Lucknow- On her 68th birthday, BSP Supremo Mayawati addressed the media, laying to rest speculation about any alliance by declaring that the party would contest the polls independently. On being asked about her attending the Ram Mandir consecration ceremony on January 22, she said it is yet to be decided owing to her busy schedule. She also expressed a welcoming stance toward the construction of both the Ram Temple and the Babri Masjid.
This announcement by the BSP leader is perceived as a decisive blow to expectations of a grand coalition under the INDIA alliance in Uttar Pradesh. Mayawati highlighted the uneven benefits of alliances, emphasizing that alliance partners struggle to transfer votes to BSP, while BSP can effectively transfer its votes to its partner.
Citing statistics, she pointed out the historical outcomes of alliances, such as in the 1993 Vidhan Sabha election when an alliance with Samajwadi Party resulted in only 67 seats for BSP, while Samajwadi Party won more. Similarly, in 1996, BSP did not benefit from an alliance with Congress, which gained at the party's expense. Conversely, in 2002, when BSP contested alone, the party won 100 seats, and in 2007, it secured an absolute majority.
The four-time Chief Minister recalled that in 2007, BSP won the Vidhan Sabha elections independently, without entering into an alliance, securing support from marginalized sections such as Dalits, Adivasis, Backwards, and religious minorities like Muslims.
However, critics argue that Mayawati's assessment is selective, pointing out that BSP gained from an alliance with the Samajwadi Party in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, increasing its tally from 0 in 2014 when it contested alone. Additionally, the party performed poorly in the 2022 Vidhan Sabha elections after going solo.
Santosh, a party worker from Unnao, offered a different perspective, asserting that it was the Samajwadi Party that benefited after the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. During the Lok Sabha election, many Dalits, who were initially opposed to the Samajwadi Party due to its perceived anti-Dalit policies, warmed up to it and voted for them in large numbers during the 2022 elections.
Encouraging party workers to engage with the public for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, Mayawati expressed that winning the polls would be the greatest birthday gift for her this year.
She indicated the possibility of a post-poll alliance and assured that the BSP would offer full-fledged support to the government, unlike earlier instances when she extended outside support to UPA governments at the Centre.
Expressing skepticism about Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), Mayawati hoped for their credibility in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, citing the fair 2007 Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh where no rigging occurred. She acknowledged concerns about EVM manipulation, aligning with the broader public sentiment against them.
On the occasion, the BSP Supremo released the 19th volume of BSP’s Blue Book, titled "A Travelogue of My Struggle-Ridden Life and BSP Movement."
Regarding an invitation for the Pran Pratishtha of Ram Janambhoomi, Mayawati stated she is yet to decide on attending due to her busy schedule. She also expressed a welcoming stance toward the construction of both the Ram Temple and the Babri Masjid.