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Maya’s dream cut short in reserved seats

After storming the Assembly with its “Sarvajan Samaj” formula,the BSP could only bag two reserved Lok Sabha seats — Lalganj and Misrikh.

After storming the Assembly with its “Sarvajan Samaj” formula,the BSP could only bag two reserved Lok Sabha seats — Lalganj and Misrikh.

The party had created a sort of history by winning 62 reserved seats of the 89 seats in the 2007 Assembly elections. The state has around 17 parliamentary constituencies under the reserved category and the BSP had high hopes to win these seats on the basis of its formula. What would give sleepless nights to BSP leaders is the performance of SP in these constituencies. It has won 10 reserved seats — Nagina,Bulandshahr,Shajahanpur,Hardoi,Mohanlalganj,Etawah,Jalaun,Kaushambi,Machchalishahr and Roberstganj.

In the last parliamentary elections,the SP had managed only five seats — Lalganj,Saidpur,Chayal,Ghatampur and Ferozabad. While the BSP has wrested Lalganj seat from SP,the remaining four seats do not exist now after delimitation.

The results of this elections are a pointer to the poor state of the BSP’s formula of “Sarvajan Samaj”. “This is an eye-opener for Chief Minister Mayawati who never missed any opportunity to publicly give credit to the voters of the upper castes,particularly the Brahmins,for her success in the Assembly elections,” said a BSP worker. The party received a major jolt after its candidate from Roberstganj,Ram Chandra Tyagi,lost due to the poor track record in the Dudhi Assembly area. This area has the largest SC,ST population. “SP candidate Pakauri Lal received around 49,000 votes in this constituency and got a lead of over 25,000 against his nearest rival from BSP,” said a source in Roberstganj.

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Incidentally,the BSP had changed its previous candidate Bhailal Kol and had fielded Tyagi in his place. In her election meetings,Mayawati had introduced Tyagi as a committed worker of the BAMCEF. According to BSP insiders,the party had given top priority to ensure its candidate’s victory in the Agra seat,which was declared a reserved constituency after delimitation.

Agra is widely regarded as the “Dalit capital” of northern India because of the high Dalit population. It also holds a special significance in the Dalit politics at the national level because of the employment of the Dalits in the shoe industries. “Had our candidate won the Agra seat,it would have sent a strong message across the nation regarding BSP’s claim for the votes of all Dalit community,” said a BSP source. The Agra seat was won by

D R Ramshankar of the BJP,who defeated BSP’s Kunwar Chand Advocate by about 9,700 votes .

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The victory of the Congress candidate P L Punia and that,too,by a margin of over 1 lakh votes has come as a major shock to the BSP. Punia,a retired bureaucrat,had once served Mayawati as her principal secretary during her past tenure.

Barabanki is one among those seats where the party has come third. The party’s defeat in Etawah also highlights the failure to implement the “Dalit-Brahmin” formula. Despite getting 2.32 lakh votes in this constituency,party candidate Gaurishankar lost this seat to SP’s Predas Katheriya. It was the same seat from where Kanshi Ram had won in 1991.

The BSP’s victory in Lalganj must be credited to the presence of the Ulema Council’s candidate Chandu Prasad who virtually played the spoiler for SP. Chandu received around 87,000 votes and his presence damaged the prospect of the SP’s Daroga Prasad Saroj,who received around 1.47 lakh votes.

First published on: 18-05-2009 at 02:00 IST
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