Bahujan Samaj Party

The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) is a national level political party in India that was formed to represent Bahujans (literally means "people in majority"), referring to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and Other Backward Castes (OBC), along with religious minorities.[9] According to Kanshi Ram, when he founded the party in 1984, the Bahujans comprised 85 percent of India's population, but were divided into 6,000 different castes.[10][11] 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.[12] Kanshi Ram named his protégée, Mayawati, as his successor in 2001. The BSP has its main base in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh where it was the second-largest party in the 2019 Indian general election with 19.3% of votes[13] and in the 2017 Uttar Pradesh elections with over 22% of votes.[14] Its election symbol is an elephant.

Bahujan Samaj Party
AbbreviationBSP
PresidentMayawati[1]
Secretary
Lok Sabha leaderKunwar Danish Ali[5]
Rajya Sabha leaderSatish Chandra Mishra
FounderKanshi Ram
Founded14 April 1984 (36 years ago) (1984-04-14)
Preceded byDSSSS
Headquarters12, Gurudwara Rakabganj Road, New Delhi, India-110001
NewspaperBahujan Samaj Bulletin
IdeologySocial equality[6]
Social justice[7]
Self respect[8]
Colours     Blue
ECI StatusNational Party
AllianceMahagathbandhan
Seats in Lok Sabha
10 / 543
Seats in Rajya Sabha
2 / 245
Seats in Vidhan Sabha & Vidhan Parishad
2 / 230
(Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly)
2 / 90
(Chhattisgarh Legislative Assembly)
Number of states and union territories in government
0 / 31
Election symbol
Indian Election Symbol Elephant.png
Website
bspindia.org

EtymologyEdit

"Bahujan" is a Pali term frequently found in Buddhist texts, and literally refers to "the many", or "the majority". It appears in the dictum "Bahujana Hitaya Bahujana Sukhaya", or "The benefit and prosperity of the many", articulated by Gautama Buddha.[15][16][17] In his writing, B. R. Ambedkar used the term to refer to the majority of people in Hindu society that experienced discrimination and oppression on the basis of caste. Jotirao Phule used the term in a similar context, and compared the lower castes of India to slaves in the United States. Dalit and lower-caste writers have suggested this proportion was 85 percent of the population.[17][18] Lower-caste people are sometimes collectively referred to as "bahujan samaj", or the majority community.[19][20] The term has also been translated as "subaltern".[20] The precise set of caste groups described as "Bahujan" has varied with context; in the state of Maharashtra, for example, the term has often excluded Dalits. However, it always refers to non-Dvija, or twice-born, castes, and thus does not include Brahmins, Kshatriyas, or Vaishyas.[21][22][23]

Organisation and structureEdit

The BSP has no separate youth wing; however, youth representation is over 50%.[24] BSP has no social media accounts or website.[25] Sudhindra Bhadoria, a senior party leader, is the only official spokesperson of the BSP.[26] Its organisation involves Bhaichara Committees (brotherhood committees) for gaining support from Forward castes, Other Backward Classes, Dalits and Muslim communities.[27][28][29]

Ideology and political positionsEdit

IdeologyEdit

Its self-proclaimed ideology is "Social Transformation and Economic Emancipation" of the "Bahujan Samaj". The "Bahujan Samaj", to them, consists of 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 victims of the "Manuwadi" system for millennia, a system which benefited upper-caste Hindus only. B. R. Ambedkar, a champion of lower-caste rights, is an important ideological inspiration. The party claims not to be prejudiced against upper-caste Hindus. In 2008, while addressing the audience, Mayawati said: "Our policies and ideology are not against any particular caste or religion. If we were anti-upper caste, we would not have given tickets to candidates from upper castes to contest elections".[30] Satish Chandra Mishra, a BSP senior leader, is upper caste. The party also believe in egalitarianism and hold a strong emphasis on social justice.[31]

StrategyEdit

The Bahujan Samaj Party was founded on the birth anniversary of B. R. Ambedkar, 14 April 1984, by Kanshi Ram,[32] who named former schoolteacher, Mayawati, as his successor of BSP in 2001.[33]

