Mayawati’s Successor Akash Anand Embarks Samvidhan Bachao, Satta Sankalp Yatra: Will it Help BSP Revive?

Some say the march will help the BSP revive itself, while other terms it an attempt to establish Anand in state as well as national politics.
Mayawati’s Successor Akash Anand Embarks Samvidhan Bachao, Satta Sankalp Yatra: Will it Help BSP Revive?

New Delhi: Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) National Coordinator Akash Yadav kicked off the ‘Samvidhan Bachao, Satta Sankalp Yatra’ from Prithila in Haryana’s Faridabad district. The march is being seen as a poll bugle for the party, which is struggling to make a presence felt in national politics.

The yatra kicked off from the Prithila Vidhan Assembly segment — a seat  once considered to be a stronghold of the BSP. The party won the seat in the 2014 Vidhan Sabha elections. The 10-day march will cover 10 Lok Sabha constituencies, including Gurgaon, Jhajjhar, Mahendra Garh, Hisar and Sirsa and will conclude at Rohtak district on March 10.  

Akash Anand, the successor of BSP chief Mayawati and son of her brother Anand Kumar, has been provided with Category Y security for the 100-kilometers march.

The yatra is significant and is being seen as a launching pad for Anand. This is the first march after he took over as the in-charge of the party’s national affairs in December 2023. 

Last year, he had undertaken a 14-day Rath Yatra in Rajasthan — which went for polls in December 2023. It was being seen as an exercise for Anand to connect with the masses.

However, despite such marches, which have witnessed a significant fall in its frequency, BSP’s tally in the polls dropped to two seats from the previous six. Although it was a tad better than the party's performance in the neighbouring states of Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, which went to polls together.

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The choice of Haryana is significant as the country heads for the 2024 general elections. Apart from the Lok Sabha polls, which are expected to be held in April- May this year, the state will also head for Assembly elections towards the end of the year.

Though a small state, Haryana has a sizeable Dalit population, and several pockets in the state until recently had a strong voter base of the party. In the 2019 Assembly elections, the party suffered a setback as it failed to bag even a single seat after a long time.

The significance of Haryana as a state can be gauged from the fact that the initial phase of the Bahujan movement led by Kanshiram in North India had its origin in Delhi and its neighbouring areas. In fact, it is a very less known fact that Kanshiram had contested the elections from the state under the umbrella of DS4 (Dalit Shoshit Sangharsh Samiti), the forerunner organisation of the BSP.

“We used to visit Dalit settlements and meet people with Kanshiramji,” remembers Suresh Dravid, a government teacher who is also a senior BAMCEF (Backward And Minority Employee Federation) functionary.

The BSP is under attack for its silence on key issues related to Dalits and alleged  tacit support to the BJP.

Refuting the speculations of an alliance with the INDIA bloc, the party has repeatedly  announced that it will contest the upcoming election solo.

Some analysts believe that going to the polls alone would help the BJP. The speculation of a tacit understanding with the saffron party gained further weight when Umashankar Singh, the lone MLA of the party voted in favour of BJP candidate Sanjay Seth in the recently held elections for Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Parliament.

The fact that Anand has been provided with the Category Y security cover is also being seen as a result of quid pro quo between the BSP and the BJP.

The Mooknayak tried to contact the Haryana unit of the BSP but failed as no one was willing to talk.

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