UP Polls: The Enigma Called Mayawati

UP Polls: The Enigma Called Mayawati

Faisal Fareed
Daijiworld Media Network - Lucknow

Lucknow, Jan 22: Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and its supremo Mayawati - their names themselves are a puzzle for analysts, psephologists, election experts, political experts and even the common man. Every election, the general feeling is that BSP will be wiped out but it again bounces back defying even the law of averages.

In short, no debate inside the TV studio, no study and research by any expert in the country can guess the future and predict its next step.

BSP is again in the same position. Since its inception in 1984, the party founded by Kanshiram has been giving sleepless nights to the opponents.

After tasting success in elections, Kanshiram took the decision to align with Mulayam Singh led Samajwadi Party (SP) in 1993. It got good success and won over 60 MLAs and was part of Mulayam led government. However, within a few months time, Mayawati broke the alliance and for the first time formed the government in UP with Bhartiya Janta Party's (BJP) support.

Since then there has been no looking back for the BSP. Assuming the power for the fourth time in the state in May 2007 with absolute majority she pursued her agenda more vigourously.

Always in news for other reasons - sometimes her pink suits make headlines, her diamond studded ear rings also sparkle on TV, her birthday bashes are covered extensively, her open instructions for yearly donations by party leaders - nothing deterred Mayawati.

The facade of Lucknow has been changed in this tenure. There are numerous parks and memorials now in Lucknow which can even give Mughal architecture a run for its money.

There are statues of her election symbol elephants, Kanshiram, dalit icons and even herself.

Recently when Election Commission ordered covering up the statues, the district administration had a herculean task of covering nealy 11 statues of Mayawati and over 400 statues of the elephant.

So the point is, why with this blatant display of power and money, when BSP is still going strong. Since its formation in 1984, it was like a movement with Kanshiram toiling hard and his candidates including Kanshiram losing elections. But the dalits or scheduled castes were awakened. Slowly they consolidated and came behind BSP.

The party has been built on a cadre structure. It has a Bahujan Volunteer Force and a set structure. Co-ordinators, zonal heads and similar heirarchy upto booth level. A register is maintained and they are issued instructions.

Mayawati has rightly remarked that BSP remains in poll mode every day. Kanshiram  successfully got it right when he said that UP was his political laboratory. Though he hailed from Punjab, he changed the political scenario in the Hindi heartland.

She may be considered an outcast in politics by some but she is the only leader in the country who has the courage to shun media from her functions. Hardly any solo interview of hers is available. During her press conferences, she reads from written statement and leaves, no questions asked. Still, every media worth its name can give anything to get one exclusive shot. She has rightly said 'my voter does not read newspaper, does not watch TV so I don't need all these things'.

Her command over the party can be gauged from the fact that with 26 ministers axed, no one dared to question her action. Anyone indulging in any sort of anti-party (read:Mayawati) activity is shown the door and there is no repurcussion.

She paints the town blue on her functions and officials keep on shivering till the function is over. Such is the audacity that the whole road to airport is washed to clear dust when her cavalcade with nearly 100 black cat commandoes leaves. Now she has a helipad constructed near her residence so that she can fly to airport within the
same city.

Her schemes are well planned and implemented so that maximum benefit goes to her dalit electorate.
Now coming back to 2012 elections - lots has been written about scams, corruption and alleged tyrannical rule of BSP and Mayawati. But ask any expert if the BSP is going to lose badly - 'no' will be the answer, implying that Mayawati still rules and still counts.

Every big leader, be it Congress yuvraj Rahul Gandhi, Samajwadi Party's Mulayam Singh Yadav or his son Akhilesh Yadav, BJP's Uma Bharti or other leaders, all are baying for Mayawati's blood even as she took her time and released the list of 403 candidates at one go on January 15, her birthday. No questions asked, she had changed the candidates, sacked ministers, only a list was given - go and interpret it at your newspaper office.

In 2007, much was said about the social engineering where she struck an alliance with upper caste Brahmins. These upper caste never figured in her agenda but she gave them prominence and made them partner. The result - she won by absolute majority. It is not that only Brahmins had voted for BSP, the upper caste Brahmin community has a tendency to shout from roof top about their support to the ruler of the time. It was nothing new this time and they began follwing Mayawati. Normally, they cannot digest that they had to line up for touching the feet of a lower caste Mayawati, but power and greed made them dance to her tune. She very well understood it and made them sing paens to her. This time in 2012, she again gave over 60 tickets to the upper caste. The logic simple - take my dalit vote and get your community vote and become an MLA.

She also had vigourously wooed Muslims giving them 84 tickets. The community also followed her as more Muslim MLAs are with BSP than with SP.

So she is follwing this mantra again for success.

The more people cry foul over her vote bank regoups, the more is said about her memorials and dream parks, the more her vote bank stands behind her like a wall.

