Does Mayawati a spent force?

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The lone Dalit woman who started her political career from scratch and almost become a deity among her followers has suddenly become a talking point in political circles after she stunned the ruling dispensation in Uttar Pradesh with her understanding with Samajwadi Party to ensure the defeat of BJP candidates in two high profile by-election in Gorakhpur and Phulpur, this defeat drew attention from everywhere as  only a year ago BJP  stormed to power  in the largest populated state of Country with unprecedented mandate and  almost vanish the opposition in continuation to its unstoppable chariot of victory from year 2014 general elections.

Only few days after tasting a bitter defeat of its candidates in by-elections the ruling BJP retaliated in just concluded biennial elections of upper house and ensured the BSP would not be able to sail through with its candidate to upper House and its candidate Bheemrao Ambedkar lost to BJP candidate Anil Aggarwal in second preference vote count.

This new interesting political game provides a glimpse of the bigger game in offing in 2019 and the centre of the political fight for  general elections will be Uttar Pradesh and BJP has anticipated the challenge before herself and deploying more energy to harvest and explore  new political capitals in new regions of Eastern part of country.

In this new resurgent political fight between BJP and others in Uttar Pradesh , chief of Bahujan Samaj Party Mayawati has become relevant political figure after a gap of more than four years when in 2014 general elections her party was unable to open its account and in 2017 it was again decimated from Uttar Pradesh legislative assembly and twin massive defeats  changed her political priorities which could give a  paradigm shift to not only politics of Uttar Pradesh but  the national politics as well.

Ms Mayawati is a kind of politician who rebrands herself from time to time and changes her political priorities and strategies.

In 1990’s when  Hindutva movement , Dalit Movement and Mandal movement were simultaneously  going together and Late Kanshiram stitched a social alliance with his theory of “ Jiski jitni hissedari Uski Utni Sajhidari” ( The partnership in power would be proportionate to numbers) it stopped    the unstoppable wave of Hindutva from 1989 to 1992 and Hindi belt was buzzed with discussion on  social justice rather than Hindutva  and making sure that justice for dalits and Backwards be meted out from political revolution and new theory of social transformation from Political revolution was adopted .

The social alliance between two political parties Bahujan samaj Party and Samjawadi party lasted for almost two and half years when famous guest house incident happened and political relations between BSP and SP soured with larger implications  and both the political parties separated from each other  for decades to come and Bahujan Samaj Party along with Kanshi Ram and  Ms Mayawati came closer to BJP leadership and they together formed the governments few times .

In the end of the decade of 1990’s and in the beginning of 21st century Bahujan Samaj Party changed its face  and strategy again as KanshiRam pushed through Maywati as his successor and since he died in 2006 MS Mayawati emerged as the sole leader of Bahujan Samaj party with her nickname as “ Bahanji” ( Sister) among her supporters. Around the death of KanshiRam BSP would be changing its face and  Ms Mayawati  made  tectonic shift in her ideological position and reached out to upper caste to stitch an alliance with power sharing arrangements between different social groups . In the state elections of Uttar Pradesh in 2007 Upper caste Hindus overwhelmingly voted for Ms  Mayawati and she voted to power with absolute majority in Vidhan sabha.

Since 2007 to 2012 Ms  Mayawati become hostage to her own megalomaniac syndrome and she tried to build her image  as deity among her supporters and in this process she build lot of memorials with her statues with other Dalit icons.

The megalomaniac syndrome of  Ms Maywati led to her downfall and she deviated from her Dalit mission which created a vacumn in Dalit movement and in year 2014 when country was sweeping under the Modi wave of change, Dalit voters too switched their sides and voted in large numbers to BJP as they were too looking for new alternative leader for their movement and more of the Dalit leaders who felt betrayed from Mayawati chose to side with Narendra Modi.

This shift in Dalit movement and their supporters gave huge setback to Ms Mayawati and she had not been able to open her account in general elections in 2014 and this trend continued in 2017 state elections in Uttar Pradesh too.

Since 2014 to 2017 it was felt that Ms Mayawati is a lost political force and her role and stature in state politics was estimated as minimal but in byelections in Gorakhpur and Phulpur she again proved most of the people wrong with her capacity and resilience to come out from nowhere.

Although BJP can console herself for retaliating in biennial elections for upper house but their anticipation for a tough fight in general elections is well known.

What has changed for Ms  Mayawati in last one year since she was almost decimated in state elections?

Ms Mayawati exploited few fault lines in BJP strategy and worked upon this.

The decision of BJP to elect an upper caste Hindu as its chief Minister provided an ammunition to Mayawati to create fear psychosis among Dalit and Backward class that BJP tries to impose Upper caste Hindus in the garb of Hindutva as Dalits and Backwards too voted for BJP in 2017 state elections but BJP formed government with unprecedented majority which was headed by Upper Caste Hindu which happened after almost three decades.

 

The over emphasis of BJP government on Hindutva rather than governance made people of the state disappointed as their expectations for better life went into darkness and their regular life suffered and it was felt that state is run in style as religious seminaries are run and they started comparing the previous governments with this new one and they find it more rhetorical than in substance.

Over aggressive and over enthusiastic approach of government to impose the writ of state  created insecurity among people of the state particularly the poor and underprivileged class who always feel apprehensive on over handedness of state and its authorities who made them escape goats in several matter to get the good report card from their seniors.

These factors multiplied in themselves and Mayawati has realized that she has nothing to lose at this time around and she want to provoke BJP to retaliate more on her and look vindictive to her , who in turn can proclaim their high handedness as vindictiveness and bias approach  for Dalits.

As general elections are no longer a year , Ms Mayawati has kept the card of victimhood close to her chest which will  in anyway going to benefit her and paint BJP in the color as Mayawati want it to be looked . The highhandedness of BJP for Mayawati or their attempt to create a wide between SP and BSP are the part of strategies which Mayawati anticipates for her and BJP does not seem to have some other strategy for her to contain.