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BSP offers unconditional support to UPA government
to forestall political isolation in Uttar Pradesh
– Photo: Subir Roy
On the backfoot: UP Chief Minister and BSP president
Mayawati during a poll performance review meeting in Lucknow on
LUCKNOW: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and Bahujan Samaj Party
president Mayawati has extended her party’s unconditional support from
outside to a UPA government. Party general secretary Satish Chandra
Mishra will submit a letter of support to President Pratibha Patil and
UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the BSP national executive
and parliamentary board held at Ms. Mayawati’s 5 Kalidas Marg official
residence here on Tuesday. The meeting, which was presided over by the
Chief Minister, was called to review the BSP’s election performance.
Ms. Mayawati’s move is being seen as an attempt to forestall the
possibility of her political isolation in Uttar Pradesh. On the
election trail she campaigned extensively against the Congress, but now
the BSP and the SP find themselves in the same boat.
With 20 MPs, the BSP emerged as the third largest party in Uttar
Pradesh, behind the Samajwadi Party with 23 MPs and the Congress, which
has 21 elected representatives. The BSP’s final count was way behind
the expectations of the Chief Minister and senior party leaders, who
expected a tally of 35 to 45. Mr. Mishra had, on the eve of
vote-counting, claimed in New Delhi that the BSP would win 40 to 45
seats in U.P.
In her address, Ms. Mayawati said she had congratulated Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh and Ms. Gandhi after the results came. She
indicated that BSP support to a new government was offered at the
behest of Dr. Singh. Stating that the Prime Minister called her his
younger sister, Ms. Mayawati said Dr. Singh wanted the BSP to adopt a
positive approach to enable the formation of a UPA government and
strengthen the secular forces.
Ms. Mayawati said she had extended the support despite the fact that
the previous UPA government had not given any financial aid to the BSP
government: neither would it come in the future. The Chief Minister
said the UPA government cannot be expected to ameliorate the suffering
of the common man. She said the support had been extended in order to
weaken the communal forces and keep the NDA out of power.
Ms. Mayawati alleged that Muslims were misled by the Congress and
the SP, which was why minority voters did not offer their full support
to the BSP: instead they had voted for the Congress and the SP. With
the shift in the Muslim vote, the upper castes too voted for the
Congress as the BJP did not have winning chances.
The BSP president said that in addition to the party winning 20
seats, in about 50 constituencies its candidates came second in terms
of votes polled.
The BSP’s vote share had gone up from 24.67 per cent to 27.42 per
cent in U.P. The party had emerged as the third largest national party.
On Monday, about 125 chairmen and vice-chairmen of State commissions
and corporations, who enjoyed the status of Ministers of State, were
asked to submit their resignations to Babu Singh Kushwaha, BSP national
general secretary and Ms. Mayawati’s lieutenant.
The Indian Election: Stability Now, Challenges Ahead
By Apoorva Shah
May 18, 2009, 12:59 pm
Monday, the Bombay Stock Exchange Index (SENSEX) jumped more than 17
percent after this weekend’s election results in India, in which the
ruling Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) gained 82 seats
in parliament while delivering a resounding defeat to the troublesome
Left, which withdrew its support of the government last year in the
wake of the U.S.-India nuclear deal. Few predicted such a strong
showing by the incumbency: an editorial in The Hindu declared with
“near certainty” that the election would produce a hung parliament.
Instead, Indians voted strongly in favor of the ruling coalition and
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s understated leadership, reassuring
investors and sidelining caste and religion-based parties such as Scheduled Caste
leader Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Hindu-nationalist
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
But the Congress Party’s impressive mandate also carries the burden
of a slowing economy, need for domestic institutional reform, and
lingering inequalities in health and education. In Uttar Pradesh, the
most populous state, total life expectancy is less than 60 years while
Punjab’s life expectancy is almost 70 years. And Uttar Pradesh’s infant
mortality rates are more than four times higher than those of Kerala,
one of India’s most prosperous states. While India is well-known for
producing top-rate scientists and engineers from elite academies such
as the Indian Institutes of Technology, much of the population still
does not have access to basic education. These discrepancies are more
striking at the state level: while Kerala has primary school attendance
rates of 98.1 percent, only 58.5 percent of children attend primary
school in India’s poorest state, Bihar.
India’s emerging status as a global power is often discussed in
comparison to the rise of China. But look at the population pyramids by
sex and educational attainment below: India today more closely
resembles the China of 1970 rather than the China of 2000. Indian
educated elites may rival their Chinese counterparts, but the vast poor
and lower-middle classes have a long way to go. Considering this, the
strong defeat of populist and left-wing parties in this latest election
is even more surprising.
Source: K.C. Samir, et al. (2008). Available at http://www.iiasa.ac.at/Research/POP/Edu07FP/index.html
W Lutz, A., et al. 2007. Reconstruction of population by age, sex, and
level of educational attainment of 120 countries for 1970-2000. Vienna
Yearbook of Population Research, vol. 2007, pp. 193-235.
Source: K.C. Samir, et al. (2008). Available at http://www.iiasa.ac.at/Research/POP/Edu07FP/index.html
In the midst of a challenging economic climate, the
biggest hurdles lie ahead.
Parties vie to support Congress-led front
NEW DELHI: The Congress party’s search for numbers in the Lok Sabha
is over with the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Samajwadi Party, Rashtriya
Janata Dal (RJD) and Janata Dal (Secular) handing over letters of
support. This effectively brings the entire fourth front and some of
the constituents of the third front on to the government’s side.
The Samajwadi Party was the first to hand over a letter of support
for the Congress-led government to President Pratibha Devisingh Patil
on Tuesday morning. In the evening the BSP and the RJD followed suit.
The former Karnataka Chief Minister, H.D. Kumaraswamy, handed over a
letter of support on behalf of the three JD(S) members to Congress
president Sonia Gandhi in the evening and told reporters that his party
had no demands.
The Samajwadi Party and the JD(S) claimed that they submitted their
letters of support in response to a request from Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh. Meanwhile, a Rashtrapati Bhavan release said the
President had received letters of support for the Manmohan Singh-led
government from the Bodoland People’s Front, the Sikkim Democratic
Front and the Nagaland People’s Front. The three parties have a member
each in the 15th Lok Sabha.
The Congress now has the support of 316 members. Meanwhile, the
party has also received the letter of support from its pre-poll ally in
West Bengal, Trinamool Congress, which has 19 members.
