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The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) is the third largest national political party in India.[6] It was formed mainly to represent Bahujans (literally meaning "People in majority"), referring to people from the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Castes (OBC), as well as religious minorities that together consist of 85 percent of India's population but still divided into 6000 different castes.[7][8]

Bahujan Samaj Party
Abbreviation BSP
Leader Mayawati
President Mayawati[1]
Founder Kanshi Ram
Preceded by DSSSS
Headquarters 12, Gurudwara Rakabganj Road, New Delhi, India-110001
Ideology Ambedkarism
Human rights
Buddhism
Social equality[2]
Secularism
Social justice[3]
Self respect[4]
Political position Centre-left
Colours      Blue
ECI Status National Party
Seats in Lok Sabha
0 / 545
Seats in Rajya Sabha
6 / 245
Election symbol
Elephant
Website
www.bspindia.org
Influential figures
Jyotirao Phule, an Indian activist, thinker, social reformer from Maharashtra. He fought for the eradication of untouchability and the caste system, women's emancipation and the reform of Hindu family life. He also formed the Satyashodhak Samaj (Society of Seekers of Truth) to attain equal rights for peasants and people from lower castes.
B. R. Ambedkar, chief architect of Indian Constitution and first law minister of India who campaigned against untouchability, caste system and also campaigned for the rights of women and labourers.

The party claims to be inspired by the philosophy of Gautama Buddha,B. R. Ambedkar, Mahatma Jyotiba Phule, Narayana Guru, Periyar E. V. Ramasamy and Chhatrapati Shahuji Maharaj.[9] It was founded by Kanshi Ram in 1984, who named his protégée Mayawati as his successor in 2001.

The BSP was the third most voted-for party in the 2014 general election but still failed to win any seats in the 16th Lok Sabha.[10] The BSP has its main base in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. In 2017 Uttar Pradesh elections, BSP was second largest party in terms of vote share with over 22% votes despite winning only 19 seats.[11] It has an elephant as its election symbol.

Contents

Origin of the word BahujanEdit

The Pali word "Bahujan" is popularly found in the literature of Buddhist texts. Gautama Buddha used this word to guide his disciples to work for the Bahujan Hitay Bahujan Sukhay (tran. Benefit and prosperity of majority people).[12][13][14] The BSP used this slogan extensively to campaign in her political rallies.[15]

HistoryEdit

IdeologyEdit

The BSP's primary focus is on the uplifting of what it sees as the nation's downtrodden groups. Its self-proclaimed ideology is "Social Transformation and Economic Emancipation" of the "Bahujan Samaj". The "Bahujan Samaj", to them, includes the lower-caste groups in India like the Scheduled Castes (SC), the Scheduled Tribes (ST) and the Other Backward Classes (OBC). It also includes religious minorities like Sikhs, Muslims, Christians, Parsis and Buddhists. They see these groups as having been victims of the "Manuwadi" system for millennia, a system which benefited upper-caste Hindus only. They hold B.R. Ambedkar, champion of lower-caste rights, as one of their key icons and ideological inspirations. They also believe in egalitarianism and hold a strong emphasis on social justice.

StrategyEdit

The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) was founded on the birth anniversary of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar (i.e. 14 April 1984) by Kanshi Ram,[16] who named former schoolteacher Mayawati as his successor in 2001.[17]

Speaking of lesser-known figures from the Indian Rebellion of 1857 who have been used as Dalit icons by the BSP, such as Chetram Jatav, the social scientist Badri Narayan Tiwari has noted that

Dalit intellectuals supported by BSP, which is trying to mobilise grassroot Dalits using local heroes, histories, myths and legends found a wealth of resources in the oral history of the regions of [Uttar Pradesh] centering around the 1857 rebellion. The political strategy of the party is to tell and retell the stories of these heroes, build memorials and organize celebrations around their stories repeatedly to build a collective memory in the psyche of the people. The stories are narrated in such a manner that the Dalits imagine the story of the making of this nation in which they played a significant role.[18]

