Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Mayawati 'Missing' From UP Election Campaign

Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Mayawati 'Missing' From UP Election Campaign

Despite the election announcement nearly two weeks ago, Mayawati has refrained from holding rallies in Uttar Pradesh, leading to speculation and questions regarding her strategy.

BISWAJEET BANERJEEUpdated: Friday, April 12, 2024, 08:24 AM IST
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BSP supremo Mayawati | PTI

With the commencement of polling for the Uttar Pradesh elections on April 19 looming close, political observers are taking note of BSP chief Mayawati's conspicuous absence from the campaign trail.

Despite the election announcement nearly two weeks ago, Mayawati has refrained from holding rallies in Uttar Pradesh, leading to speculation and questions regarding her strategy.

In contrast, political heavyweights like Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath have been actively engaging with voters, with multiple rallies held across the state. Similarly, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav has been visible on the electoral scene, connecting with voters in various districts. However, Mayawati's apparent reticence stands out.

This trend is not new for Mayawati. During the 2022 elections, she began her rallies merely eight days before voting commenced, which seemingly impacted the BSP's performance, securing only one seat.

Her delayed campaign initiation in the previous elections has drawn parallels to the current scenario, her first rally in India was held in Nagpur on Thursday (April 11). Her first rally in Uttar Pradesh will be on April 14 – whereas the electioneering for the first phase will end on April 17 as polling is slated for April 19.

Defending her approach, BSP leaders have asserted that Mayawati plans to conduct an extensive campaign, including approximately 40 rallies throughout the election period. Additionally, her nephew, Akash Anand, has been entrusted as the National Coordinator, though his campaign activities have only recently commenced.

However, insiders in the party suggest signs of disunity, evidenced by the fact that out of the 10 MPs who won last time, only one, Girish Chandra, has been nominated again. Notably, Chandra's constituency has been changed from Nagina to Bulandshahar.

Dwindling party base:

The BSP's electoral prospects have been on a downward trajectory, as indicated by the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), with the core Jatav voter base dwindling by 35% over 15 years, leading to a significant decline in the party's overall vote share.

According to the Mood of the Nation survey conducted by C Voter, BSP's projected vote share for the 2024 elections stands at 8.4%, down from 12% previously, while SP's is expected to rise to 30.1%, reflecting a redistribution of BSP's votes to other parties like SP and BJP.

Political analysts attribute the BSP's decline to a shift in Mayawati's approach post-2014, marked by reduced activism and the sidelining of party leaders. This change has contributed to the party's diminishing influence in recent years.

As Uttar Pradesh gears up for elections, the BSP's internal discord and declining electoral support pose significant challenges, with the party's once-formidable influence in the state's politics at stake.

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