The Bahujan Samaj Party’s efforts to capitalise on the feud between the Samajwadi Party and Bharatiya Janata Party were fruitless as the outfit faces its worst loss since 1993 in the Uttar Pradesh elections. Even as figures from the Election Commission continue to trickle in, the abysmal defeat was made evident by its leads in a paltry 18 constituencies.
In 1993, the Mayawati-led BSP had won only 63 seats, but it had performed worse in 1991 with a win in only 12. In the 2007 UP Assembly elections, it had won with a clear majority over the SP, but quickly bogged down by multiple allegations of corruption and mismanagement.
Like Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, the BSP, too, had dismissed the exit polls’ predictions of a BJP win. The party had tweeted an image of a 1 paisa coin, saying the projected BJP victory was still “overpriced”. The SP’s Akhilesh Yadav, however, did not take the exit polls lightly. He had announced that he was willing to tie up with the BSP if it meant it would keep the BJP from forming government.
However with the BJP’s massive 294-seat lead, a SP-Congress-BSP alliance has no chance against the saffron party – it would trail by more than 100 seats. The BJP will have a clear majority in the Assembly, leaving the BSP with an uncertain future in the state.
At one point during counting on Saturday, the BSP’s vote share was higher than SP’s, according to EC data. This mirrored what happened in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, when the party had the third-highest vote share, but won no seats.