Mayawati and Akhilesh have formally called it quits. At an all India meeting of party office bearers in Lucknow on 23rdJune, 2019, Mayawati, showing true colours, attacked Akhilesh blaming him for the failure of the bekaaralliance. The Mahagathbandhan proved to be a misnomer considering the results. BSP will contest all future polls on a standalone basis, announced Mayawati on twitter. Yeh to hona hi tha.
Mayawati prepares pitch forAnand as crowning prince of BSP
In the same meeting Mayawati appointed her brother Anand Kumar as national Vice President and nephew Aakash Anand (who is believed to be the heir to the throne) as national coordinator. Most regional parties today are family held like RJD, DMK, BJD, JMM, TRS, TDP, YSRCP, SP, RLD, PDP, NC, SHS etc., so criticizing her alone of following dynasty politics would not be correct.
In-fact, most patriarchs try to close the leadership loop during their life so their children / relatives do not face opposition from ambitious leaders post their retirement / death. Family is the glue which holds there parties together and prevents them from disintegration.
Mayawati made 3 sharp allegations against Akhilesh and SP – A fact check
Allegation No. 1: Mayawati alleged SP failed to transfer Yadav votes to the alliance
Fact Check: This is factually incorrect. MGB received 39% vote share in 2019 down from 43% in 2014. The leakage of 10% in relative terms implies 90% of voters of SP and BSP seamlessly transferred votes to each other candidates. The Yadav support for MGB increased from 56% in 2014 to 60% in 2019. If Yadavs had not voted for BSP, how come did it win 10 seats, double the tally of SP. Out of the 10 seats that BSP won, on 6 of them namely Bijnor, Nagina, Amroha, Shrawasti, Lalganj and Ghazipur, SP was the runner up in 2014.
Akhilesh’s family members lost in Kannauj (Dimple Yadav), Badaun (Dharmendra Yadav) and Firozabad (Akshay Yadav) despite a high SC population between 17%-19% in these districts. This clearly shows that SP was able to transfer its core Yadav votes to BSP. In-fact, it appears that Dalits didn’t wholeheartedly back SP candidates in some seats. It is vintage Mayawati style of making excuses for defeat.
Support received by MGB from various caste / religious groups
Allegation No. 2: Mayawati accused Akhilesh of working against non-Yadav backward communities
Fact Check: This is not something which Mayawati didn’t know before forming an alliance. SP has been accused of working for the betterment of Yadavs and ignoring the Non-Yadav OBCs. This was exploited to the hilt by the BJP in 2014 elections, where SP and BSP combined could get only 24% of NYOBC votes.
The Prime Minister coming from this community galvanized the NYOBC votes towards BJP. In-fact BJP has further consolidated NYOBC votes in its favour recording a gain of 12% support in 2019. Mayawati similarly is to be blamed for ignoring the claims of non-Jatavs and not sharing with them the power pie when she was the CM. Due to this 48% non-Jatavs backed the BJP in 2019, up from 45% in 2014.
Allegation No. 3: Mayawati alleged Akhilesh of neglecting Muslims while he was the CM of UP
Fact Check: This accusation may have some merit. SP despite being a favourite of Muslim community in the state has not developed key Muslim leadership in the party. However, this holds true for all so-called secular parties including BSP and Congress. Even Mayawati has no tall Muslim leader in the party. In 2017 after drubbing in state elections, Maywati expelled party’s key Muslim face, Naseemuddin Siddiqui and son from the party for ‘anti-party activities’.
Electorally, however, the Muslim community did back the MGB. 6 MPs out of 15 belong to the minority community. BJP won 36 of the 80 Lok Sabha seats where Muslims form 20 percent of the population as per an India Today report. This could be attributed to Mayawati’s statement calling out Muslims not to waste their vote on Congress. This led to counter polarization.
Why alliance failed?
Both MGB and NDA were at similar vote share levels of 43% before the Lok Sabha polls 2019. MGB partners managed to transfer 90% votes to each other, which is not bad, as some leakage is bound to happen. May be, they could have done better at 95% transfer which could have added 2% vote share to their tally. However, still they wouldn’t have managed to defeat the BJP.
MGB needed to make a dent in BJP vote bank which they failed to so. They needed to woo Brahmins, Thakurs and NYOBC groups like Rajbhars, Nishads, Kurmis etc. which they couldn’t. Modi magic 2.O helped the BJP meander through the caste ridden politics and attract youth from core segments of SP (Yadavs) and BSP (Dalits).
To sum up, it was from the start an unnatural / opportunistic alliance which was bound to be short-lived. The famous Hindi adage comes to my mind ‘ekmayanmein do talwareinnahin rah sakti’.Mayawati’s allegations and accusations do not hold water as seen above. Now the focus shifts to 12 assembly constituency by-polls and state elections in 2022.
Image courtesy: histustantimes