DevelopmentEdit

The party's power grew quickly with seats in the Legislative Assembly of Uttar Pradesh and the Lok Sabha, the lower house of the Parliament of India. In 1993, following the assembly elections, Mayawati formed a coalition with Samajwadi Party President Mulayam Singh Yadav as Chief Minister. On 2 June 1995, she withdrew support from his government, which led to a major incident where Yadav was accused of sending his goons to keep her party legislators hostage at a Lucknow guest house and shout casteist abuses at her.[19] Since this event, they have regarded each other publicly as chief rivals.[20]

Mayawati then obtained support from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to become Chief Minister on 3 June 1995. In October 1995, the BJP withdrew their support and fresh elections were called after a period of President's Rule. In 2003, Mayawati resigned from her own government to prove that she was not "hungry for power"[21] and asked the BJP-run Government of India to remove Union Tourism and Culture Minister, Jagmohan.[22] In 2007, she began leading a BSP-formed government with an absolute majority for a full five-year term.[23]

 
Bahujan Samaj Party claims to represent the low and lowly. A man carrying the BSP flag.

Success in 2007Edit

The results of the May 2007 Uttar Pradesh state assembly election saw the BSP emerge as a sole majority party, the first to do so since 1991. Mayawati began her fourth term as Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh and took her oath of office along with 50 ministers of cabinet and state rank on 13 May 2007, at Rajbhawan in the state capital of Lucknow.[24] Most importantly, the majority achieved in large part was due to the party's ability to take away majority of upper castes votes from their traditional party, the BJP.[25]

 
Flags of "Bahujan Samaj Party" at Shivaji Park, Mumbai.

The party could manage only 80 seats in 2012 as against 206 in 2007 assembly elections. BSP government was the first in the history of Uttar Pradesh to complete its full five-year term.[26] On 11 July 2012, the party in a major revamp, replaced Swami Prasad Maurya by Ram Achal Rajbhar as President of UP Unit.[27]

The 2014 national Lok Sabha elections saw the BSP become the third-largest national party of India in terms of vote percentage, having 4.2% of the vote across the country but gaining no seats.[28]

Secret successor of MayawatiEdit

On 9 August 2009; Mayawati declared that she had chosen a successor from the Dalit community who is 18–20 years her junior. She has penned down his name in a sealed packet left in the safe custody of two of her close confidantes. The name of the successor will be disclosed on her death.[29]

Election resultsEdit

Lok Sabha (Lower House)Edit

Lok Sabha Term Indian
General Election
Seats
contested
Seats
won
 % of
votes
 % of votes in
seats contested
State (seats)
9th Lok Sabha 1989 245 4 2.07 4.53 Punjab (1)
Uttar Pradesh (3)[30]
10th Lok Sabha 1991 231 3 1.61 3.64 Madhya_Pradesh(1)
Punjab (1)
Uttar Pradesh (1)[31]
11th Lok Sabha 1996 210 11 4.02 11.21 Madhya Pradesh(2)
Punjab (3)
Uttar Pradesh (6)
12th Lok Sabha 1998 251 5 4.67 9.84 Haryana (1)
Uttar Pradesh (4)
13th Lok Sabha 1999 225 14 4.16 9.97 Uttar Pradesh (14)
14th Lok Sabha 2004 435 19 5.33 6.66 Uttar Pradesh (19)
15th Lok Sabha 2009 500 21 6.17 6.56 Madhya Pradesh(1)
Uttar Pradesh (20)
16th Lok Sabha 2014 503 0 4.3 NA

Uttar Pradesh Vidhan Sabha (Lower House)Edit

Vidhan Sabha Term UP
elections
Seats
contested
Seats
won
 % of
votes
 % of votes in
seats contested
12th Vidhan Sabha 1993 164 67 11.12 28.52
13th Vidhan Sabha 1996 296 67 19.64 27.73
14th Vidhan Sabha 2002 401 98 23.06 23.19
15th Vidhan Sabha 2007 403 206 30.43 30.43
16th Vidhan Sabha 2012 403 80 25.95 25.95
17th Vidhan Sabha 2017 403 19 22.24 22.24

Other states where BSP has a presenceEdit

 
As of June 2016, states with BSP presence are shown in blue shades as in accordance to which seats in assemblies varies.

