Mayawati’s magic formula fails in DelhiMay 17th, 2009 | By editor | Category: ELECTIONS 2009, In News, The Delhi Beat
Smriti Kak Ramachandran
NEW DELHI: The Bahujan Samaj Party’s dismal performance in the Lok Sabha elections in Delhi on Saturday dismissed the party’s earlier claims of emerging as an alternative to the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party in the Capital.
For Mayawati’s party, the Delhi results were far from inspiring. The highest votes polled by a BSP candidate was 88,120 and the lowest 22,364. The results also brought down the party’s share in the electoral pie from 14 per cent during the Delhi Assembly polls last year to about 5 per cent now.
“The results are shocking. The party had tried hard to woo the upper castes as well as the Muslims. The social engineering formula that had worked in U.P. has failed in Delhi,” said a party functionary at the end of the day on condition of anonymity.
He said the embarrassing split in the party when its candidate from North-East Delhi Haji Dilshad chose to support the Congress was also a major reason for the voters getting disillusioned.
“The choice of candidates was not right. It was based not on merit but monetary strength. Party workers who had pointed this out when the tickets were being distributed now stand vindicated. Candidates like Dilshad ended up harming the party,” he said.
The party’s calculated metamorphosis from a “Dalit party” to one that believed in the welfare of “Sarva Samaj” too affected its fortunes.
“The traditional vote bank was confused. From being the only party that focused exclusively on their aspirations and concerns, the party suddenly was doling out tickets to Brahamins and Muslims. The fact that out of the seven only one ticket was given to a lower caste candidate sent a wrong message. The Congress meanwhile had been working to consolidate its position among the lower castes and the Muslims,” said another party worker.
The party’s candidate from South Delhi, Kanwar Singh Tanwar, ended up with 88,120 votes, over a lakh less than his nearest competitor.
Deepak Bhardawaj, who was the richest candidate from Delhi, managed to poll only 36,089. Rakesh Hans, the BSP contestant from North-West Delhi, polled 44,615; Mohammed Yunus standing from East Delhi polled 45,447; Haji Mustaqeem from Chandni Chowk polled 26,486; and Trilok Chand Sharma from the New Delhi constituency polled the lowest of 22, 364 votes.
The party that won 17 seats in the MCD elections two years ago and two seats in the Delhi Assembly elections last year was buoyed by its past performance in the city and neighbouring Uttar Pradesh.
“There is a clear message given by the voters and the party needs to admit that it went wrong with its strategy. The work that went into taking the party’s polling percentage higher from the municipal to the Assembly elections came to nothing in these elections,” said one BSP functionary.