For Cong: No BSP impact in Chhattisgarh

For Cong: No BSP impact in Chhattisgarh

BSP's support in Madhya Pradesh may be crucial for the Congress

BSP president and former UP chief minister Mayawati. PTI File photo

The BSP was expected to make the fight for Chhattisgarh a nail-biting three-cornered contest while keeping not much hope in Madhya Pradesh but what happened Tuesday is the exact opposite.

The Mayawati-led party, which garnered 4.27% votes in the 2013 polls, had aligned with Ajit Jogi's Janata Congress Chhattisgarh (JCC) with a hope to improve its tally and making the electoral fight uncomfortable for the Congress. However, it was comfortable romp home for the Congress.

In Madhya Pradesh, the BSP was not expected to make a big dent on the Congress but the results showed that a Congress-BSP coalition could have placed them on a better footing in the state.

The BSP walked away from the negotiation table in Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh accusing Congress of not being accommodative in seat sharing.

Mayawati's alliance with Jogi was expected to make things tight in Chhattisgarh as the leaders have the support of Dalits and tribals in the state.

While recently-formed JCC under Jogi, a former Congress strongman, garnered 8.5%, BSP could get 3.9% votes only this time winning two seats. The BSP's vote share has been going down over the years, as it got 4.27% in 2013 and 6.11% votes in 2008.

Rajasthan4% vote-share6 seats
Madhya Pradesh5% vote-share2 seats
Chhattisgarh3.9%vote-share2 seats
Telangana2.1%vote-share0 seats

One section believed that the Mayawati-Jogi alliance would take away a sizeable section of Dalits and tribals voting for the Congress, others cited 2013 results to show that the combination would actually affect the BJP as many SC and tribal seats were won by the saffron party.

While Mayawati's gamble did not pay off in Chhattisgarh, her decision not to align with the Congress has given BSP a fresh lease of life in Madhya Pradesh where its support will be crucial for the Rahul Gandhi-led party.

However, it will be a matter of worry that BSP has witnessed a decline in vote-share from 6.29% in 2013 to 5% winning two seats. If one looks at BSP history, it's peak was in 2008 when it got 8.72% votes and 7.26% in 2003.

Opposition leaders are confident that Mayawati will join the larger units in the fight against the Narendra Modi-led BJP.

Neither Mayawati nor her party representative attended a meeting of Opposition parties on Monday, where top leaders from 21 parties were in attendance.

While compulsions in Uttar Pradesh have been cited as reasons for not joining a platform with the Congress, leaders are confident that Mayawati would join them soon.