The BSP supremo has attached so much importance to the local body polls that she has decided to stay in Lucknow to monitor the situation. She hopes to use the local poll to revive the party at the grass root level. So much so that Mayawati has accommodated rebels from other parties and made them her official candidates. The elections are due to take place later this month.

At the same time, Mayawati and her party coordinators have been accused of selling party tickets in the local bodies. There was a big demonstration outside the party office by party supporters who were denied tickets. Mayawati had to rush to the party office to assess the situation.

BSP had won only 19 seats with 22 percent vote share in the previous assembly elections. If Mayawati is able to get a good number of seats in the civic body polls, it would restore some confidence in her vote bank before the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

While camping in Lucknow, Mayawati is monitoring the ground situation in each local body elections. BSP has fielded advocate Bulbul Godiyal as the mayor candidate. Bulbul had been additional advocate general in Akhilesh Yadav government but Mayawati managed to bring her to the party fold thanks to her deputy Satish Mishra MP, who is virtually number two in the party.

The BSP leader is concentrating on western UP, where she is expecting a big win for thee party due to the dalit-Muslim combination in the area. She is attacking BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi so as to give the impression that there is a direct fight between her party and the BJP in the civic body elections. As part of her strategy, she is not making any attack on the Congress or Samajwadi Party.

The attack on the BJP and the central government is predicated on the issues of demonetization, GST and the growing unemployment.

Recently, Mayawati addressed a series of public rallies on every 18th day in various parts of state. There is no doubt that the turnout in these BSP rallies was impressive. But at the same time, the BSSP leader has reasons to worry about large scale exodus from the party especially after the Assembly polls. More than 100 important leaders belonging to the dalit and backward classes as well as Muslim communities left the party. Whosoever left the party levelled charges against Mayawati for selling party tickets.

A majority of them joined Samajwadi Party under the leadership former BSP minister Indarjit Saroj. Some of those who left BJP and joined BJP before the assembly elections got tickets in the new party and are now ministers.

On another front, the focus has shifted to Samajwadi Party, especially about is prospects in the 2022 assembly polls. The once powerful BSP leader Nasimuddin Siddiqui, who was the Muslim face of the party, is seen likely to join Samajwadi Party.

If Nasimuddin Siddiqui or his family members decide to join Samajwadi Party, it would be major jolt to thee BSP as they are expected to take their loyalists in the Muslim community along. Mayawati is also aware of the dent in her support base brought about by BJP and Samajwadi Party. Hence, Mayawati’s eagerness to use the coming civic body polls to revive her fortunes. (IPA Service)