Lesser-known figures from the Indian Rebellion of 1857 have been used as Dalit icons by the BSP, such as Avantibai, Uda Devi, Mahaviri Devi,[34] Jhalkaribai,[35] Matadin Bhangi, Ballu Mehtar, Vira Pasi, Banke Chamar[36] and Chetram Jatav,[37] the social scientist Badri Narayan Tiwari has noted that

Dalit intellectuals supported by BSP, which is trying to mobilize 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 a nation in which they played a significant role.[38]

List of Chief MinistersEdit

Chief Ministers of Uttar PradeshEdit

No Name Constituency Term of office Tenure length Assembly
1 Mayawati 3 June 1995 18 October 1995 137 days twelfth Assembly (1993–95)
(1993 election)
Mayawati Harora 21 March 1997 21 September 1997 184 days Thirteenth Assembly (1996–2002)
(1996 election)
Mayawati Harora 3 May 2002 29 August 2003 1 year, 118 days Fourteenth Assembly (2002–07)
(2002 election)
Mayawati MLC 13 May 2007 15 March 2012 4 years, 307 days Fifteenth Assembly (2007–12)
(2007 election)

HistoryEdit

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.[39] Since this event, they have regarded each other publicly as chief rivals.[40]

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"[41] and asked the BJP-run Government of India to remove Union Tourism and Culture Minister, Jagmohan.[42] In 2007, she began leading a BSP-formed government with an absolute majority for a full five-year term.[43]

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

Silver jubileeEdit

Bahujan Samaj Party on 14 April 2009 celebrated its silver jubilee.[44] Manywar Shri Kanshi Ramji Shahri Garib Awas Yojna, housing scheme for poor was launched by Lucknow Development Authority (LDA).[45] Role of Mayawati was discussed in BSP's success.[46] Mass rally was organised in Lucknow with 10000 police personnel on duty.[47] It was 305th and largest rally of BSP since 1984.[48] As per Observer Research Foundation, within 25 years BSP became third largest political party of India.[49]

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.[50] 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.[31]

 
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.[51] On 26 May 2018, Ram Achal Rajbhar was replaced by R S Kushwaha as the president of UP unit.[52]

2014 Lok Sabha ElectionsEdit

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.[53]

2019 Lok Sabha Elections MahagathbandhanEdit

Prior to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, BSP formed a Mahagathbandhan. The Mahagathbandhan (or Grand Alliance), or simply the Gathbandhan (Alliance),[54][55] is an anti-Congress,[56] anti-BJP[57] Indian political alliance formed in the run-up to the 2019 general election under the leadership of two former Chief Ministers of Uttar Pradesh, Akhilesh Yadav of the Samajwadi Party and Mayawati of the Bahujan Samaj Party, along with Ajit Singh’s Rashtriya Lok Dal and several other political parties, contesting in different states of India.[58][59][60][61][62][63]

The Mahagathbandhan won 15 seats out of 80 in Uttar Pradesh in 2019 Indian General Election.[64]

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)[65]
10th Lok Sabha 1991 231 3 1.61 3.64 Madhya_Pradesh(1)
Punjab (1)
Uttar Pradesh (1)[66]
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 4.19 NA
17th Lok Sabha 2019 383 10 3.67 Uttar Pradesh (10)

Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly (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

Madhya Pradesh Legislative AssemblyEdit

Vidhan Sabha Term Madhya Pradesh
Assembly 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
15th Vidhan Sabha 2018 230 2 5.00

Rajasthan Legislative AssemblyEdit

Vidhan Sabha Term Rajasthan
Assembly Election
Seats
contested
Seats
won
% of
votes
% of votes in
seats contested
9th Vidhan Sabha 1990 57 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
15th Vidhan Sabha 2018 199 6 4.00

Chhattisgarh Legislative AssemblyEdit

Vidhan Sabha Term Chhattisgarh

Assembly Election

Seats
contested
Seats
won
% of
votes
% of votes in
seats contested
2nd Vidhan Sabha 2003 54 2 4.45 6.94
3rd Vidhan Sabha 2008 90 2 6.11 6.11
4th Vidhan Sabha 2013 90 1 4.27 4.27
5th Vidhan Sabha 2018 33 2 3.9 3.9