The day also saw Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi meet Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh and Ms. Gandhi to submit the letter of support
and discuss portfolios. The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) is said to
be pressing for three Cabinet berths – one each for Mr. Karunanidhi’s
two children, M.K. Azhagiri and Kanimozhi, besides his grand nephew
Dayanidhi Maran. The Congress is not keen on conceding more than two
Cabinet berths to the DMK.
The Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) is also learnt to have sent feelers to
the Congress but there is a strong view in the party’s Uttar Pradesh
unit against any alliance with Ajit Singh’s organisation. The Congress,
for its part, is willing to consider the RLD’s overtures only if it
agrees to merge with the party.
Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee president Rita Bahuguna Joshi has
sent a letter to Ms. Gandhi articulating the State unit’s view that the
Congress should respect the verdict and keep the Samajwadi Party, BSP
and RLD at a distance.
Even as the Congress and its pre-poll allies are scheduled to sit
down together on Wednesday to work out the modalities of government
formation, all are bracing for some hard bargaining on ministerial
berths and portfolios.
Within hours of arch rival Bahujan Samaj Party announcing its decision
to support the United Progressive Alliance government, Samajwadi Party
general secretary Amar Singh on Tuesday met President Pratibha Patil
and handed over a letter of support of the party’s 23 MPs.
Lucknow, May 18 (IANS) Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP)
party chief and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati Monday asked for
the resignation of over 50 party leaders heading various corporations,
official sources said.
After becoming chief minister in 2007, Mayawati had given plum postings
to several of her party leaders, with many given red-beacon cars and
enjoying facilities and perks given to ministers of state.
While making the appointments, she had reportedly directed the party
leaders to make all possible efforts for strengthening the party’s base
in their respective regions.
However, Mayawati, who was expecting 40 seats in the Lok Sabha
polls, vented her ire at over 50 party leaders as her party managed to
get only 20 seats.
According to sources, in the coming days Mayawati may take similar
action against several other party leaders over the “poor performance”
of her party.
May 18 (ANI): Following her party’s below-expectation performance in
Lok Sabha elections, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) Chief and Uttar Pradesh
Chief Minister Mayawati on Monday sacked chairpersons and members of
all state government corporations.
According to party sources, Over 100 members were summoned to the party
office this evening and were asked to submit their resignations.
On May 17, Mayawati has issued a stern warning to the senior government
officials in the state directing them to solve the problems of the
The directive was issued during a high level meeting to review the law
and order situation and progress of various development works being
carried out by the state government.
“People are still made to run from here and there for their petty
works. Their problems are not solved as per the government directives
issued earlier. This is not acceptable. Those showing laxity in solving
people’s problem will be punished severely,” she said.
The chief minister said she will pay surprise visits to the spots were
the works are being carried out and if she will find any laxity then
the concerned officers would be punished.
She also directed the officials to submit monthly report on the action taken on the complaints of the people.
“The report will be submitted by chief secretary, cabinet secretary,
additional cabinet secretary, director general of police and principal
secretary home,” she said.
Mayawati also asked the chief secretary to call a meeting of all the
district magistrates and senior police officers and apprise them of the
Strange connection or is it natural?
is home to the largest number of poor in the world, but the 543 Members
of Parliament, who have been elected to the Lok Sabha, have a combined
asset of Rs 3,075 crore. In a nation where over 28 crore people live
below poverty line, the average asset of the MPs elected to the Lower
House of Parliament works out to be over Rs five crore.
to United Nation’s estimates, 80 per cent of Indians live on less Rs
100 a day. Interestingly, the total asset size of the new MPs makes
their congregation more valuable than a vast majority of the public
companies in the country. There are close to 4,700 listed companies in
India, out of which just about 150 companies have a market valuation of
more than Rs 3,000 crore.
There are an estimated 300 MPs with
assets worth Rs one crore or more in the new Lok Sabha, which is nearly
double from the 154 in the 14th Lok Sabha. Telugu Desam Party’s Namma
Nageswara Rao, who has won the election from Khammam in Andhra Pradesh,
leads the tally of MPs with assets worth about Rs 174 crore, followed
by Congress leader and industrialist Naveen Jindal (Rs 131.07 crore).
Jindal has won the election from Kurukshetra in Haryana for the second
A total of four MPs have assets worth more than Rs 100
crore and include Congress’ L Rajagopal in Andhra Pradesh and NCP’s
Padamsinha Bajirao Patil from Maharashtra. These are followed by NCP’s
Praful Patel (Rs 89.9 crore), Congress’ G Vivekanand (Rs 72.9 crore),
Congress’ Y S Jaganmohan Reddy (Rs 72.8 crore), Congress’ Rajkumar
Ratna Singh (Rs 67.8 crore), Akali Dal’s Harsimrat Kaur (Rs 60.3 crore)
and National Congress Party’s Supriya Sule (Rs 50.4 crore).
In terms of
parties, Congress has as many as 138 crorepati MPs, followed by
Bharatiya Janata Party’s [Images] 58, Samajwadi Party’s 14 and Bahujan
Samaj Party’s 13. Besides, there are 11 from Dravida Munnettra
Kazhagam, nine from Shiv Sena , eight from the Janata Dal - United,
seven from NCP and six each from Biju Janata Dal and Trinamool Congress.
note that of every 4 MPs 1 has a criminal case against him. SO, do we
elect rich or criminals? Is it if we want to be rich we have to resort
to crime and vice versa? I am sure a common man can never reach
parliament either he is a crook or has a sufficiently suitable hook. Of
course, exceptions are every where; let us call them intervention of
fate. What do you think?
Uttar Pradesh all set for ‘mini elections’
After the Lok Sabha elections, Uttar Pradesh is all
set to witness another political battle, as byelections will have to be
held in 10 assembly constituencies where seven sitting legislators were
elected to parliament while the other three resigned to contest.
The two prominent winners among the legislators include senior
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Lalji Tandon and Samajwadi Party
(SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav.
Tandon, who won the Lucknow seat, represents the Lucknow West
assembly seat, while Yadav, who won the Mainpuri seat, represented the
Bharthana assembly seat in Etawah district.
Similarly, SP’s Mithlesh Kumar, who represents Powayan assembly
seat, won from the Shahjahanpur seat and the Bahujan Samaj Party’s
(BSP) Dhananjay Singh, a legislator from the Rari assembly seat, won
the Jaunpur seat.
Congress’ Pradeep Aditya Jain, a legislator from the Jhansi assembly
seat, has got elected from the Jhansi seat, while the party’s R.P.N.
