BSP gains in Uttar Pradesh at BJP’s cost

April 20th, 2008 - 10:50 am ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Bahujan Samaj Party
(News Analysis)
By Faraz Ahmad
New Delhi, April 20 (IANS) The results of the Uttar Pradesh byelections have shown the plummeting electoral graph of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the country’s most populous state. The BJP’s showing in the April 16 poll was dismal with the exception of the Azamgarh Lok Sabha constituency where it ended the runner up. The winner there was Akbar Ahmad Dumpy of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), which swept the byelections.

The BSP won all five byelections, the results of which were declared Wednesday. It won two Lok Sabha and three assembly seats.

The results came as no surprise to Uttar Pradesh watchers. The BJP’s vote percentage has been steadily coming down since the 2002 assembly elections.

The BJP secured 25.31 percent votes in 2002. This figure went down to 22.17 percent in the 2004 general election. It fell further to 19.62 percent in the last state assembly elections in May 2007.

In contrast to the BJP graph, the BSP’s fortunes have been getting better and better.

According to figures made available by the Election Commission, the BSP got 23.19 percent votes in the 2002 assembly polls, 24.67 percent in the 2004 general election in Uttar Pradesh and 30.43 percent in May last year.

Thanks to such overwhelming support, Mayawati formed a government of her own in Uttar Pradesh.

The latest performance of the BJP illustrates its plight. It secured only 1.35 percent votes in the Muradnagar assembly constituency, situated in western Uttar Pradesh and a stronghold of the party till recently.

The BJP got 3.5 percent of votes in the Colonelgunj assembly constituency and 5.03 percent in Bilgram.

In January this year, the Ballia Lok Sabha seat, which fell vacant following the death of former prime minister Chandra Shekhar - was won by his son Neeraj Shekhar on the Samajwadi Party ticket.

While the BJP made much of the BSP failing to win the seat, the real loser was the BJP, which lost its security deposit after gaining less than four percent votes.

As against the BJP, the Samajwadi Party votes have remained more or less at the same level. In 2002 it secured 26.27 percent, in 2004 this went up slightly to 26.74 percent and it dipped in 2007 to 26.07 percent.

The Congress remains in a dismal state in Uttar Pradesh.

It secured 8.9 percent of votes in 2002. This went up a little to 12.04 percent in 2004. But in 2007 this fell back to 8.84 percent.

Naturally, few BJP leaders want to discuss the mess in Uttar Pradesh, the state that sends the maximum number of members to the Lok Sabha and whose control is crucial for anyone wanting to rule India.

When IANS buttonholed BJP spokesman and Rajya Sabha member Prakash Javadekar on the BJP’s expectations in Uttar Pradesh, his reply was: “Next week I am going to Uttar Pradesh and we will identify 50 good seats where we can work.”

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