Why Maywati's Dalit Vote Bank Has shrunk?
18 May, 2014
Commenting on the recent rout of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) in Lok Sabha election Mayawati has attributed it to Brahmans, Backwards and Muslims having been misled and hence not voting for BSP. She added that they may have to repent afterwards. As such she has clearly admitted the failure of her much trumpeted up “social engineering” formula. Mayawati has also attributed her failure at election to her having extended support to Congress lad UPA government. She has further accused Congress and Samajvadi Party (SP) for spreading the rumour that Dalit vote bank is shifting to Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) and thereby mislead Muslims and Backwards. But along with it she has also claimed that in spite of her failure to win a single seat her Dalit vote bank has remained intact.
Now let us test the truth of this claim in the light of available data:-
If we look at the result of various elections since 2007 it becomes clear that since the beginning of Mayawati ‘s Sarvjan Politics (All People) in place of Bahujan (Majority of People)Politics in 2007 vote base of BSP has continuously shrunk. In 2007 Assembly election BSP got 30.46 %, in 2009 Lok Sabha election 27.42 % (-3.02%), in 2012 Assembly election 25.90 % (-1.52%) and now in 2014 Lok Sabha election it has come down to 19.60 % (-6.30%). It clearly shows that Mayawati's claim of her Dalit vote bank remaining intact is not correct.
Mayawati's claim that her Dalit vote bank in Uttar Pradesh (U.P.) has increased from 1.51 Crores in 2009 to 1.60 Crores in 2014 is also not correct because out of a total increase of 1.61 Crore voters her share has remained limited to 9 lacs voters only. According to figures released by National Election Commission the vote share of BSP has scaled down to 4.1% from 6.17 % in 2009 after suffering a fall of 2 %. Sanjay Mohan, the Director of Centre for Study of Developing Societies has also hinted at an encroachment on Dalit vote bank of Mayawati.
Mayawati's blame that misguided Dalits have voted for BJP is also baseless. She knows it well that a large chunk of Dalits including Chamaras who are said to be highly committed to Mayawati, had moved away from her during 2012 Assembly elections. One of the main reasons for it is that Mayawati has sold Dalit politics to the same mafias, goons and capitalists who are their class enemies. Antagonised with this a large number of Chamars and other Dalit sub castes have moved away from BSP. It is well known that Mayawati sold the Assembly and Parliamentry tickets by auction, sold Dalits votes like sheep and goats to any body and boasted of having the power to transfer Dalit votes to anyone. This antagonised the Dalits after some time. That is why during last Assembly election and during recent Lok Sabha election Dalits have cut her to size and have abandoned her in large numbers.
In the absence of any Dalit development agenda and pursuing the politics of chair Dalits got disillusioned with her. During her tenure of four times Chief Ministership of U.P. Dalits did not get any material gain. On the contrary according to one study barring Dalits of Bihar, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh and Rajsthan Dalits of U.P. stand behind Dalits of all other states when judged on the development parameter like Male/Female Literacy Rate, Male/Female/0-6 years Child Sex Ratio and Work Participation Rate (Regular Employment). Mayawati's personal and political corruption deprived the Dalits from the benefits of various government welfare schemes. On the other hand her party rank holders and her ministers prospered like anything. Dalit resentment against this has been manifested in these elections. It is a fact there are about 40 Lok Sabha constituencies which have Dalit population above 25 %. In 2009 BSP secured second position in 17 seats but now it has come down to 11. It is thus clear that Mayawati's claim of Dalit vote bank remaining intact is against the available facts.
In 2012 Assembly Mayawati had blamed the Muslims for not voting for her party. Now again she has not only blamed them but has also said that they may have to repent afterwards. Mayawati forgets the fact that she herself is responsible for forcing the Muslims to distance themselves from her party. In 1993 Muslims had voted for wholeheartedly with the expectation that she will give them protection and work for their advancement. But in 1995 it was Mayawati who with her lust for Chief Ministership of U.P. joined hands with BJP, the declared enemy of Muslims. After this she twice sought help from BJP to occupy the Chief Ministership of U.P. Not only this in 2003 she gave a clean chit to Narinder Modi over massacre of 2000 Muslims in Gujrat in 2002 and also went for electioneering in Assembly elections in Gujrat. There is no guarantee that she will not again join hands with BJP. In the face of this shameless opportunism, how does Mayawati expect Muslims to continue to vote for her. Her silence over Muzaffarnagar riots also added to their antagonism.
Mayawati's refusal to admit any of her faults for her failure has further antagonised Dalits and Muslims. Last time she had blamed the Muslims for it. This time she is putting blame on her support for Congress lead UPA government under the pretext of keeping away communal forces from government. But it does not seem to be very convincing. The fact is that her fear of CBI because of her Disproportionate Property case compelled her to support UPA and this case is still hanging in Supreme Court. The same fear may again compel her to be soft towards BJP. Mayawati herself is responsible for this sorry state of affairs.
From the above brief discussion it is clear that Dalits have slammed Mayawati's Sarvjan formula. The Muslims have also moved away from her. At present the biggest challenge to Dalits, Muslims, Labour class, farmers, small entrepreneurs and petty shop keepers is from the pro Corporate, Hindutva and fascist politics which cannot be faced by opportunist, blackmailing and pro Corporate politics of Mayawati and Mulayam Singh type politicians. It is required that all Leftists, Progressive and Ambedkarite forces should come together to oppose Corporate and Fascist politics by adopting pro people politics.
At the end I would like to reiterate the comments of Naom Chomasky , the world renowned political thinker in which on 15th May at Boston he said,”What is happening in India is very bad. India will pass through a very bad situation. Fascism had entered Germany in the same manner as RSS and BJP lead change is taking place in India. The Nazi forces had taken the help of cheap and unprincipled popularity. BJP has adopted the same tactics. Congress is fully responsible for it. Now Leftist and Progressive forces will have to face this this challenge unitedly.” (On that day Naom Chomasky had delivered his one and a half hour lecture in Cambridge Public Library on Foreign Policy of America. He gave this reaction in an informal talk with Ram Sharan Joshi).
S.R.Darapuri I.P.S. (Retd) and National Spokesman All India Peoples Front
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