By Sushil Kumar
New Delhi, (IANS): The Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) had to face a “humiliating defeat” in Uttar Pradesh assembly elections chiefly because she did not let the party develop and kept it limited to herself, experts believe.
“It was bound to happen. The BSP had started losing ground long ago,” Kancha Ilaiah, political scientist, writer and activist for Dalit rights, told IANS.
He said like other parties, the BSP had only one person and that was Mayawati. She should have developed the party with other persons taking the lead in other roles,” he said, adding that “no party can work with one person”.
Ilaiah said that BSP, like other parties, should have other wings as well.
He said the BSP has no spokesperson and that went against its overall interest.
Ilaiah said he believes that Mayawati failed to “show her mettle as a leader” and did not do much for the Dalits.
The BSP ended up with only 19 seats in a house of 403 members while the BJP along with allies swept the state with 325 seats.
“She took the Dalits for granted and it went against her party interest,” he said.
“Mayawati has lost direction and grip over the party,” he added.
The Dalit activist said that allegations regarding BSP ticket distribution also went against her.
“Allegations that she charges for party tickets created a wrong impression among her followers,” he said, adding that the ticket distribution process should have been corrected.
Sheoraj Singh Bechain, another well-known and respected Dalit writer in Hindi, expressed similar views on why Mayawati performed so badly in the Uttar Pradesh elections.
“She should have worked for the education of the Dalits. They shifted to cities knowing that she was not doing enough for them in the state,” he told IANS.
He said the Dalit and the Other Backward Class votes got divided as she failed to satisfy their needs.
“Mayawati did not realise the ground realities and lost the elections badly,” he said, adding that the Dalits, who formed a major part of the BSP vote base, drifted away from her as they realised that even being in power for a long time she did not do anything for them.
Earlier in the day, after the election results started coming in, the BSP chief said they were “very surprising”, and alleged that electronic voting machines had been “managed” to favour the Bharatiya Janata Party.
“These election results are very surprising. It is very difficult to accept them,” said Mayawati.
Mayawati has been out of power in Uttar Pradesh since March 2012.