The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) is losing its base very rapidly in Uttar Pradesh.
In the just concluded Assembly by-elections, the party not only lost its sitting Jalalpur seat, but its candidates were overtaken by the Congress in Rampur, Lucknow Cantt, Govind Nagar, Pratapgarh, Gangoh and Zaidpur.
Jalalpur was considered a BSP stronghold and its defeat here is a shocker for the party.
BSP candidates in more than half a dozen seats have lost their deposits - a phenomenon that BSP never suffered earlier.
On the Govind Nagar seat, BSP candidate Devi Prasad Tiwari got less than five per cent votes. In 2017, the BSP had got 16 per cent votes on this seat.
In Rampur, the BSP candidate got two per cent votes whereas in 2017, the party had got 25 per cent votes.
In Iglas, where the Samajwadi Party was not in the fray and the nomination of Rashtriya Lok Dal had been cancelled, the BSP got 18 per cent less votes that the BJP which won the seat.
In the Hamirpur assembly by-poll, held last month, the BSP candidate had also forfeited his deposit.
According to party sources, these by-elections clearly point to the party's downfall.
"I do not know if our leaders realize this or not but we, party workers, can see the writing on the wall. Dalits are completely disillusioned with Mayawati and are shifting either to the BJP or the Congress. Our leader has been seen supporting the Modi government on occasions more than one and this is driving the Muslims away from us," said a party coordinator.
A BSP legislator, meanwhile, said that the revival of the Congress was one of the major reasons for the downfall of the BSP.
"Dalits and Muslims are turning towards the Congress because the party has, at least, established itself as a strong opposition to the BJP. Our leaders -- whether it is Mayawati, her nephew Akash Anand or Satish Misra -- do not reach out to party workers and the common people and this is our biggest drawback," he said.
Mayawati, meanwhile, said in a statement that the BJP had hatched a conspiracy to ensure the defeat of the BSP in the by-elections. "People have seen through the BJP game plan and will be more cautious in future," she said.
(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)
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