Singh, legislator from the Padrauna assembly seat, won the Kushinagar
Kadir Rana, a legislator of the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) from the Morna assembly seat, won the Muzaffarnagar seat.
The three legislators who had resigned include Rajiv Channa, Gauri Shankar and Dhaniram Verma.
Channa, who was a BJP legislator from Moradabad (West) assembly
seat, resigned after he was given a ticket by the BSP to contest the
Lok Sabha polls from the Moradabad constituency.
Gauri Shankar, a SP legislator from the Malihabad assembly seat,
also resigned when he was given a Lok Sabha ticket by the BSP from
Etawah parliamentary seat.
Verma, who was an SP legislator from the Kannauj assembly seat, also
resigned after the BSP made his son, Mahesh Verma its candidate from
Elections to be really fair and free
Adopt a more expanded and more enriched
concept of what constitutes voter freedom, says Jagatheesan Chandrasekharan
There is still a way to go in
ensuring a truly level playing field for Chief Election Commission,
Chief Justice of India, Government of India, the entire media, parties,
candidates and the voters at large.
As we enter into the final week of the electoral dead-heat, a basic thing is that election must and should be free and fair.
what constitutes a
‘free and fair’ election?
If freedom is merely lack of physical coercion, then it is
reasonable to suggest that Indians exercise their voting rights freely.
There are still some exceptions. There are serious allegations of
coercion in Darjeeling, and other places in West Bengal, and in the
Outer Manipur constituency. It is hard to believe that citizens living
in fear under the shadow of the Maoists and security forces in the
Salwa Judum area of Chhattisgarh exercised their franchise freely. At
the same time, we must take note of the absence of similar reports from
Bihar, eastern Uttar Pradesh, and Rayalaseema in Andhra Pradesh and,
above all, from the Kashmir valley. The Election Commission and the
entire machinery working under it deserve credit for the intelligent
scheduling of phases, for the careful deployment of security forces,
and for sending out tough signals.
But we need to expand and enrich this excessively narrow definition
of voter freedom. A free election does not merely involve the absence
of direct physical coercion, but also the absence of the possibility of
such coercion. A free election means the lack of fear. The lack of
freedom can have many shades to it.
Landless Dalits who live under perpetual fear of their landlords
will not suddenly become free on the day of voting, except in places
where the Bahujan Samaj Party or other Dalit parties are active. Ethnic
or religious minorities – for example, the Muslims in Gujarat, the
Christians in Orissa and the Chakmas in Mizoram – may not have voted
under truly free conditions. The dread of the security forces in
Kashmir, the possibility of caste violence in Bihar and the
omnipresence of ‘The Party’ in West Bengal point to curtailment of
The Election Commission’s special attention to such groups, with the
help of ‘vulnerability mapping,’ was a welcome initiative. But such an
exercise cannot alter the everyday equations of power in an area or
Our electoral rolls continue to be faulty, seriously both in rural as well as in urban
centres; they are skewed in a way to systematically exclude
some section of the population or the supporters of a party. So
far the Election Commission has not bothered to see that all the
eligible names are in the voting list. And they are informing the world
that nearly 40% of the names are not found in the voters list and in
many consttuencies voters names have deleted. SC/STs, Muslims and
Christians names have been deliberately by the revenue department as
they are all supporters of the upper caste rulers. hence, the Chief
Election, Judiciary, Executive and the Views Papers and the Caste based
Media are least bothered about Free and Fair elections as the present
system suits them and it is benificial to them. The right to vote as
enshrined in the Consitution has been removed from this back door
method. They have
just redrawn the boundaries of most constituencies, a highly
contentious exercise in any democracy to suit the ruling castes in the
Centre. While the exercise left a lot to
be desired, almost all the voters allege that the delimitation was
partisan and continue to be so.
Voter impersonation can never be there, if all the citizens are included in photo electoral rolls. This is also deliberately not done because it will not benefit the ruling castes in the Centre. In
these days of computerisation within no time photo electrol rolls could
be prepared. Crores of public money is being spent on elections and
preparing such rolls will not even work out to be fraction of the
expenditure. The CEC,
Judiciaray, Executive and the media are quite aware of this, but they
are just closing their eyes as they are comfortable with the current
Machine can definitely eliminate the possibility of fraud at the
counting centre provided the source code of the program in the machine
is made transparent and made public. It is very much possible to create
fraud EVMs. Rigging
in all its forms can come to an end, if a genuine photo electrol rolls
are generated with all the eligible voters names are included in such
rolls. In fact with such photo electrol rolls and unfradulant EVMs the
polling agents along with the Election Officers and staff can go
door-to-door and collect votes.This will ensure 100% voting in any
election. That will never happen with the present rulers in power,
since it will not benefit them.Any party which wants to rule as per the
Constitution only will be able to do this.
Instead of doing this, the EC the whole world saw the unseemly war between the former
and current Chief Election Commissioners and allegations of
partisanship against the current CEC had left the EC with an image
problem. However each one of them will be rewarded for their partisanship by the respective parties they supported.
should salvage the situation by appointing the
new Election Committee representing different political parties, such
as any other Parliamentary committee. Since each and every party
represent different castes and religions, such a committee will ve
represented by different caste and religion groups.Yet the Election Commission is surviving this general
election losing its moral authority. On balance, the EC has not handled violations of the Code of Conduct was not firm and
even handed. No matter what its composition, the EC as an institution is not seen to be neutral. That is bad news for democracy.
However, there is still a way to go in
ensuring a truly level playing field for Chief Election Commission,
Chief Justice of India, Government of India, the entire media, parties,
candidates and the voters at large. As in the recent
elections, the EC allowed the tunnelled vision of the Indian middle
class to shape its initiatives in some respects. Much of its energy was
spent in pursuing relatively small infringements of the letter of the
law while remaining a mute spectator to the gross violation of the
spirit of fair play.
The EC and its observers demanded loads of paper work from
candidates (including a daily account of expenditure in the middle of a
campaign), required written permission for every poster or banner (one
letter each from every house where a poster is to be pasted), strictly
enforced the timing of meetings (leading to mid-sentence termination of
speeches) and insisted on written permission for each campaign vehicle
(including bicycles!). The sight of politicians being made to submit to
some authority may gladden some hearts, but it is hard to see how this
contributes substantially to a fairer election.
