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Uttar Pradesh Elections Results 2017: BSP workers wonder if party can recover

While not asking for Mayawati’s resignation, some in the Dalit intelligensia are critical of her functioning.

The Samajwadi Party poll rath, which was used by Akhilesh Yadav during campaigning, is being taken away from the CM’s residence in Lucknow on Sunday. Tashi Tobgyal BSP chief Mayawati. (File Photo)

Several Dalit scholars have termed the BSP’s rout as the “end of the road” for the party and its chief Mayawati. Her detractors have called for her resignation. When Kanshi Ram floated the BSP, its ideology revolved around the welfare of its core constituents — Dalits, Backward Castes and the minorities. This formula, party insiders say, was diluted with the induction of “people unconnected with the BSP movement”.

“Leaders like me who worked tirelessly to build this party have been lying unused. We are backbenchers now. Those who did not have anything to do with party movement now sit in the front row,” said a former state president, seeking anonymity.

Another pointed to how Om Prakash Rajbhar, the president of BJP ally Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party, and Soney Lal Patel, the father of Anupriya Patel of Apna Dal(Soney Lal), had to leave the BSP because they were not “given the importance they deserved”.

Pramod Kureel, former BSP MP, who has been running a campaign to oust Mayawati, said their movement is likely to be intensified in the days to come. “There is no credibility left in her leadership. She should resign or the community will discard her,” he said.

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While not asking for Mayawati’s resignation, some in the Dalit intelligensia are critical of her functioning. “This is what was going to happen because of her style,” said S R Darapuri, Dalit activist and member of the Ambedkar Mahasabha.

“Dalits are now going to think about an alternative, which I believe will be relatively radical. Dalits don’t like the politics of forming coalitions and alliances. This is the end of the road for Mayawati. She has not learned any lesson from her past mistakes. In 2012, she blamed the Muslims for her defeat and now she has put the blame on EVMs.”

Dalit writer Kanwal Bharti said, “This was the last innings of Mayawati… Her game seems to be over.” He said Mayawati had failed to develop a new line of leadership and has remained away from the Bahujan intelligentsia.

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Party sources said workers have expressed dismay and shock at the result.

“The party is unlikely to recover from here… Most of us will now look for other options,” said a co-ordinator of the Bahujan Volunteer Force, a dedicated unit of party volunteers, in Lucknow.

Voices in the party, however, speak in a more optimistic tone. “We have to start from zero,” said said former BSP MP Baliram.

First published on: 13-03-2017 at 02:35:37 am
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