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Will Mayawati's absence hurt Opposition alliance's prospects in UP in Lok Sabha polls?

A senior BSP leader said on Thursday that his party did not need to be part of any alliance to win the elections.
Last Updated : 31 August 2023, 14:37 IST
Last Updated : 31 August 2023, 14:37 IST

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BSP supremo Mayawati's continued rebuff to the I.N.D.I.A (Indian National Development Inclusive Alliance) may have brought unease among the Opposition parties, which nurture dreams to check the BJP juggernaut, but the political experts appear to be divided whether the absence of BSP will hurt the Opposition and benefit the saffron party in UP in the next Parliamentary elections in 2024.

The state of Uttar Pradesh is electorally crucial as it sends 80 MPs to the Lok Sabha.

Even as the I.N.D.I.A leaders remained hopeful of bringing Mayawati on board, the latter not only rebuffed such moves from the alliance but also sharpened her attack on the Opposition parties, namely the Congress and the Samajwadi Party (SP).

A senior BSP leader said on Thursday that his party did not need to be part of any alliance to win the elections. ''We have the support of the dalits, Muslims and other weaker sections of the society,'' the leader claimed while speaking to DH here in Lucknow.

Earlier also Mayawati had made it clear that her party would go alone in the next LS polls.

''Both the alliances are nurturing dreams to return to power but both of them have failed to fulfil the promises they had made to the people during the past elections,'' the BSP supremo had said. She had also said that the regional parties should form their own alliance sans the NDA and UPA.

While the I.N.D.I.A leader were expected to continue to try to rope in Mayawati as her party still wielded considerable influence on the Dalit community, not only in UP but in some other states as well, the experts appeared to be divided whether her absence would 'hurt' the Opposition and 'benefit' the saffron party, especially in the state in the next LS elections.

BSP's electoral performance has been on the decline since 2007, when it had formed a government in UP on its own winning 206 of the 403 assembly seats and securing 30.43 per cent votes. In the 2012 assembly poll in UP, the BSP secured 25.19 per cent votes and its tally of seats came down to 80.

BSP's vote share declined further to 22.23 per cent and its seat share came down to 19 in the 2017 Assembly polls. In the Assembly polls held in UP last year, BSP fared dismally and could win only one seat with its vote share further tumbling down to a meagre 12.9 per cent.

''BSP is no longer a potent force in UP... its support base has been shrinking with every election... her (Mayawati) absence will not hurt the Opposition nor benefit the BJP,'' said a Lucknow based political analyst.

Veteran media analyst J P Shukla, however, said that BSP's absence in the Opposition alliance could 'hit' its plans to counter the BJP in the next LS polls, especially in UP. ''Mayawati is still a force in UP and some other states....she may not win many seats but she can certainly divide the votes,'' Shukla told DH.

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Published 31 August 2023, 14:37 IST

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