Bihar Vidhan SabhaEdit

Vidhan Sabha Term Bihar
General Election
Seats
contested
Seats
won
 % of
votes
 % of votes in
seats contested
10th Vidhan Sabha 1990 164 0 0.73 1.41
11th Vidhan Sabha 1995 161 2 1.34 2.66
12th Vidhan Sabha 2000 249 5 1.89 2.47
13th Vidhan Sabha Feb. 2005 238 2 4.41 4.50
14th Vidhan Sabha Oct. 2005 212 4 4.17 4.75
15th Vidhan Sabha 2010 243 0 3.21 3.27
16th Vidhan Sabha 2015 243 0 2.1 2.1[32]

Chhattisgarh Vidhan SabhaEdit

Vidhan Sabha Term Chhattisgarh
General Election
Seats
contested
Seats
won
 % of
votes
 % of votes in
seats contested
2nd Vidhan Sabha 2003 54 2 4.45 9.4
3rd Vidhan Sabha 2008 90 2 6.11 6.11
4th Vidhan Sabha 2013 90 1 4.27 4.29

Delhi Vidhan SabhaEdit

Vidhan Sabha Term Delhi
General Election
Seats
contested
Seats
won
 % of
votes
 % of votes in
seats contested
1st Vidhan Sabha 1993 55 0 1.80 2.42
2nd Vidhan Sabha 1998 58 0 3.09 3.63
3rd Vidhan Sabha 2003 40 0 5.76 8.96
4th Vidhan Sabha 2008 69 2 14.05 14.05
5th Vidhan Sabha 2013 69 0 5.33 5.44
6th Vidhan Sabha 2015 70 0 1.3 1.3

Haryana Vidhan SabhaEdit

Vidhan Sabha Term Haryana
General Election
Seats
contested
Seats
won
 % of
votes
 % of votes in
seats contested
10th Vidhan Sabha 2000 83 1 5.74 6.22
11th Vidhan Sabha 2005 84 1 3.22 3.44
12th Vidhan Sabha 2009 86 1 6.73 7.05
13th Vidhan Sabha 2014 87 1[33] 4.37[34] 4.52

Himachal Pradesh Vidhan SabhaEdit

Vidhan Sabha Term Himachal Pradesh
General Election
Seats
contested
Seats
won
 % of
votes
 % of votes in
seats contested
7th Vidhan Sabha 1990 35 0 0.94 1.76
8th Vidhan Sabha 1993 49 0 2.25 3.0
9th Vidhan Sabha 1998 28 0 1.41 3.28
10th Vidhan Sabha 2003 23 0 0.7 2.02
11th Vidhan Sabha 2007 67 1 7.40 7.37
12th Vidhan Sabha 2012 67 0 1.7 2.02

Jammu and Kashmir Vidhan SabhaEdit

Vidhan Sabha Term Jammu and Kashmir
General Election
Seats
contested
Seats
won
 % of
votes
 % of votes in
seats contested
9th Vidhan Sabha 1996 29 4 6.43 15.07[35]
10th Vidhan Sabha 2002 33 1 4.50 7.86[36]
11th Vidhan Sabha 2008 83 0 3.73 3.73[37]
12th Vidhan Sabha 2014 50 0 1.41 2.07[38]

Jharkhand Vidhan SabhaEdit

Vidhan Sabha Term Jharkhand
General Election
Seats
contested
Seats
won
 % of
votes
 % of votes in
seats contested
3rd Vidhan Sabha 2009 78 0 2.44 2.55[39]
4th Vidhan Sabha 2014 41[40] 1[41] 1.4 1.8

Madhya Pradesh Vidhan SabhaEdit

Vidhan Sabha Term Madhya Pradesh
General Election
Seats
contested
Seats
won
 % of
votes
 % of votes in
seats contested
9th Vidhan Sabha 1990 183 2 3.54 5.89
10th Vidhan Sabha 1993 286 2 7.05 7.86
11th Vidhan Sabha 1998 170 11 6.15 11.39
12th Vidhan Sabha 2003 157 2 7.26 10.62
13th Vidhan Sabha 2008 230 7 8.97 9.29
14th Vidhan sabha 2013 227 4 6.29 6.42