All that these well-meaning curbs have done is to push the
expenditure underground. Stories of the quantum of election expenditure
in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh are simply shocking. This phenomenon is
not confined to the rich States: crores of rupees were spent by
candidates in the Orissa Assembly election. Big money is the
preserve of big parties: some BJP and Congress candidates are believed to have spent
Rs. 30 to 40 crores in all the states. No wonder that most parties seek
An analysis of the affidavits of all candidates in the first four
phases by National Election Watch shows that the proportion of
‘crorepatis’ (those who have declared assets of more than Rs.1 crore)
has increased from nine per cent in 2004 to over 16 per cent this time.
Among the major parties, this proportion is alarmingly high: 60 per
cent for the Congress, 42 per cent for the BJP,
Similarly, the EC’s curbs on the media are misplaced. The big new
initiative this time was a ban on exit polls in between various phases
of polling. Though it is doubtful whether the ban is legally
sustainable, there seems to be a rationale behind it — namely, the
irresponsible and non-transparent use of opinion polls by an immature
industry unwilling to regulate itself. But it is not clear if this ban,
like most other bans, achieved very much. This gave rise to speculative
reporting, to surrogate polls passing off as ‘analyses’, to the
circulation of many confidential exit polls, and to the acquisition of
a new respectability for satta market rates. This ban is further confirmation that there is no substitute for media self-regulation.
In one respect, some kind of regulation of the media, internal or
external, was badly needed. The restrictions on public campaigns led to
more and more money being invested in the media. The EC has allowed
political advertising on television — this has had far reaching
negative consequences for democracy in much of the global north —
without so much as a national debate on this question. Surrogate
political advertisements — advertisements issued by parties or
candidates in the name of some front organisations — were largely
This time, there was a large scale use of ‘news advertisements’ —
advertisements by parties or candidates that appear on the news pages
and look like news. There were widespread complaints that political
advertisements of this kind were also linked to news coverage and that
those candidates who did not offer such advertisements were simply
blacked out. This gross violation of journalistic ethics does not
appear to have attracted the attention to the Election Commission.
News papers are functioning as views papers of their respective
political parties representing different castes and religions. Once
Napolean said that he could face two battalians but not two scribes.
Now it is so. Nobody fears these views papers. The media is worst and
most corrupt than even the political, executive, judiciary system. They
do not command any respect in this Great Prabuddha Bharath.
If we take the ideal of free and fair elections seriously, we need
to move beyond a back-slapping celebration of the success of our
democracy. We have long crossed the stage of seeking external
certification. As a mature democracy, it is incumbent upon us to look
below the surface and for effective ways of tackling the deeper flaws
revealed during this election.
LUCKNOW - Chief Minister Mayawati Wednesday accused the Election
Commission of being biased towards opposition parties in Uttar Pradesh,
reacting sharply to the poll panel’s order to remove the state’s
principal home secretary.
Addressing a hurriedly convened press conference just before flying
off to Maharashtra for her election campaign, Mayawati said: ‘Removal
of the state’s principal home secretary Fateh Bahadur was arbitrary and
has apparently been done simply on the basis of flimsy, false and
one-sided complaints made by some opposition parties.’
Mayawati, who is chief of the ruling Bahujan Samaj Party, said: ‘The
least that the Election Commission should have done is to authenticate
these complaints before ordering such a drastic step.’
‘In the past also, the poll panel went about ordering the removal of
some district magistrates and superintendents of police, besides some
lower officials without verifying facts, which is not being fair to the
She alleged that many new appointments were ‘made directly by the
commission without even seeking a panel from the state government’.
‘The Uttar Pradesh government is committed to strictly adhering to
the norms and rules laid down by the Election Commission and I have
also issued firm directives not only to my officials but also to party
candidates and workers not to allow the slightest violation of the
Election Commission’s model code of conduct.’
‘I would like to make an humble appeal to the Election Commission to
point out any violation in the code of conduct or in the guidelines
given by it. I can assure them that corrective action would be taken
promptly by the state government, but it should not be guided by
baseless and false complaints made by the opposition.’
She warned: ‘If the commission continues with such arbitrary
practices, then let me tell them that the state government will not be
responsible for any untoward incidents like a terrorist strike, a
communal flare-up or any other breakdown of law and order, including
mishaps with some candidate.’
Criticising the Election Commission for transferring a top state official, UP Chief
Minister Mayawati on Wednesday said that such action could demoralise
the officialdom ahead of the first phase of
Mayawati slams EC for transferring top state officer
“Removing of the officer just due to political reasons on basis of their baseless allegation will demoralize
officers of the state due to which law and order problem could erupt in the
state. EC will be responsible if there is any terrorist or Naxal problem or any
incident happens with me or any other leader during campaigning,” Mayawati told
The EC on Tuesday had ordered transfer of UP
principal secretary of home, Fateh Bahadur Singh following complaints from the
Assuring the commission that the BSP government in the
state was committed to hold free and fair polls, Mayawati said that she had
given orders to its officers to follow directions of the commission and ensure
that there should be no violation of model code of conduct during the elections.
“I have not only directed the officials, but also party candidates,
office-bearers and workers that they must adhere by the model code of conduct
and cooperate with the government machinery,” she said.
Mayawati alleged that a number of officers including district magistrates and SSPs of
several district were removed by the EC “merely on politically motivated
complaints from the opposition parties without any proper investigation”.
“I would like to request the EC that if it finds any shortcoming in
a particular officer, it must apprise the state government about the facts so
that corrective measures could be taken,” she said.
“Ordering removal of an important officer like principal secretary home who is discharging
his duties with honesty and dedication merely on the basis of baseless
complaints lodged by the opposition parties is not justified,” she said.
The chief minister alleged that the EC had broken the traditions by
appointed DMs and SSPs without asking for panel of officers from the state
“This was against the old tradition where the state
government is asked to give a panel of officer. I have already sent a letter to
the EC in this regard,” she said.
Denied their right, Muslims seethe with rage
names of a large number of minority voters were found missing from the
— Photo: K. Murali Kumar
The affected: Voters who could not exercise their
franchise showing their electors photo identity cards at Yarabnagar in
Bangalore on Thursday.
Bangalore: Widespread complaints of exclusion of Muslims from
electoral lists were reported from minority-dominated localities across
the three Bangalore Urban parliamentary constituencies on Thursday.
Reporters from The Hindu who visited Yarabnagar,
Madinanagar, Shivajingar, D.J. Halli, Fraser Town and many other
localities found voters angry, yet helpless at being disenfranchised.
