BSP not being visible on banners doesn't mean it won't be on ballot in Uttar Pradesh: Satish Misra

By PTI

NEW DELHI: There may not be much pomp and show surrounding the BSP’s campaign for the Uttar Pradesh assembly polls yet, but its leader Mayawati and cadre are working hard on the ground and will surprise everyone with the results like it did in 2007, party general secretary Satish Chandra Misra said on Sunday.

“BSP not being visible on banners doesn’t mean it will not be on ballot papers. The party is in the hearts of people,” Misra said, scoffing at the charge by the party’s rivals that it is not in action ahead of the polls early next year.

“Those discounting BSP can do so at their own peril. The party is working hard and will repeat its feat of 2007 and surprise everyone again,” he told PTI in an interview.

In the 2007 assembly elections, the Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) bagged majority on its own for the first time and formed the government in Uttar Pradesh, the country’s most populous and politically crucial state.

Misra said Mayawati is holding organisational meetings regularly and totally geared up for the assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh and other states.

“She is very much active. She is regularly holding organisational meetings and guiding all of us,” he said.

There may not be much “pomp and show” surrounding the BSP’s campaign in Uttar Pradesh and other states, but that doesn’t mean the party is not on the ground, he said, adding that the party supremo and cadre are working hard at the grassroots.

To a question on whether the election in Uttar Pradesh is becoming a bipolar contest between the ruling BJP and the Samajwadi Party (SP), Misra said such an assumption is “far from reality” and a “misreading” of the state’s political atmosphere.

“It will be totally wrong to assume that the UP election is going to be bipolar (contest) between BJP and SP. Just wait and watch. As soon Behenji starts electioneering, the election will revolve around her,” he said.

Mayawati is called Behenji by her party functionaries and followers.

Misra reiterated that the BSP would not enter into an alliance with any party in the state and would fight the election on its own.

He also emphasised that anyone from neither Mayawati’s family nor his would contest the election.

“BSP originated from a movement…We are working on the philosophy of ‘Sarvjan Hitaye, Sarvjan Sukhaye’ (For welfare of everyone, for happiness of everyone). Ours is not a family-based party,” he said.

The BSP’s performance in the 2017 assembly elections was not up to the mark and it came a distant third by winning only 19 seats out of 403.

While the BJP registered a landslide victory by winning more than 300 seats in 2017, the SP managed to get just 47.

For the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, arch rivals BSP and SP came together to take on the BJP, but they were unable to make any dent and could win only 10 and five seats respectively out of a total of 80.

The SP and the BSP are contesting the coming assembly elections separately.