UP: How Will Akash Anand's Reduced Role Impact BSP's Election Campaign?

BSP State President Vishwanath Pal emphasized to The Mooknayak that every decision made by BSP Supremo is in the best interest of the party, indicating that she must have carefully considered this decision.
Akash Anand
Akash Anand

Lucknow- Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) Chief Mayawati made a surprising announcement late Tuesday night, revealing the removal of her nephew and the party's national coordinator, Akash Anand, from his position.

Anand was previously appointed as the National Coordinator and successor to BSP chief Mayawati during a party meeting in December 2023. However, he has now been removed from both these significant positions.

This unexpected development has sparked speculation among party members, political circles, and analysts, prompting debates about its potential consequences.

Party officials have remained tight-lipped about the decision, adding to the mystery surrounding it. Meanwhile, political analysts are offering both positive and negative assessments of the move.

The question on everyone's mind is: What impact will this decision have on the BSP's election campaign? Before delving into its potential effects, let's take a look at what Mayawati said in her tweet.

Mayawati's tweet read, "It is well known that the BSP, in addition to being a political party, is also a movement for self-respect and social change envisioned by Baba Saheb Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar, for which the revered Shri Kanshi Ram ji and I have dedicated our entire lives. We are now preparing the new generation to carry forward this legacy with renewed vigor."

Mayawati wrote, "In the same vein, while promoting other individuals within the party, Akash Anand was appointed as the National Coordinator and successor. However, in the best interest of the party and the movement, he is being relieved of significant responsibilities until he attains full maturity. Meanwhile, his father, Anand Kumar, will continue to discharge his duties within the party and the movement as before."

The question arises as to why Mayawati made this decision at a time when four phases of the Lok Sabha elections are yet to be held. This decision seems particularly notable as it concerns Akash Anand, the party's star campaigner, who had garnered significant attention for the BSP through his rallies.

Responding to this, BSP State President Vishwanath Pal told The Mooknayak, "Whatever decision BSP President Mayawati ji makes is made in the best interest of the party. She must have made this decision after careful deliberation. It is in the best interest of both the party and Akash Anand ji." However, he did not address the question regarding its impact on the BSP's election campaign.

BSP State President Vishwanath Pal
BSP State President Vishwanath Pal

Is Akash Anand not politically mature?

Mayawati's statement regarding the removal of Akash Anand from significant roles like National Coordinator and successor raises questions about his political maturity.

It prompts one to ponder whether Mayawati initially misjudged his level of maturity when appointing him to these positions. His recent behavior, characterized by aggressive speeches at election rallies, has resulted in legal repercussions, with two cases registered against him in Sitapur for violating the election code of conduct.

During a rally in Sitapur on April 28, he likened Yogi Adityanath's government to the Taliban, labeling it a government of "terrorists." Additionally, he encouraged the crowd to express their dissent by hurling shoes at such a government.

After facing repercussions for his aggressive speech, Akash Anand canceled his rallies in Oraiya and Hamirpur on May 1. The party cited a family member's illness as the reason for the cancellation.

In response to this development, Sanjeev Chandan, the editor of Streekal, opined to The Mooknayak that excessive exposure to YouTube and media coverage might have influenced Akash Anand to prioritize campus activism over his political responsibilities.

Chandan suggested that Akash Anand still needs some time for cadre training, despite possessing partial training, education, and eloquence. He added that while Akash Anand has a good understanding of society and the party's mission, he may have been swayed by aggressive commentators.

However, Chandan expressed confidence that Akash Anand could assume responsibilities again after gaining more experience and maturity.

Statue of Mayawati and Kanshi Ram installed at the Samajik Parivartan Sthal.
Statue of Mayawati and Kanshi Ram installed at the Samajik Parivartan Sthal.

Does Mayawati not want to upset the BJP?

Chaudhary Charan Singh University professor and political analyst, Dr. Satish Kumar, shared insights with The Mooknayak, stating, "It has been widely publicized in the media that BSP is the B team of BJP. However, BSP has dispelled this notion by refraining from forging alliances with any party and fielding strong candidates in the initial phases of the Lok Sabha elections. Consequently, there is no cause for concern regarding BJP's sentiments."

Dr. Satish further remarked, "Mayawati's decision to remove Akash Anand from his prominent roles aligns with her observation that he lacks political maturity. During the election period, Akash Anand had made statements suggesting that BSP could consider alliances with other parties post-elections. In my opinion, such remarks were ill-advised."

Who suffered from Akash Anand's aggressive speeches?

Political analysts argue that for Mayawati and her party, the current Lok Sabha election is a 'do or die' moment. In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, BSP contested in alliance with the Samajwadi Party in UP. The party secured ten seats but garnered only 3.67 percent of the votes. This was a significant drop from the 21 seats it won in the 2009 elections. Moreover, in the 2022 assembly elections, it could secure only one seat in UP.

In a conversation with The Mooknayak, Senior journalist and political analyst Syed Qasim suggests that there have been speculations about Mayawati's potential alliance with the BJP.

Recently, BSP has exhibited less aggression towards the BJP. "The aggressive tone of Akash Anand's speeches during this election campaign seemed to benefit the Samajwadi Party. Perhaps this prompted Mayawati to address the situation by relieving Akash Anand from the position of National Coordinator," he suggests.

Will the party's election results be affected ?

Akash Anand's recent election rallies have caused quite a stir. Observers of BSP politics suggest that his rallies had injected a fresh enthusiasm among BSP supporters, particularly in UP. Consequently, the party's young voters may feel disheartened by his removal from the position of National Coordinator.

Syed Qasim Hussain suggests that during elections, such decisions can convey a message to voters that there is uncertainty within BSP regarding its strategy, potentially leading them to drift away from the party. Conversely, some political analysts argue that Mayawati is known for her disciplined approach to politics. In a time when BSP's support base appears to be waning, she may prefer to avoid jeopardizing her party's standing by adopting an aggressive stance against the BJP.

Shailesh Gautam, the Lucknow Metropolitan President of BSP, explains to The Mooknayak that BSP is a cadre-based party reliant on the hard work of its workers during elections. While the responsibilities of Akash Anand's posts have been withdrawn, he will remain actively involved in the party as before. This change is not expected to significantly impact the party's election campaign.

- Story Translated by Geetha Sunil Pillai

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