“I have lived here for 15 years in a permanent house. Every election
day I have gone to the polling booth right after the morning prayers,”
said a livid Mohammed Rehamath Ullah, the 70-year-old “mutuvalli” of
Khaja mosque in Madinanagar in Bommanahalli, who has never missed his
chance to vote in the Lok Sabha elections since 1962.
There were at least three ways in which people were denied their
right to vote. First was the category of voters with EPICs acquired as
recently as a few weeks ago who found their names missing.
The second was of persons who had voted earlier and who found their names stamped “deleted”.
Thirdly, in many cases names had been changed, mis-spelt or identities duplicated.
The widespread perception in these localities was that minority
votes had been deliberately eliminated as hundreds of voters found that
they could not exercise their constitutional right to vote.
Ameer Jan, an autorickshaw driver, had taken a day’s off from work
to vote. But when he arrived at Kaverinagar in Bangalore South (booth
numbers 115), he found that his name and those of his mother
Zaibunneesa and wife Parveen Taj were missing in the list.
Holding up his EPIC in one hand and his ration card in the other,
Ibrahim Shariff (60) said: “I have shut my shop to vote, but my name is
not on the list.” Out of the 11 voters in his family, only two had been
included in the list. In this predominantly Muslim and working class
pocket of the city this was only one of many such cases.
Abdul Wahid (57), a welder with the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC), had a similar complaint.
Ward no. 79 in Shivajinagar (Bangalore Central) had 806 eligible
voters, but by mid-morning nearly 250 people who had voted in the same
polling booth during the 2008 Assembly elections found their names
missing from the list.
Malar Nisha, a resident of Moore Road in Fraser Town, who got a new
EPIC on March 18, was one of the 14 members of her family who had been
turned away from the polling booth at Sir Ismail Sait Nursery School.
“The only two Muslim families in my lane (G-block) seem to have disappeared from the list,” she said.
At least four wards of Bharatinagar from Bangalore Central
constituency reported cases of missing names. “Out of 1,092 voters on
the roll in part 58 of Bharathinagar, 250 names were missing. The
majority were Muslim,” said Azam, a resident who was keeping track of
voting in four booths in this area.
Anger over missing names culminated in protests in some areas such as Yarabnagar.
There were rumours that some, whose names had been stamped
“deleted”, were being allowed to vote by late evening if they had
However, Bangalore city Police Commissioner Shankar M. Bidari denied this.
The Police Commissioner said: “there is no question of allowing
people to vote if their names do not figure in the electoral roll even
if they possess the EPIC. It is against election rules.”
Krishna Byre Gowda demands repoll
BANGALORE: The Congress candidate for Bangalore South Lok Sabha seat
Krishna Byre Gowda has demanded repoll in select polling booths,
alleging that a large number of voters from economically weaker
sections have been deliberately and illegally deleted from the
In his complaint to Chief Electoral Officer M.N. Vidyashankar on
Thursday, Mr. Byre Gowda said the Election Commission provided
electoral list on April 1 and a revised list subsequently on April 10.
“Many names in the revised list have been marked ‘deleted’ in the
list provided to the returning officers. How can such large-scale
deletions take place? It’s a deliberate attempt to deny the fundamental
right of the electorate,” he said.
Mr. Byre Gowda said he was appalled that names of only a section of
people have been deleted from the rolls. For example, he showed the
EPIC of Ayesha Banu (WEC3848405) issued on April 8, Salman Khan (WEC
3832540) on April 1 and M.D. Musheer (WEC 3848397) on April 8. “These
names have been deleted in the revised roll,” he said.
Mr. Byre Gowda said such deletions had occurred in the electoral
rolls in the three Bangalore city Lok Sabha constituencies. “What
bemuses me is that such deletions have occurred only in areas where
there are economically weaker sections. You do not find such
large-scale deletions in urban electorate,” he said.
Asked who could be held responsible for this, Roshan Baig,
Shivajinagar MLA, said: “It is obvious that the exclusion has been done
by officials in the Revenue Department.” “The saffronisation of the
official machinery has led to the wholesale deletion of Muslim voters
from the list,” he remarked.
Many could not vote due to defective list
Their names were missing from electoral rolls
Belgaum: A large number of voters in Belgaum and Chikkodi Lok Sabha
constituencies in the district, which went to the polls on Thursday,
lost their once-in-a-five-year opportunity to cast their votes in
parliamentary elections because of defective voter list.
Despite carrying Elector’s Photo Identity Cards (EPICs), a large
number of voters in the two constituencies were forced to return home
as their names were missing from the electoral rolls.
The changes in the polling stations only added to the confusion that
prevailed in almost every polling station in the two constituencies.
Perhaps, this is one of the major reasons behind the less than
expected voter response in the two constituencies, particularly in
The polling agents of different political parties assisting the
voters outside the polling stations were apparently annoyed over the
manner in which the electoral rolls were prepared.
One of the major mistakes which the polling agents pointed out was
the deletion of certain voters who are alive and continued to reside in
the same place.
At polling station number 164 in Belgaum city, names against serial
numbers 121, 137, 138, 141, 185, 232, 232, 271, 295, 308 and a few
others were missing.
A polling agent, Asif A., said only a few of them were not alive and
he was forced to send others back home as their names were missing.
Citing another example, he showed the electoral roll in respect of
polling station number 163 where the serial number 3,900 was missing.
Voters in several polling stations said though they had voter cards, their names were missing in the voters list.
Sunil K., a voter in Hanuman Nagar, said many voters were not aware of the changes in polling stations hence the confusion.
The voters went to the same polling stations where they had cast
their vote in the Assembly elections held last year when they had to
cast their votes elsewhere.
50 p.c. voter turnout in Gulbarga
GULBARGA: An estimated 50 per cent of the electorate voted in the Gulbarga Lok Sabha constituency on Thursday.
Polling was marred by sporadic incidents of clashes between Congress
and BJP workers and boycott of elections in a few polling booths by
people demanding basic amenities. There were also reports of many
people complaining that their names were missing from the voter list.
Speaking in a similar tone, the former Minister Kagodu Thimmappa
makes a blistering attack on the BJP Government for pursuing “unfair”
poll practices by allegedly distributing money and liquor to woo
The above report is the reason for High stakes for ruling BJP in Karnataka’s first & second phase
Because of the above mentioned report, Chief Minister B. S. Yeddyurappa has said that the Bharatiya Janata
Party will win in 14 of the 17 Lok Sabha constituencies where elections
were held in the State on Thursday. He himself claimed that he has received
reports to this effect. Mr.