Maharashtra Vidhan SabhaEdit

Vidhan Sabha Term Maharashtra
General Election
Seats
contested
Seats
won
 % of
votes
 % of votes in
seats contested
8th Vidhan Sabha 1990 122 0 0.42 0.98
9th Vidhan Sabha 1995 145 0 1.49 2.82
10th Vidhan Sabha 1999 83 0 0.39 1.24
11th Vidhan Sabha 2004 272 0 4.0 4.18
12th Vidhan Sabha 2009 287 0 2.35 2.42
13th Vidhan Sabha 2014 260[42] 0 2.3[43]

Punjab Vidhan SabhaEdit

Vidhan Sabha Term Punjab
General Election
Seats
contested
Seats
won
 % of
votes
 % of votes in
seats contested
10th Vidhan Sabha 1992 105 9 16.32 17.59
11th Vidhan Sabha 1997 67 1 7.48 13.28
12th Vidhan Sabha 2002 100 0 5.69 6.61
13th Vidhan Sabha 2007 115 0 4.13 4.17
14th Vidhan Sabha 2012 117 0 4.28 4.28
15th Vidhan Sabha 2017 117 0 1.5 1.5

Rajasthan Vidhan SabhaEdit

Vidhan Sabha Term Rajasthan
General Election
Seats
contested
Seats
won
 % of
votes
 % of votes in
seats contested
9th Vidhan Sabha 1990 205 0 0.79 2.54
10th Vidhan Sabha 1993 50 0 0.56 2.01
11th Vidhan Sabha 1998 108 2 2.17 3.81
12th Vidhan Sabha 2003 124 2 3.97 6.40
13th Vidhan Sabha 2008 199 6 7.60 7.66
14th Vidhan Sabha 2013 199 3 3.37 3.48

Uttarakhand Vidhan SabhaEdit

Vidhan Sabha Term Uttarakhand
General Election
Seats
contested
Seats
won
 % of
votes
 % of votes in
seats contested
1st Vidhan Sabha 2002 68 7 10.93 11.20
2nd Vidhan Sabha 2007 69 8 11.76 11.76
3rd Vidhan Sabha 2012 70 3 12.19 12.19
4th Vidhan Sabha 2017 70 0 7.00 7.00

Kerala Vidhan SabhaEdit

Vidhan Sabha Term Kerala
General Election
Seats
contested
Seats
won
Total of
votes
 % of
votes
13th Vidhan Sabha 2011 122 0 104977 0.60
14th Vidhan Sabha 2016 74 0 0.24 0.24

