Swept away
Posted at: 02:53    By: Rajeev Shukla

There is more to Mayawatis victory in Uttar Pradesh than her acclaimed caste combination strategy. In fact it was the polarization of votes against Mulayam Singh Yadav that ensured an outright victory for BSP. Mulayam paid the price for the rampant curruption, crony capitalism, casteism and criminalization that his government had blatantly indulged in. The slogan ‘Chadh gundon ki chhati par, mohar lagao haathi par’ was the most popular in each constituency where BSP has won.

In the end, it was the anger among the ordinary voters that boiled over and threw the lid off Mulayam Singhs regime. They were looking for a force capable of defeating Mulayams party. Mayawati, for all her much-admired caste-combining strategy, was an unwitting benefactor of this public outrage. In fact, one only needs a look at the numbers for a proof.

Aside from the 208 seats won outright by Bahujan Samajwadi Party, its candidates came second in 111 seats. In 60 seats, BSP candidates lost by less than 5,000 votes. As it turns out, people did try their best to vote Mulayam out in seat after seat in Uttar Pradesh.

Samajwadi Party leaders are trying to find solace in the argument that after all, their vote percentage did not go down. What they refuse to acknowledge is BSP actually secured 7% more votes than SP, which points the peoples anger. SP must also concede the point that its overall vote share includes the votes garnered by powerful individual leaders, who had defected into Samajwadi Party, helped increase its strength in Vidhan Sabha from 143 to 210 MLAs, and led to formation of the erstwhile government. Leaders as tall as Naresh Aggarwal and Amar Mani Tripathi are would win an election any day, a party ticket from Mulayam notwithstanding.

How I wish that instead of still searching for people to point their fingers on, the leaders of Samajwadi Party had the humility to introspect and concede that they were responsible for a government that cared more for industrialists, builders, liquor barons and Bollywood actors than the ordinary people. Even now, instead of accepting their defeat and bowing down gracefully, the leaders of Samajwadi Party are openly daring Mayawati, Sonia and Rahul Gandhi.

Had there been a survey to find the most-corrupt government in India, the outgoing government of Uttar Pradesh would have easily ranked as the most corrupt government any state in India had ever had. Take any significant policy initiative of the Mulayam Singh government in the last year, it would invariably be favouring either an industrialist or a Bollywood superstar.

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Rajeev Shukla