Yeddyurappa said that of the remaining 11 Lok Sabha constituencies
which would go to polls on April 30, the BJP would win in eight or nine
constituencies. Sadananda Gowda is also confident of BJP winning 22 seats in State
Stung by defeat, Mayawati to revert to SC/ST agenda
Stung by defeat, Mayawati
to revert to SC/ST agenda
LUCKNOW: Stung by
the results in the just-concluded Lok Sabha polls, BSP leader and Uttar Pradesh
Chief Minister Mayawati on Tuesday advocated
returning to the old SC/ST agenda and spent 30 minutes
of her nearly three-hour speech to party workers discussing a former aide who
has been elected as a Congress MP.
About 1,000 Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) workers, including all ministers,
legislators, newly elected MPs and the defeated candidates from different parts
of the country, together with all district and zonal coordinators from Uttar
Pradesh, gathered at the party headquarters here.
According to a party insider, the meeting
went on for four hours, with Mayawati’s speech taking up most of the time. It
began and concluded with just one theme - a return to the old SC/ST agenda.
Her national ambitions dashed with her BSP managing
just 21 seats in Lok Sabha, Mayawati’s lengthy speech was focused on rethinking
the “social engineering” strategy, carefully formulated to also woo
the upper castes and abandoning its “only SC/ST” ideology, said a BSP
leader who attended the meeting.
While announcing dissolution of all party level committees, she declared at the
closed-door meeting: “The re-constituted committees will give precedence
She voiced her disillusionment with Muslims who she accused of deserting her
What took party workers by surprise was her nearly 25-minute reference to one time
blue-eyed retired bureaucrat P.L. Punia, who has won from the reserved
Barabanki Lok Sabha seat on a Congress ticket.
Punia was Mayawati’s principal secretary during her three earlier stints as
chief minister but fell out of favour when he gave a statement against her in
the Rs.175 crore Taj Corrridor corruption scam being investigated by the
Central Bureau of Investigation.
BSP leaders present at the meeting said her insistence on spending so much time
talking about the former Indian Administrative
Service (IAS) officer was disconcerting.
“Why is she devoting so much attention to Punia. After all he is just one
elected MP; by spending nearly half an hour talking about Punia, we are only
showing our panic,” a party leader told a colleague.
She said he did not belong to her most favoured lot among the SC/ST. “I
wonder if you all are aware that Punia does not belong to the ‘chamar’
(cobbler) community; he is a ‘danuk’ from Haryana.”
While Mayawati called a separate meeting with newly elected MPs Tuesday
evening, she has convened another on Wednesday when she proposes to make an
assessment of the votes secured by the BSP in the constituency of every
minister and legislator.
Party leaders holding prominent positions in the state council of ministers or
in the party hierarchy are likely to be pulled up if the party has not done
well. And insiders are worried that some heads could roll.
UP Elections Results
The UP General Elections Result 2009 is given below : Read as constitunency , Winner Name and Winner Party
Jagdish Singh Rana
Bahujan Samaj Party
SC/ST movement takes a beating
18 May 2009, 0232 hrs IST, Prafulla Marpakwar, TNN
MUMBAI: The SC/ST movement across the country is at the receiving end
following the humiliating defeat of prominent SC/ST leaders. While
veteran leader Ramvilas Paswan lost in Bihar, former union minister Buta Singh
was defeated from Jalore, Rajasthan.
Closer home, Prakash Ambedkar, the great grandson of Dr Ambedkar, lost
from Akola, senior RPI leader Ramdas Athavale lost to a Shiv Sena
candidate Bhau Wakchaure in Shirdi, while Rajendra Gavai, the son of
veteran RPI leader and Kerala governor R S Gavai, was defeated by Shiv
Sena nominee Anand Adsul from reserved Amravati constituency.
“It’s all by design. Both the Congress and the BJP have defeated
prominent leaders of the SC/ST movement. They follow the use-and-throw
policy,'’ Ambedkar said. Athavale on Sunday put the blame for his
defeat squarely on the Congress.
Ambedkar, who was the President’s nominee on the Rajya Sabha during
the tenure of V P Singh, alleged that there was a systematic attempt
of the successive Congress and BJP-led government to silence the SC/ST
movement. “Emergence of Mayawati is one of the reasons for the
ill-treatment being meted out to SC/ST leaders. Ever since Mayawati
declared herself as a candidate for the prime minister’s post, fear
psychosis has set in among political parties,'’ Ambedkar told TOI.
He added that a few decades ago, politicians like V P Singh were of
the view that those associated with the SC/ST movement should be
accommodated in the mainstream. However, they have now been dumped for
obvious political reasons, Ambedkar said. “They (the Congress and the
BJP leaders) think that a powerful SC/ST movement will be a major
threat to political parties. It is a tough situation for the SC/ST
Athavale did not name any politician, but gave sufficient indications
to say that veteran Congress leader Balasaheb Vikhe Patil was
responsible for his defeat. Significantly, Athavale’s supporters on
Sunday burnt the effigy of school education minister Radhakrishna
Vikhe Patil to protest against his defeat. “Congress leaders, who have
a strong network of institutions, ensured my defeat,'’ Athavale said.
Athavale originally belonged to the Sharad Pawar camp. However,
following the delimitation of constituencies, it was decided to field
Athavale from Shirdi, a constituency allotted to Congress as per the
seat sharing formula between the party and the NCP.
Same was the case with Gavai, who lost in Amravati. Gavai, too,
contested as an Independent candidate, supported by the Congress-NCP
Now, both Congress and the NCP have stepped in to pacify Athavale and
Gavai. “It was our responsibility to ensure Athavale’s victory. Now
that he has been defeated, we will rehabilitate him properly,'’ chief
minister Ashok Chavan said.
Discontent is brewing among SC/ST activists following the defeat of
Athavale and Gavai. “Both Congress and the NCP failed to allot safe
seats to them. When they knew that it would be difficult for Athavale
to get elected from Shirdi, they should have offered him another
constituency, ‘’ a senior SC leader said.
A section of SC/ST leaders blame Athavale and Gavai for their failure
to develop their own constituencies. “They have been in politics for
well over four decades, but all along, they were at the mercy of
either Pawar or the Congress. Now, these parties have ditched them,'’
the SC leader observed.
Maya’s social engineering formula fails to click this time
Sangita Bakaya/ Press Trust of India / Lucknow May 18, 2009, 11:18 IST
BSP supremo Mayawati’s social engineering formula, which reaped rich
dividends in the assembly polls, failed to click with voters this time
around with only a handful of Brahmins, Thakurs and Muslims winning.