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ PTI (30 August 2014). "Mayawati elected BSP president for another term". livemint.com. Retrieved 2016-06-04. 
  2. ^ "'BSP stands for social equality'". Deccan Herald. 11 February 2008. Retrieved 2016-03-13. 
  3. ^ "Cong damaged cause of social justice: Mayawati". Hindustan Times. 10 April 2009. Retrieved 2016-06-04. 
  4. ^ "Ms. Mayawati said she would devote her life for the self-respect movement". The Hindu. 
  5. ^ "Maya's personal aide is named party's new general secretary". Indian Express. 4 February 2015. Retrieved 2016-03-13. 
  6. ^ "Vote share: BJP gets 31 pc; 3rd largest BSP gets no seat". Rediff. Retrieved 4 October 2016. 
  7. ^ "We need to become ruling class if we want to form a casteless society – Saheb Kanshi Ram". drambedkarbooks.com. Bahujan Sanghatak. 
  8. ^ "The party figured out that if it really wants to ensure that 15 percent would not rule over the remaining 85 percent". 
  9. ^ "The ground flanked by giant sized cut-outs of BSP's icons -- Babasaheb Ambedkar, Shahuji Maharaj, Jyotiba Phule, Narain Guru, Periyar and Mayawati herself". 
  10. ^ "Lok Sabha polls: Parties corner vote share, but fail to win seats". ZeeNews. 
  11. ^ IANS (12 March 2017). "Assembly Elections Results 2017: Political parties with lesser seats get more vote share". The Financial Express (in Latin). Retrieved 21 May 2017. 
  12. ^ "Bahujanahitasuttaṃ". Access to Insight. Retrieved 4 October 2016. 
  13. ^ "For the Welfare of Many". Access to Insight. Retrieved 4 October 2016. 
  14. ^ Madan, Gurmukh Ram (1999). Buddhism: Its Various Manifestations. Mittal Publications. p. 47. ISBN 978-81-7099-728-3. 
  15. ^ "Mayawati has announced rallies named "Bahujan Hitay Bahujan Sukhay" across the state". The Indian Express. Retrieved 4 October 2016. 
  16. ^ Singh, Pitam (2003). Women legislators in Indian politics. New Delhi: Concept Pub. Co. p. 101. ISBN 8180690199. 
  17. ^ Pradhan, Sharat (15 December 2001). "Kanshi Ram declares Mayawati as his successor". Rediff News. 
  18. ^ Tiwari, Badri Narayan (2007). "Identity and Narratives: Dalits and memories of 1857" (PDF). University of Edinburgh: Mutiny at the Margins Conference: 13, 27, 33. 
  19. ^ "Report indicting Mulayam Singh Yadav comes handy for BJP". India Today. 15 August 1996. Retrieved 2016-05-12. 
  20. ^ Ghildiyal, Subodh. "Why Mayawati cannot stand Mulayam". 
  21. ^ "Uttar Pradesh chief quits". BBC News. 26 August 2003. Retrieved 2016-03-25. 
  22. ^ "Mayawati offers to resign". The Times of India. 25 August 2003. Retrieved 2016-03-25. 
  23. ^ "Mayawati rules Uttar Pradesh". India Today. 21 May 2007. Retrieved 2016-03-25. 
  24. ^ "Mayawati takes oath as UP CM". NDTV. 
  25. ^ "Upper castes played crucial role in bsp victory in up assembly elections". 
  26. ^ http://eciresults.nic.in/PartyWiseResult.htm
  27. ^ "BSP replaces U.P. chief". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 12 July 2012. 
  28. ^ "BSP gets third-largest vote share, but no seat". Business Standard. 
  29. ^ "Mayawati talks of the secret successor : India". Nerve.in. Retrieved 2012-07-12. 
  30. ^ "Members : Lok Sabha". IIS Windows Server. 2 May 2016. Retrieved 2016-05-02. 
  31. ^ "Members : Lok Sabha". IIS Windows Server (in Javanese). 2 May 2016. Retrieved 2016-05-02. 
  32. ^ "Bihar polls: In NDA vs Grand Alliance fight, BSP fails to make mark". 
  33. ^ "Tek Chand Sharma won the lone seat for the party from the Prithla seat in Faridabad by a margin of 1,179 votes". Hindustan Times. 
  34. ^ "ELECTION COMMISSION OF INDIA GENERAL\BYE ELECTION TO LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLIES TRENDS & RESULT 2014". Archived from the original on 3 November 2014. 
  35. ^ "1996 - Election Commission of India" (PDF). 
  36. ^ "STATISTICAL REPORT ON GENERAL ELECTION, 2002" (PDF). 
  37. ^ "BSP have failed to make a mark". Hindustan Times. 
  38. ^ "STATISTICAL REPORT ON GENERAL LECTION,2014 TO THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY OF Jammu & Kashmir" (PDF). 
  39. ^ "2009 - Election Commission of India" (PDF). 
  40. ^ "41 in Jharkhand". Archived from the original on 28 December 2014. 
  41. ^ "Bahujan Samaj Party makes debut with 1/81 score". Indian Express. 
  42. ^ "BSP had contested on 260 seats in Maharashtra". Daily Bhaskar. 
  43. ^ "ELECTION COMMISSION OF INDIA GENERAL\BYE ELECTION TO LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLIES TRENDS & RESULT 2014". Archived from the original on 3 November 2014. 

External linksEdit