BSP has a poor track record on reserved seats
Ashish Tripathi, TNN | Feb 8, 2012, 07.02AM IST
LUCKNOW: The Bahujan Samaj Party is a dalit-based party but its track
record in reserved constituencies has been poor in comparison to other
parties in all previous elections barring the 2007 assembly poll.
Sample this: In 1993, out of total 88 assembly seats reserved for
dalits, BJP grabbed 33, BSP and SP 23 each, Congress and others four
each In 1996 again, BJP was top runner with 35 seats followed by BSP
(20), SP (18), Congress (2), and others (12). The scene changed in
2002, with SP grabbing 36 seats, followed by BSP (24), BJP (17), Con
gress (2) and others (10) However, in 2007, the sit uation changed
dramati cally with BSP winning 61 out of total 89 reserved
constituencies, SP 13, BJP 7, Congress 5, RLD 1 Rashtriya Swabhiman
Party (RPS) 1 and an in dependent.
Results of 17 reserved constituencies in Lok Sabha were also more or
less the same. In 1999, BSP won 5 seats in compari son to 7 by BJP,
Lok tantrik Congress Party 1 and SP 5. In 2004, the SP won 8 seats,
followed by BSP (5), BJP (2), Congress and RLD (1 each). In 2009 SP
bagged 10 seats in cluding five won by BSP in 2004. The BSP, BJP and
Congress won 2 each while RLD won one seat.
Clearly, the election results show that the BSP has generally not been
able to score in dalit-dominated constituencies. Statistics also show
that BSP was runner up in most reserved constituencies won by its
Political analysts say the reason for BSP's not-so-good performance in
reserved seats is that in these, all parties have to field dalit
candidates, leading to a split of dalit votes.
Hence, those able to attract votes from other castes and communities
win. Vijay Singh, an analyst, said, "It's true BSP gets majority of
dalit votes, but when all candidates are dalits, there is a split on
sub caste and region basis."
However, he added in 2007 assembly election BSP got crucial Brahmin
votes, which helped it sweep reserved seats.
Dalits are around 21% of UP's population. The state has 66 scheduled
castes (dalits). Jatavs are 56.3% of dalit population followed by
Pasis (15.9%) while Dhobi, Kori and Balmiki together form 15.3%.
Analysts say that though BSP is a dalit based party, only Jatav
sub-caste is a staunch BSP supporter since Mayawati is also a Jatav.
The other sub-castes also support the BSP, but change their stand
depending on can didates fielded by other parties in reserved seats.
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