BSP lacks a second line of leaders; ‘face’ beyond Mayawati to attract voters | Lucknow News

LUCKNOW: The local election results clearly indicate the downward trajectory of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP). The party’s performance in various areas fell short of expectations.
It was his over-reliance on Muslims that cost him the most. BSP National Chairman Mayawati will hold a review of the party’s performance in the urban local elections on May 18.
The party had fielded 11 Muslims as candidates for mayoral seats in 17 municipal corporations in the state. Most, if not all, of them were imports from the Samajwadi Party or were related to leaders who had joined the BSP after leaving the Samajwadi Party in the recent span, including Imran Masood, one of the party’s most prominent Muslim faces currently.
The party did not win any mayoral seats. Instead, he lost the two seats he won in 2017, the mayoral seats of Aligarh and Meerut.
The Muslim vote was split between several parties, such as BSP, SP, AIMIM and Congress, who were contending.
Although the party has fielded so many Muslim candidates, it has not used its top Muslim leaders, such as Dane Ali, Guddu Jamali, MH Khan, Faizan Khan, Abdul Mannan, Salauddin Siddiqui, Munkad Ali and others for the election campaign.
The fact that Imran Masood has emerged as the party’s most prominent Muslim face in recent times may have deterred others from campaigning, sources say.
Masood was appointed coordinator of West UP as he joined the BSP “on his own terms” last year in October. But he fell short of the party’s expectations when his close relative, Khadija Masood, failed to win the mayoral seat of Saharanpur. He was second after Ajay Kumar of BJP.
While the BSP is going to great lengths to court Muslims, in the community it may still be the BJP’s B-team. The ‘wrong campaign’ which ‘Behenji’ herself had pointed to as a major cause of the party’s poor performance in the 2022 UP assembly election and Muslims voting overwhelmingly for the Samajwadi party. Insiders said, “This perception needs to be changed as fast as possible.”
This election was also where state party chairman Vishwanath Pal failed to win OBC support for the party. He was hired after replacing senior party leader Bhim Rajbhar in December last year to expand the party’s base among OBCs.
Similarly, senior party leaders from other communities were also not involved in the election campaign. It was entirely left to the candidates to campaign for themselves.
There was no war room to run elections. There was no information flow and no stellar activists, the sources said.
“It was an election run by coordinators from start to finish. Most of the senior leaders did not campaign because they were not called upon to do so. Chance to win was not the criterion followed in selecting candidates,” the sources said.
The day after the local election results were announced, Mayawati accused the BJP government of abusing the official machine in her favor for her party’s failure. Given the party’s desperate attempt to win Muslim votes, however, what she may have overlooked is her party’s lopsided politics of completely neglecting the upper caste voter.
The complete lack of a second line leader has started to take its toll in the party now. Beyond Mayawati, the party does not currently have a face to attract voters.
Senior leaders who have left the BSP in the past decade or more have created a vacuum that the party has been unable to fill. The party lacks its presence on social media which is an active communication tool for parties like the BJP.


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