Fresh from the 2007 experiment, the BSP had pinned its hopes on
bringing into its fold Brahmins and Muslims along with its loyal
votebank among the SC/STs.
The party, earlier known for its extreme views on the upper castes,
had liberally distributed tickets to Brahmins (20), Thakurs (six) and
Muslims (14) hoping that the votes of these castes along with its core
vote base would make a smooth sail for the party nominees but the
success rate this time was unlike the assembly polls with only five
Brahmins, four Thakurs and four Muslim candidates managing to win.
In the last assembly polls, the BSP chief had given tickets to some 80
Brahmins of which 42 had won their seats and the party had returned
the favour by giving them important positions in the government
besides going all out to woo them in the party fold by organising
Brahmin Bhaichara committees.
Even the BSP’s successful slogans belittling high castes were replaced
by new ones.
By bringing these castes together, the BSP chief had worked out a
winning combination for herself that could well put her on the
national scene and realise her dreams of acquiring power at the
But elections this time have demonstrated a specific shift in the
Muslim and upper caste vote bank of other parties and to some extend
the SC/ST vote bank to the Congress in places where the BSP had
fielded Brahmin or upper caste candidates.
SC: Constitution bench to take up relaxation in general category 5/17/2009
A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court has referred to a five-judge Constitution bench the issue whether the candidates selected from the general category can be allowed to be considered from the reserved categories of OBC’s/SC/ST at the time of service allocation.
A bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justices P Sathasivam and J M Panchal in their judgment noted, ‘The question that has to be answered are whether reserved category candidate i.e.
OBC/SC/ST who were selected on merit and placed in the list of general category candidate could be considered as reserved category candidate at the time of service allocation.
Whether rule 16 (2) (3) (4) and (5) of CSE rules are inconsistent with 16(1) and violative of Articles 14, 16(4) and 335 of the Constitution of India.’ The Madras High Court had quashed rule 16(2) of the Civil Services examination rules which permits the reserved category candidates selected from the general category on merit to be considered as reserved category candidate during allocation of service cadre like IAS, IPS and IRS etc.
In all 31 OBC category candidates selected in the general merit list were not included in the general category and instead they were part of 117 OBC category candidates selected with relaxed standard and an equal number of OBC category candidates in the lower order of merit were denied job.
The apex court in its 18-page judgment written by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan for the bench noted, ‘In view of the fact that the issues raised and discussed relating to amended rule 16 of CSE applicable to all central civil services, we are of the view that an authoritative pronouncement is needed, particularly, in the light of the various decisions referred above, hence, all these SLP’s and writ petitions are referred to a Constitution bench.
It is also to be clarified whether the persons from reserved category who are already selected in the merit category without taking any relaxation/concession available for the reserved category candidate can actually avail the better preference of service from the services under reserved category list as that will be solely based upon the caste of the candidate that is whether he is SC/ST or OBC as he has already been selected in the general category on the basis of his merit only.’ Appeal was filed by the Union government and others.
UNI BSP’s vote share increases in LS polls
Poll result: Maya is still the queen in UP
Look at just the seat tally in Uttar
Pradesh and you are likely to come away with the impression that the BSP has
lost out big time in the state,
while the Congress has gained massively, the SP
has limited the damage better than many thought and the BJP has barely held on.
Examine the vote shares, however, and that initial impression gives way to a
more nuanced picture.
For starters, the BSP may have finished third
in terms of the seat tally, but it has become a clear number 1 in terms of
With 27.4%, it is now more than 4% ahead of the SP at second
spot. So why has this translated into just one seat more than the 2004 tally for
One key reason is that unlike all the other three front
runners, the BSP’s support is more evenly spread across the state. Nothing
reveals that better than the fact that apart from the 20 seats the party won, it
finished second in 48 others.
In other words, in all but a dozen of
UP’s 80 seats, Mayawati’s men and women were among the front-runners. In
contrast, the SP won 22 of the 38 seats in which it was one of the two main
contenders. The Congress had an even better conversion rate, winning 21 of the
28 in which it was among the front-runners.
This higher strike rate
was clearly achieved due to the fact that the party’s votes were more
concentrated in a few constituencies than those of any of the other big players.
Thus it could win more than twice as many seats as the BJP though its vote share
was less than 1% more than the saffron party’s.
The BJP had a lower
conversion rate than either of these two parties, winning 10 of the 19 where it
finished in the top two rungs. But it would be more alarmed by the fact that in
over three-fourths of the seats in UP it wasn’t even one of the leading
The relatively more even distribution of the votes this
time than in the past few elections in Uttar Pradesh helps to explain a rather
unusual statistic — while three parties have got 20 or more seats, none
has got to even 25, something that has never happened before in
While seemingly even, don’t forget that two parties — BSP
and Congress — are on the way up, while SP and BJP are on the decline. Of
course, compared to the 2007 assembly polls, BSP’s vote share is down too,
but it has always got more votes in state polls than in national ones.
Caste warriors like Lalu Prasad, Ram Vilas and Mulayam Singh have taken a severe beating and Mayawati’s elephant didn’t quite conquer the country Sunil Jain / New Delhi May 18, 2009, 0:59 IST
Election 2009 has been remarkable in more ways than one. The most obvious of course is that, in this era of fractured mandates, the Congress has got such a solid base—the party has more seats within the UPA than even the BJP had in the NDA during Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s tenure, and that makes it relatively less open to blackmail. This means Manmohan Singh can provide a clean government this time around and a lot more reforms—whether he can do this despite the Congress’s internal Left is a different matter. Second, the caste warriors like Lalu Prasad, Ram Vilas and Mulayam Singh have taken a severe beating and Mayawati’s elephant didn’t quite conquer the country. Lalu’s down from 24 seats to 4, Mulayam from 36 to 23, Paswan from four to zero, Mayawati’s up from 19 to 20 but a far cry from the 40 she was looking at.
So is caste dead? You just have to look around to know it isn’t—it’s like saying the BJP’s drubbing shows India is a lot more tolerant than it was in 2004 when the BJP got 182 seats. But caste is dead in the caste qua caste sense. Of course Dalits are discriminated against and earn just around half what upper castes do on average (Rs 45,900 per household per annum versus Rs 86,700 respectively), but how will 12 statues of Mayawati and 8 of Kanshi Ram or 11 of elephants help narrow this difference? OBC households, on average, also earn (Rs 59,700 per year) much less than upper castes do, but after 15 years of voting Lalu, OBCs in Bihar still earn just Rs 40,800.
