Desertion of core vote banks cost SP, BSP dear

Desertion of core vote banks cost SP, BSP dear

Muslims angry over Kalyans inclusion; Dalits sore with Maya

Desertion of core vote banks cost SP, BSP dear

While the SP, which depended heavily on the ‘Muslim-Yadav’ combination, witnsessed large scale desertions by the Muslims, the BSP, whose core vote bank comprised dalits found to its dismay that a sizeable section of dalits had deserted it.

SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav apparently failed to gauge the magnitude of ‘Muslim anger’ because of his proximity with the former BJP leader Kalyan Singh. The party suffered heavy setbacks in Muslim-dominated constituencies and for the first time in its political history all its Muslim nominees bit the dust.

Even before the beginning of the five phased polling, several senior Muslim leaders of SP had resigned in protest against joining hands with Kalyan Singh.

The SP had fielded as many as 12 Muslim candidates but all of them lost. Incidentally in the 2004 general elections, of the 11 Muslim MPs from the State, seven belonged to SP.
Even stalwarts like sitting MPs Rashid Masood (Saharanpur) and Ruab Sayeed (Baharaich), industrialist Zafar Alam (Aligarh) and party MLAs Iqbal Mehmood (Sambhal) and Riaz Ahmed (Pilibhit) failed to reach the 15th Lok Sabha from their respective constituencies.

Supporting other parties

At some Muslim-dominated constituencies, the voters rejected the SP’s Muslim nominee and supported the Muslim candidates of other parties.

For instance, SP’s Iqbal Mehmood lost at Sambhal but BSP’s Shafiqur Rehman Burq was elected from there. Similarly SP’s Hazi Rizwan was defeated by Congress nominee and former India captain Mohammed Azharuddin at Moradabad.

Similarly SP candidate from Kairana Shadab Masood lost to BSP’s Tabassum Begum.
Although SP rebel Azam Khan failed to fulfil his mission of defeating party nominee Jaya Prada in the Muslim stronghold of Rampur, his prediction that the Muslims would desert Mulayam proved to be correct.

The ruling BSP also faced similar desertions from the dalits at many places taking the party strategists by surprise. The BSP, which had emerged victorious at four reserved constituencies in the 2004 Lok Sabha polls, could win in only two places this time.
Of the total 17 reserved constituencies in UP, the SP has bagged the maximum number of seats (10) followed by the Congress and BJP, which have won two seats each. The RLD, which had fought in alliance with BJP, also bagged one reserved seat.

The BSP suffered a shock defeat in Barabanki reserved constituency, where party supremo Mayawathi’s one-time close confidante and principal secretary P L Punia emerged victorious on a Congress ticket.

Incidentally a host of state ministers and bureaucrats had been deployed in the constituency by the BSP supremo to ensure Punia’s defeat. “The result of Barabanki is a pointer that Mayawati cannot treat the dalits as her fiefdom”, Punia told Deccan Herald.
Moreover BSP could barely win Lalganj and Mishrikh reserved seats by slender margins. Mayawati had directed the party officials to concentrate more on the reserved seats this time. “It certainly does not augur well for Mayawati”, said a BSP leader preferring anonymity.
DH News Service

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