The recently concluded elections in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, Telangana and Chhattisgarh shouts out to the political giants regarding the elephant in the room, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP). The election results hint at the very significant role that BSP would be having in the political narrative leading up to the 2019 General Elections. Ten seats that BSP won across four states along with the second position in 8+ seats across all these states is far beyond imagination for any other party other than BJP and INC in the country. BSP has been riding on the narrative of Dalit unity which could hint at the campaign strategy of the federal front for the 2019 elections.
Mayawati is that political mastermind who could bring Dalits and Brahmins on the same platform and unite for the same cause. What renaissance couldn’t achieve in six decades, shrewd political strategies could. In the last UP elections where BJP and Yogi Adityanath’s communal strategies triumphed over the age-old caste equations of SP and BSP, Mayawati’s party still managed to retrieve a 23% vote share although the number didn’t reflect on the number of seats they won, it hinted that the of their cadre strength was well intact.
BSP is among of these very few region centered parties which has its footprints across the country. This feat and their strength is quite evident in the recently concluded election. The strategy that BSP adopted under the leadership of Kansi Ram to be a party of any fronts in the states and make their presence felt in the state sometimes through that lone seat which they acquire is paying off now. Slowly and steadily BSP has become a significant force with around 30 MLA’s across the country despite being washed away in their home turf last time. BSP is perhaps the only region centered party which can vouch for its influence outside the state with such magnitude.
The opposition party meet which was held before the day of election results declaration did not have any representatives from BSP. The move is considered to be part of BSP’ larger political power play. The opposition parties might as well opt for a campaign narrative which could revolve around “Dalit unity” with Mayawati at the centre and Jignesh Mewani’s playing second fiddle. As this move would help in splitting the BJP’s Hindu vote bank in the Hindi heartland and simultaneously would aid in consolidating the minority vote bank across the country, it can be a significant element in the political discourse of 2019. A narrative with Dalit’s at the forefront supported by the left parties would also help in easily associating with the farmer’s protest which would be a decisive factor in the next election. It won’t be a surprise if the Dalit leader from UP is portrayed as the next Prime Minister face of India.
BSP has always been a strategic player, and with the alliance with SP in Uttar Pradesh, they are all set to make a return in the 2019 General Elections.
A strategic move from the opposition might mean that Mayawati would be at the helm of the opposition unity. The fact that the amount of infighting that would be created within the front when parties with different ideologies like CPM and TMC clashes for the top post can be reduced with the introduction of a neutral and acceptable figure like Mayawati. This gives her that extra edge in the race. It’s high time that the political giants acknowledge the elephant in the room and acknowledge the role it has in deciding the next Prime Minister of the nation.