The caste based politics of Hindi heartland UP is a good playground for her.

Her adevrsaries are all worried about their eroding vote bank but BSP is sitting pretty. Her vote bank is intact and is again ready for another surprise.


Countdown to UP Polls:


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Comment on this article

  • Amin Bhoja, Patte / Riyadh

    Sun, Jan 22 2012

    BSP supremo was a teacher in profession before joining politics.A political party for Dalits and she is belongiing to the community itself.UP always played caste related politics while in election a plus point to her party because of dalits/bcs. Now a days voters understand thier politicians easily because the level of education is increasing mostly in UP.Even the media, means of TV, a source where they get required information of what good and bad of the situations they face generally.Congress and SP ruled UP many years but with a failed results.Latest SP d many incentives to the voter and charming congress campaign together with family, to see the result which way it is tilting in the coming election a cast based UP itself.

    DisAgree Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

  • Durgadas Suvarna., BLORE/MLORE

    Sun, Jan 22 2012

    Dinesh Poojary, Kundapura/Bengaluru we need a person like Lal Bahadur Shastriji in congress, but congress party members seems to have forgot Shastriji and they all think that congress means only Gandhi family.

    DisAgree [3] Agree [10] Reply Report Abuse

  • Mulnivasi , India

    Sun, Jan 22 2012

    She has rightly said 'my voter does not read newspaper, does not watch TV so I don't need all these things'. Then, for whom have you right this article Mr Writer? As far as I think, persons who are afraid of Maya(or rather hate Maya) will never appreciate her and her supporters will be always with her whatever nonsense you write. So take a deep breathe and digest the fact that now time has come when Dalits/BCs will also reign in this India where they were always looked down upon. You always say that she does caste politics, tell name of a politician who does not do caste politics. This is caste ridden country and the so called upper castes(those who cant respect down-trodden or deprived) will come to know how it felt when u exploit someone just because she/he belongs to a different caste. It will take time but I am sure the day these dalits/BCs are educated and aware enough, they will show you their power. You have movement against corruption but dont have a single attempt to eradicate casteism. Aur baat karte ho Mayawati caste politics karti hai, morons! Jai Bhim! Jai Bharat!

    DisAgree [4] Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

  • sunil kumar, ghaziabad

    Sun, Jan 22 2012

    i think that mayawati ji ki party up election mein 250 seat le kar aayegi aur unke samne sabhi bachache sabit honge

    DisAgree [2] Agree [9] Reply Report Abuse

  • Bulsam, Mangalore

    Sun, Jan 22 2012

    Mayawati and Mulayam Singh will lead this election. The Congress and the BJP needed more home work and grass root workers to cross the Magic-50 Seats.

    DisAgree [5] Agree [14] Reply Report Abuse

  • Dinesh Poojary, Kundapura/Bengaluru

    Sun, Jan 22 2012

    Sudheer, Mangalore

    Well said. Even I may consider supporting Congress if it comes out of Gandhi family and become a true democratic party..

    DisAgree [10] Agree [18] Reply Report Abuse

  • Dinesh Poojary, Kundapura/Bengaluru

    Sun, Jan 22 2012

    The poor bachcha Rahul Gandhi will go out of address in front of Mayawathi

    DisAgree [22] Agree [19] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jimmy Noronha, Bellore, Lucknow

    Sun, Jan 22 2012

    The writer has said it all "....ready for another surprise." And this surprise is a clean washout for Mayavati. She has only focused on few areas such as Lucknow, Noida etc. What about most other districts in such a vast state of U.P. People are in disenchantment, they will not vote her and may be they will vot either for Congress or even S.P. but as the writer rightly said it, BSP is again ready for another surprise that is lose at the hustlings, come February 15, people won't take it too much to statues any more when their children go half fed when hit the bed.

    DisAgree [14] Agree [14] Reply Report Abuse

  • Dr S Kamath , Mumbai

    Sun, Jan 22 2012

    Faisal Fareed,Once again excellet poll analysis about BSP in UP .I say so because voice of the People also is same in UP .But you would have added one line about the general Secretary of UP ,BSP that is Mr Mishra who had a major role in her bringing upper caste votes .Mayawati has mastered the art of gaining votes which may one day make her the PM of India I feel simple Take Dalit votes ,work for BSP give your caste votes also and be in power always with me As such even upper caste people dont mind if more benifit goes to Dailts than other community as they feel it is their duty to do Social service and today Dalits in Up are prospering at the highest rate

    DisAgree [11] Agree [14] Reply Report Abuse

  • Sudheer, Mangalore

    Sun, Jan 22 2012

    Anyone comes to power not a problem but CONgi should be thrown out of India till Italian or Gandhi family loose control over party.

    DisAgree [30] Agree [22] Reply Report Abuse

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