While all of us have been losing sweat over Narendra Modi, and the cricketing Armageddon down under, Mayawati‘s Bahujan Samaj Party has been making quiet but rapid strides. The party returned empty-handed in Gujarat, but it played spoilsport for the Congress in 20 of the 33 closely fought constituencies. On Christmas eve, Behenji addressed a massive public meeting in Bangalore to welcome the former minister P.G.R. Sindhia and his followers. And she is now in Madras, pushing her rainbow sarva dharma sambhav caste formula.
Mayawati is talking of bringing Dalits and the upper castes together, a move that paid rich dividents in Uttar Pradesh. And she is talking of reservation in the private sector not only for the Dalits, backward classes and minorities but also for the economically weaker among the upper castes. On television, the BSP’s Karnataka unit chief B. Gopal has been speaking of the how the party ate into the Congress’ voteshare in at least a couple of dozen constituencies. And, as if in acknowledgement, the Congress is set to target the party in UP.
Questions: Does the BSP stand a chance in Karnataka? Does it offer a viable, credible alternative against the old order? Which of the three main parties—Congress, BJP, JDS—stand to lose the most from the BSP’s growth? Will the BSP be able to strike a chord in urban Karnataka or is it likely to be a rural phenomenon? Does a northern party have the leadership to woo voters down south? Or will it have to be content with playing a minor role?
Also read: HINDOL SENGUPTA: Why I’m afraid of Mayawati
SHIVAM VIJ: Why Hindol Sengupta needn’t fear Mayawati
Photograph: Karnataka Photo News
Mayavati was the ONLY national leader (outside BJP/NDA) who campaigned for Narendra Modi during Guj 2002 election. Post UP-election, there was a piece in the Outlook by veteran Rajinder Puri that RSS Parivar tactically chose Mayavati in many areas of UP. It was kind of “Soft-Hindutva” of another kind.
BJP is now back with a big bang after historic win of Modi. BSP can only eat into Congress’s votebank. BJP will be beneficiary not only in Karnataka, but also in forthcoming Delhi, MP, Chattisgarh, Rajasthan in a significant way.
In the long run, BJP/RSS will find it much easier to infiltrate BSP. Congress will be wiped out from Northern India by BSP, if not already. This allows BJP to get the middle ground. And with a menacing Modi at the saddle, I feel pity for Congress.
Defining events of the year gone by is throwing up of two politcal models in the crucible of evolving democracy in our country. The first one which has had a fantastic impact is the social engineering of Maywati which yielded rich dividends for her inflicting a crushing blow by her electoral victory over BJP and the Congress. Secondly, the phenomenon of Modi who came up with his own brand of vishon statement which has stunned the opposition and paved the way for a single party rule in Gujarat just like in UP. Of course in the next general elections the Congress has to come up with its own model. It will be interesting to to see what strategy the Congres will follow coming out with a third model for between Modi and Mayawati they seem to have appropriated basic political elements which normally sway the voters one way or the other. But it appears the prospect of coalition govts is making way to single party rule which I personally feel is good for stability and effective governance.
In Karnataka, each caste seems to have its own party. Neither the dalit population nor that of the upper castes is big enough for Mayawati to replicate her UP model here. In the end, she will just muddy the waters for each of the big parties in different parts of the State and be of enormous nuisance value.
Caste arithmetic already worked out. Middle class urbanites vote for BJP or Cong anyway. Rural votes split on pretty neat, well established caste lines. Very small space left where she can occupy.
That said, more instability like the kind we saw last time could give BSP some votes in the future, but that is very far in the future.
Yes. Definitely. She can make life miserable for Congressmen. SMK himself told me that he lost 35 seats in 2004 because of Mayawati.
BSP got 35,000 votes in Sakaleshapura and 90,000 in Chamarajanagara LS seat.
It was polled 6000 votes in KR Nagara. H Vishwanath lost by just 300 votes.
I wonder who would the ‘forward caste’ face for BSP in K’taka
Any thing can happen in Karnataka as long as there is no Karnataka’s prominent leader to lead the state. Some thing must be donbe fast fast. We know as to what is happening in BSP ruled state. God save Karnataka.
The answer to BSP is readily available in Karnataka. The party is called ESP
“Ekijana Samajavadi Party” that is JD (s) in its new avatar! The man for all seasons Dirty DeveGowda is the one-man band and secular….
BSP , SP etc won’t have a chance in our K’ka. Most likely ,It will be:
3 JD( s) – a poor third.
Wait! Both 1 and 2 can’t form a Govt. on their own as they don’t have the magic figure. Enter Dyave Gowdru. To keep the ‘communal forces’ out, JD( s) will form a Govt. with Congress with Revanna as C.M.!
This is the most likely scenario unless BJP does another Modi with Yeddy and win the election to form a Govt. on its own.
