Desperately looking to save its national party status, the BSP Tuesday suffered a major, and possibly the final, jolt as it fared poorly in Delhi where it contested all the 70 seats in the Assembly elections but drew a blank.
As per the results declared today, the BSP lost its ground in Delhi with its vote share slipping to 1.3 per cent as its candidates could secure a total of only 1,17,120 votes.
The development is ominous for party supremo Mayawati as the Election Commission is set to take a call on its showcause notice to BSP as to why its national party status should not be withdrawn. The BSP, hoping to gain some ground, had urged the EC to postpone a decision on the issue till the outcome of the Delhi Assembly polls.
A political party becomes eligible to be recognised as a national party if it has won 2 per cent of seats in the Lok Sabha (11 seats in the House having 543 members) from at least three different states in the latest general election. A party can also be granted the national status, if it has polled 6 per cent of the total valid votes in assembly polls in at least four states, in addition to winning four Lok Sabha seats from any state or states.
BSP, if it loses recognition, will not lose its symbol (elephant) immediately and will be allowed to use it for some time to try and retrieve its status on the basis of its own performance in elections.
In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the BSP has failed to win any seat and its s nationwide vote share had declined from over 6 per cent to 4.1 per cent. Following the poor performance , EC had issued showcause notices to BSP, alongwith Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Communist Party of India (CPI), asking why their national party status should not be withdrawn.
Prior to that, in the Assembly polls held in 2013, BSP had secured 4, 20, 926 votes converting to 5.35 per cent vote share. In 2008, it had polled over 14 per cent votes and won two seats.
The latest rout comes even as Mayawati stayed in Delhi overseeing the elections and senior leaders of the party from UP managed the campaigning. Mayawati also addressed about a dozen rallies in Delhi.
However, BSP leaders tried to see a positive in the election results, iwhich gave the Aam Aadmi Party a massive landslide victory, saying it will diminish the euphoria surrounding the BJP in Uttar Pradesh after the Lok Sabha polls.
“We have suffered loss in Delhi but the biggest loss is for BJP, which is in power at the Centre. It is a good result for us if we look at UP. All those who were planning to join BJP will now think twice. First, they got defeated in MLC polls and now this rout in Delhi. They should know that 2017 (Assembly elections) in UP is not so easy as they think,” said state BSP president Ram Achal Rajbhar, who is also in-charge of Delhi.
“This result also shows that BJP’s appeal is waning. The government has failed to fulfil its promises,” Rajbhar told The Indian Express.