Given that even the upper castes in Bihar earn just Rs 51,200 today (against an average of Rs 86,700 across the country), how can you say Lalu never improved the lot of the OBCs in Bihar? Since there is no historical data at a sufficiently disaggregated level, this is difficult to prove (all income data cited here are from a book that Rajesh Shukla and I are writing, explaining how income and expenditure patterns vary among various castes, across various education and occupation groups, in different states, and so on). This is what brings us to Nitish Kumar and his campaign across Bihar.
Data from the NCAER’s latest all-India income survey, on which the book is based, clearly show the big differences in income levels across castes doesn’t have as much to do with discrimination as is commonly believed. As compared to a Scheduled Caste family living in a village, an SC family living in a town with under 5-lakh persons earns Rs 62,300 per annum, or 60 per cent more. The average SC family in a city with more than a million persons earns Rs 82,560 a year. While an illiterate SC family earns Rs 30,630 per year, the average income goes up to Rs 52,434 if the head of the family studies till Class X, and to Rs 109,147 if the head is a graduate.
This is what Nitish Kumar is aiming at. He may play the caste card to perfection in Bihar—in the sense of developing infrastructure in certain caste-pockets—but he knows this can only be a short-term strategy. The overall strategy has to be to move villagers to towns and cities, to move them from agriculture to industry, to educate them—he’s promising 100 per cent literacy, bicycles for girls who reach high school, and more. Since even the poorest fifth of the population spend 6-7 per cent of incomes on education, it’s obvious they realise its importance.
The essential point is that you can’t fight election campaign after campaign on an old idea, and the BJP hasn’t had a new idea for a very long time. When Rajiv Gandhi was alive, LK Advani would taunt him for being weak and not pursuing Pakistani terrorists across the LoC—it’s almost 30 years since, but the taunt remains much the same, never mind if the BJP’s track record is equally poor with the attack on Parliament, Kandahar, and so on; kamandal versus mandal brought the party to power and worked very well when VP Singh was dividing the country into as many castes as possible, but it has ceased to matter since most Hindus think the Ram Mandir issue was over the day the Babri Masjid was demolished. The issue is not of LK Advani who, at last, has offered to do the right thing by quitting; even tomorrow’s bright hope, Narendra Modi, speaks the same language of the past—he’s tackling critical issues like getting water to different parts of his state, developing roads and ports, getting more industry to the state, and so on, but when he’s campaigning outside the state, it’s primarily about Christians and Muslims.
This may draw crowds, but the BJP’s not going to win by preaching to the converted—the core or the hardline Hindu vote has got the party to where it is, it won’t get much better. Here’s a thought: reach out to the Muslims. All data show education is the most critical input to raising income levels and it is equally clear that none of those who harness Muslim votes are interested in educating their youth since this may upset the clergy: Muslims are just slightly better off than SC/STs when it comes to being educated beyond secondary school. The BJP, however, has little to lose from this—it doesn’t get any Muslim votes anyway. Will this alienate the BJP’s traditional voter-base? Possibly, but this is where leadership comes in. Gujarat would be a good place to start, considering the party’s prime ministerial hopeful has the administrative capacity to make it happen.
CHENNAI: Mayawati’s BSP has made a humble beginning in Tamil Nadu. The SC/ST party, which is not averse to taking along even Brahmins with it, contested in 37 of the 39 constituencies and polled a total of 2,52,529 votes. In the pecking order, BSP now stands fourth after actor Vijayakanth’s DMDK in the state.
While the number of votes that went to the BSP was lowest in Central Chennai (2068), the highest number of votes went to Priscilla Pandian, who secured 39,086 votes in Ramanthapuram.
The other constituencies where the BSP’s votes touched the five figure mark were Thiruvallur (reserved) with 10,750 and Pollachi with 16,815. Such a vote share is significant in the context of the State already having its own SC/ST political parties. The VCK, which contested the election as an ally of the DMK and Congress, even saw its leader Thol Thirumavalan winning from Chidambaram (reserved) constituency. Besides, this was the first time the BSP contested elections in such a big way in the state. Though the BSP cannot be accused of splitting votes, there are a few constituencies where it had polled votes more than the difference between the winning and losing candidates. For example, in Pollachi the difference is just over 5,000 while the BSP’s number is 16,815. The vote share apparently indicates that the BSP may emerge as a force to reckon with in future by trying to be part of alliances and contesting elections more seriously.
A first, BSP to pay for official trip
18 May 2009, 0003 hrs IST, Dipak Kumar Dash, TNN
NEW DELHI: Shaken by the drubbing her party received in the capital,
Mayawati now wants to meet her office bearers from block, district and
level and the seven Delhi candidates in Lucknow on Tuesday. And in a
first, the party will provide transport and incur all expenses of the
trip, unlike earlier when candidates and office-bearers were asked to
bear all costs. Over 100 members are expected to attend the meeting.
In another first, the BSP supremo called the meeting in Lucknow
immediately after the poor performance in Delhi rather than ask state
party in-charges to convene a meeting in the capital. Party insiders
say this is Mayawati’s way of ensuring direct dialogue with workers
and keeping the flock together. So far, Mayawati maintained a distance
from grassroot party mangers to protect her “importance. “
In this election and the last assembly poll, the BSP banked on the
money power of its candidates. During the Delhi assembly elections,
party national general secretary Nasimuddin Siddique had told the 70
candidates to manage all expenses including lodging of their “guests,”
leaders from UP who were managing their campaigns.
In this election, BSP fielded two billionaires Deepak Bhardwaj worth
Rs 604 crore and Kanwar Singh Tanwar worth Rs 153 crore, though none
could do the trick for the party. Bhardwaj ended up with only 44,111
votes. “The shift from winning Dalit votes to over-dependence on money
power did the maximum damage in all the seven Lok Sabha seats. Our
whole campaign of being a party of the poor and Dalit completely
failed as we became more popular for fielding the money bags,'’
admitted a party insider.
Although the state BSP unit is yet to calculate which way the Dalit
votes swung, quite a few party candidates admitted that the share of
Dalit votes in BSP basket was not more than 1%. “She became the
untouchable (beyond the reach) for Dalits and our Dalit vote bank
eroded,'’ said a party leader.
Here is detail of India Lok Sabha Elections 2009 - Party wise position