The Bahujan Samaj Party’s hopes of playing spoiler in the Bihar Assembly elections were dashed on Sunday, with its vote share further decreasing by over one per cent. The party, which contested all 243 seats in the state, had its vote share come down to two per cent from 3.21 per cent in 2010. Despite a dozen rallies by party supremo Mayawati in the run-up to the elections, BSP failed to bag any seats in Bihar.
Bihar election was also the party’s last shot at holding on to its national party status, after its failure to win any seats in last year’s Lok Sabha elections. BSP, which currently has the position of a state party in UP, Madhya Pradesh and Uttarakhand, needs to get a similar status in one or more states to continue enjoying its national party status. In Bihar, Mayawati’s party needed over six per cent votes and at least two seats or at least eight per cent of the votes, to be recognised as a state party.
WATCH VIDEO: Bihar Election Results: Editors’ Take
With a setback in Bihar and poor presence in states like West Bengal, Assam and Tamil Nadu, which will go to polls in 2016, the BSP could be officially stripped of its national party status by the Election Commission.
But despite the blow, the BSP seemed optimistic. Tilak Chandra Ahirwar, the party’s Bihar in-charge, said the party did not perform as per their expectations, but the “changed political scenario will benefit us in Uttar Pradesh”.
BSP polled over 6.61 lakh votes this time, against the 9.33 lakh it had got in the last Assembly elections. It failed to make a mark anywhere in the state, except in Chainpur, where BSP candidate Zama Khan came a close second by bagging over 58,000 votes. He lost to the BJP candidate in the constituency by a margin of less than 1,000 votes.
Rajya Sabha MP Munquad Ali, one of the senior party leaders given charge of the Bihar elections, felt it was tough for the party to establish itself in the state amid the high-pitched battle between the NDA and the Grand Alliance.
“We polled a good number of votes in many constituencies and a few of our candidates lost by slender margins,” he said.