BSP may be new to Karnataka, but its local leaders are all old thugs who have left their original parties because the well had run dry. Besides, Mayawathi’s reputation is no better than her neighbour Rabdi Devi’s. In any case, no matter what ideology a party sports, the players are all locals, mostly old men who have nothing to lose.
Postscript: Was anybody tickled the way I was by Vatal Nagaraj’s recent statement that chief ministership came his way, not once but twice, and he refused the crown?
What a sorry state Karnataka has sunk to. This is the snap shot of the pathetic state of caste infested democracy in India
Let us not assume that the indian voters are an intelligent lot. Majority of India lives in villages and many of our voters are uneducated morons. The deciding factor in karnataka elections is which party spends more money in supplying more liquor or distributing cheap sarees to the poor and idiotic population of our land. The congress is extremely good in this aspect followed by the BJP. We also have the voters voting for their respective caste and religions.
As someone mentioned here BSP party members in Karnataka are old timers who worked in other parties and know all the tricks of the electoral trade. Their main hope is that BSP being a new and promising party they might end up with good posts in the party in case it catapults to power in the center. It is this kind of a gamble that made PGR Sindia join this party.
The main opposition to BSP is the congress and JD(S). Both these parties want to cash in on the dalit and muslim votes. Essentially BSP can wedge through the congress votes. Siddu’s AHINDA would be the most affected by BSP. It looks like there will be a BJP – BSP coalition if all goes as per BSP’s plan.
I agree that BSP may be able to cut into congress vote bank. Looking at trends, BSP might make it to the 5% vote share mark. But as far as seats are concerned so far they have not been able to even win 1 seat in karnataka so far. So i doubt if they can make a mark there. The best they will be able to do is to cut into the congress vote bank of dalits and minorities. Moreover minorities in karnataka (mainly muslims form like 12% of the population) are spread out, so i doubt if that can cut any ground, only deve gowda’s dumb electoral calculations will depend on such grounds.
My take is a fractured verdict with BJP as the largest party in terms of seats or BJP getting majority. Their trend line is very strong and with the recent brainwashing of northern karnataka by the Sangh parivar, I think BJP will sweep northern and coastal areas.
But anything can happen in politics!!!!!
THIS TIME KANNADIGAS SHOULD PLEDGE TO VOTE BJP,BEING A HINDU PARTY IT IS SIDELINED BY SO CALLED SECULAR PARTIES WHO ALWAYS AN EYE ON MINORITY VOTES,THE WORST POINT IS BEHAVING LIKE ANTI HINDUS PARTY.TAKE FOR EXAMPLE FOR RAMSETHU.
SECONDLY, TN GOVT IS FULLY UTILISING ABOUT KARNATAKA KAVERY WATERS, EVEN FOR DHARMAPURI AND KRISHNAGIRI WATER SUPPLY, WHERAS TN GOVT HAS FORGOTTEN THAT BANGALORE IS HAVING A SIZABLE TAMIL POPULATION.THEIR WAY THEY ARE SELFISH.
I REQUEST KARNATAKA GOVT TO SPARE WATER FOR BANGALORE CITIZENS, THEN YOU CAN MAKE SUPPLY TO TN.SINCE ALL THE TAMILS ARE IN BANGALORE ONLY FOR IT JOBS.
THIS IS A VERY SERIOUS PROBLEM.I REQUEST CONGRESS TO TALK WITH DMK TO STOP THE PROJECT, I DO NOT THINK CONGRESS HAS GUTS TO FIGHT DMK.SINCE DMK AND CONGRESS ARE ONE SIDE COIN.
OUR ONLY ALTERNATIVE IS BJP IN KARNATAKA TO FIGHT, SINCE BJP IS THERE IN TN, BECAUSE ANTI HUNDU FORES ARE DOMINATING IN TN.
AGAIN BSP IS A ASTE PARTY WHICH WILL DIVIDE VOTES OTHERWISE THEY CANNOT DO IN KARNATAKA.
ONLY ALTERNATIVE FOR KANNADIGAS IS BJP.VOTE BJP, THEY WILL GIVE CORRUPTLESS CLEAN GOVT.
Due to the worst political scenario in the state of Karnataka, BSP would surely make its presence felt as it has a point or two to prove. The party has already started creating waves in Karnataka. The JD (S) and the Supremo would find it difficult to tackle the BSP in Karnataka.
Ha ha what a joke the BSP lost their deposits
yes iam confident that bsp will come up in karnataka under the command of state president muniyappa and its team, but need to work as a group than as indiviual
Shame on Mayawati being the most corrupt ruler of country.She should have no place in Indian politics & no question arises about BSP,the one lady party in Karnarkahas politics.
No. This party has no base or leadership in Karnataka. Perhaps BSP may cut into Congress votebank and spoil the chance of Congress revival further in Karnataka. In spite of all the reversals BJP has solid vote bank in the middle class and Veerasaiva voters and JD(S) has the backing of the Vokkiligas.
one day BSP will rule country & should be. in last 62 yrs NDA & UPA have done nothing . we should go for third option so that first two may have some fear