically targeted the Samajwadi Party (SP) without directly naming the BJP. However, she did highlight the distribution of free rations amid rising poverty and unemployment.

Addressing a press conference on her birthday, the BSP chief said that her party may consider about alliance once the elections are over. “Our experience with alliances has never been beneficial for us and we suffer more losses from alliances. For this reason, most of the parties in the country want to ally with BSP. An alliance can be considered after the elections. If possible, BSP can extend its support after the elections…our party will fight the elections all alone,” she said.

Why No Alliance?

Mayawati, citing the persistence of caste-based politics, asserted that her voters, especially the upper castes, don’t support BSP. While acknowledging past alliances with SP and Congress, she blamed Akhilesh Yadav for changing colours like a chameleon. She concluded that alliances always result in losses for her party, hence the decision to go solo.

Impact On Coalition Dynamics

Understanding the caste dynamics in UP is crucial. With a significant OBC vote share, the Narendra Modi factor needs consideration. BJP claims support across all communities, including Muslims. However, Mayawati’s move creates a scenario where Dalit and Muslim votes might split.

Dalit And Muslim Vote Dynamics

With over 45% OBC voters, around 20-21% Dalits, and 15-16% Muslims in UP, Mayawati’s politics predominantly revolves around these groups. Her decision to go solo potentially divides these votes across BSP, SP, and Congress, creating a complex scenario.

Mayawati’s Decision: A Boon For BJP?

Mayawati’s solo venture could indirectly benefit the BJP, creating a situation where anti-BJP votes split between SP and BSP. BJP, buoyed by PM Modi’s welfare schemes, believes it can attract votes from all communities.

Congress’ Appeal And Likely Scenario

Congress, previously rumoured to desire a BSP alliance, now urges Mayawati to reconsider. The party envisions a united opposition against the 2019 vote share of 37.8%, aiming for a combined 62.2% vote share. However, the final decision rests on Mayawati’s political strategy.

Mayawati’s Resilience

Despite recent electoral setbacks, Mayawati remains undeterred. Dismissing rumours of retirement, she reaffirms her commitment to politics. She refuted the claims that she may take a retirement from politics, saying that she will continue to work to strengthen her party. “Last month, I declared Akash Anand as my political successor following which it was being speculated in media that I may soon retire from politics. However, I want to clarify that it’s not the case, and I will continue to work towards strengthening the party,” she said.

The BSP chief exhorted party leaders and workers to “work with full strength to help the BSP get a favourable verdict” in the 2024 election. 

The BSP, a Scheduled Castes-centric party, was a major political force in Uttar Pradesh in the 1990s and 2000s but witnessed a gradual decline over the past decade. In the 2022 assembly elections, the party polled only 12.8 per cent votes, its lowest in almost three decades.

The upcoming election campaign will reveal how Mayawati navigates the intricacies of solo politics. Mayawati’s decision introduces new variables into UP’s political equation, challenging existing alliances and potentially reshaping the state’s political landscape.



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