As Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) Chief and former UP CM Mayawati celebrates her birthday today, her struggle from a simple teacher to four-time Chief Minister of the biggest state in the country has not been easy.
While the BSP supremo turns 65, the veteran politician faces the mammoth task of reviving her party.
Mayawati has also been considered as a strict and effective administrator, but in the current political scenario, the challenge remains before her to retain old leaders along with her vote bank.
BSP won the last state assembly elections in the state almost a decade ago. Since then, the party has stayed out of power. It will be interesting to watch how the party evolves for the upcoming 2022 state assembly elections.
It is the first time in her three-decade long political career that Mayawati had to lose four consecutive elections and at the same time deal with the rebelling party leaders. Since 2012, she has lost many veteran party leaders and also accused of giving party tickets in lieu of money. Despite these allegations, Mayawati has kept her vote bank intact, however not being able to convert it into seats.
She had forged alliance with the arch rival Samajwadi Party in 2019 Lok Sabha Polls, forgetting the infamous guest house incident. Despite the alliance, things didn’t turn out as planned, but BSP shot up to 10 seats from zero seats.
Meanwhile, Samajwadi Party could barely manage to retain five seats. Even after getting 10 seats in 2019, BSP Chief blamed SP Chief Akhilesh Yadav for the failure and walked out of the alliance.
It will be interesting to watch if BSP forges an alliance with Om Prakash Rajbhar led SBSP and Asaduddin Owaisi led AIMIM in the 2022 state assembly polls.
Mayawati became MP for the first time in 1989 after having gone through long experiences in her political life. She became the first woman CM hailing from the Scheduled Caste in 1995. Her entry into politics was influenced by Kanshi Ram's ideology. Mayawati was a teacher before joining politics.
In March 1997, she took over the Chief Minister’s chair for the second time. Again in March 2002, she became the Chief Minister for the third time and held the post till 26th August 2002. Finally, she became the CM for the fourth time in 2007 and remained in the chair till March 2012.
In 2001, BSP chief and party founder Kanshi Ram declared Mayawati as his successor. Mayawati again became the CM of the Bharatiya Janata Party coalition government during 2002-2003. When the BJP withdrew support, Mayawati's government fell and the command of the state went into the hands of Mulayam Singh Yadav.
Mayawati returned to power again after winning the 2007 assembly elections and took over the reins of UP. Mayawati's Bahujan Samajwadi Party lost the election in the 2012 assembly elections. Since then, Mayawati has not won any state assembly elections and her biggest challenge is to manage the Bahujan Samaj Movement.
Mayawati, who has been continuously losing elections, has the challenge to save the Dalit vote bank with contenders like Chandrashekhar Azad. She also has to deal with allegations of nepotism. Political Commentator, Ratan Mani Lal says, “The BSP is moving ahead on the traditional path by not doing any experiment like other parties. In the social media and digital age, while other political parties are strengthening itself, the BSP is not seen in the race here. Apart from this, Mayawati's not getting on the ground is also a major reason that she is losing charm among her voters.”