Bihar Legislative AssemblyEdit

Vidhan Sabha Term Bihar
Assembly 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 228 0 2.1 2.2[67]

Delhi Legislative AssemblyEdit

Vidhan Sabha Term Delhi
Assembly Election
Seats
contested
Seats
won
% of
votes
% of votes in
seats contested
1st Vidhan Sabha 1992 55 1 3.90 2.42
2nd Vidhan Sabha 1998 58 0 3.15 3.63
3rd Vidhan Sabha 2003 40 0 5.76 8.96
4th Vidhan Sabha 2008 70 2 14.05 14.05
5th Vidhan Sabha 2013 69 0 5.33 5.44
6th Vidhan Sabha 2015 70 0 1.31 1.31

Haryana Legislative AssemblyEdit

Vidhan Sabha Term Haryana

Assembly 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[68] 4.37[69] 4.52
14th Vidhan Sabha 2019 87 0 4.14 4.31

Himachal Pradesh Legislative AssemblyEdit

Vidhan Sabha Term Himachal Pradesh
Assembly 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
13th Vidhan Sabha 2017 42 0 0.49 0.79

Jammu and Kashmir Legislative AssemblyEdit

Vidhan Sabha Term Jammu and Kashmir
Assembly Election
Seats
contested
Seats
won
% of
votes
% of votes in
seats contested
9th Vidhan Sabha 1996 29 4 6.43 15.07[70]
10th Vidhan Sabha 2002 33 1 4.50 7.86[71]
11th Vidhan Sabha 2008 83 0 3.73 3.73[72]
12th Vidhan Sabha 2014 50 0 1.41 2.07[73]

Jharkhand Legislative AssemblyEdit

Vidhan Sabha Term Jharkhand
Assembly Election
Seats
contested
Seats
won
% of
votes
% of votes in
seats contested
3rd Vidhan Sabha 2009 78 0 2.44 2.55[74]
4th Vidhan Sabha 2014 61[75] 1[76] 1.8 2.4

Karnataka Legislative AssemblyEdit

Vidhan Sabha Term Karnataka

Assembly Election

Seats
contested
Seats
won
Total of
votes
% of
votes
% of votes in
seats contested
15th Vidhan Sabha 2018 18 1 108592 0.30% 3.72%

Kerala Legislative AssemblyEdit

Vidhan Sabha Term Kerala
Assembly Election
Seats
contested
Seats
won
% of
votes
% of votes in
seats contested
13th Vidhan Sabha 2011 122 0 0.60 0.70
14th Vidhan Sabha 2016 74 0 0.24 0.45

Maharashtra Legislative AssemblyEdit

Vidhan Sabha Term Maharashtra

Assembly 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 280[77] 0 2.25[78] 2.33
14th Vidhan Sabha 2019 262 0 0.92 1.00

Punjab Legislative AssemblyEdit

Vidhan Sabha Term Punjab
Assembly 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 4.29 4.30
15th Vidhan Sabha 2017 111 0 1.52 1.59

Telangana Legislative AssemblyEdit

Electoral performance in the Telangana Legislative Assembly
Election Leader Votes Seats Position Resulting government
# % # ±
2014 Mayawati 4,58,762 1.00
2 / 117
 – 7th TRS majority
2018 Mayawati 4,28,430 2.10
0 / 117
 2 none TRS majority

Uttarakhand Legislative AssemblyEdit

Electoral performance in the Uttarakhand Legislative Assembly
Election Leader Votes Seats Position Resulting government
# % # ±
2002 [[Mayavati)) 3,12,842 10.93
7 / 70
 – 3rd INC majority
2007 Mayawati 4,43,703 11.76
8 / 70
 1 3rd BJP coalition
2012 Mayawati 5,18,227 12.19
3 / 70
 5 3rd INC coalition
2017 Mayawati 3,47,533 6.98
0 / 70
 3 none BJP majority

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

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