Compared to the 2009 polls, the BSP polled 7.22 lakh more votes in Uttar Pradesh and increased its votes in as many as 46 seats including 12 it had won last time. Still, the party not only failed to open its account but did not even come close to winning any seat, losing all by a margin of over 50,000 votes. In 2009, it had won 20 Lok Sabha seats in the state.
The figures indicate that, more than anything else, what contributed to the BSP’s rout was the heavy turnout in favour of the BJP. That left the BSP with its limited appeal and caste calculations wanting, though even BJP leader Amit Shah had projected that it would be No. 2 in UP.
Take the example of two seats the BSP won in 2009 — Basti and Sambhal. Compared to 2.68 lakh votes, it got 2.83 lakh votes in Basti this time but came in third. In Sambhal, it found itself third despite getting 47,000 more votes.
In 2009, the BSP’s vote share in UP was 27.42 per cent, compared to the Congress’s 18.25, the BJP’s 17.5 and the SP’s 23.26 per cent. This time, the BSP got 19.6 per cent votes, the BJP 42.3, the SP 22.2 and the Congress only 7.5 per cent.
Having failed to win a single seat in Parliament for the first time since it was formed, Mayawati is taking heart from the fact that the BSP is still the third largest party in terms of vote share (4.1 per cent). She belives her Dalit supporters stood behind her “rock solid” and notes that the party stood second in 34 seats in the state. According to her calculation, the reason for the BJP’s phenomenal performance was the OBCs and upper castes going with the party. The BSP chief has also vowed to continue with her “social engineering” to reach out to the Sarva Samaj.
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However, the BSP’s fallen vote count in several western UP seats indicates that even sections of Dalits supported the BJP. These constituencies include Kairana (1.6 lakh), Gautam Buddha Nagar (1.82 lakh), Amroha (1.62 lakh) and the SP strongholds of Kannauj (1.27 lakh), and Mainpuri (1.42 lakh).
Mayawati has called a meeting of her party leaders from the entire country in Lucknow on May 20 to discuss the results and further strategy.