Mayas Brahmin-Dalit formula works outside UP too

Written by Political Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: Dec 10 2008, 05:20am hrs
Proving political pundits wrong that Mayawatis Brahmin-Dalit social engineering formula will not work outside of Uttar Pradesh, the BSP has emerged as an important factor in the just concluded assembly elections in five states.

Barring Mizoram, the BSP has not only increased its voteshare significantly in the four states that went to polls but also picked up a significant number of seats, with the largest tally in Madhya Pradesh where it had won seven seats and was leading in five more seats.

The party had won four seats in 1998 in the state, its best ever tally. It had two seats in the last assembly. Its performance in Delhi, Rajashtan and Chattisgarh also means that parties like the Congress will have to take into account damage done by the BSP in coming Lok Sabha elections.

In terms of vote percentage, BSP voteshare has jumped up to double digit figure in Delhi where it has notched up 11 percent, from the seven percent it managed the last time. In Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh too, it has increased its vote share to seven percent of the total votes polled.

Both the Congress and the BJP on Monday conceded that Mayawati was emerging as an important player with the capacity to cause significant damage to other parties, if not win seats on her own. We had only been concentrating on the BJP not the BSP ... This is where we slipped and the BSP managed votes, Congress media department chairman M Veerappa Moily told reporters here on Monday. Moily said the party would look into the issue to prevent BSP eating into the Congress support base.

The Mayawati-led party opened its account for the first time in Delhi winning two assembly seats and also contributed to the defeat of the Congress in some other seats. That the BSP should not be ignored was evident last year itself when it, in the Municipal elections, surprised many by getting seven percent of the municipal seats.

More importantly in as many as 40 seats, the BSP was the number two party, not the Congress. Political observers said the BSP has been helped by demographic change in Delhi, which has seen an increase in migrant population especially from Uttar Pradesh, where it is a major player and presently in power.