Mayawati has much at stake in the second phase of election in UP
Lucknow: Mayawati , who has found the Dalit Ki Beti reference about herself , as the highest selling point, has much at stake in the second phase of election in Uttar Pradesh which will end on Wednesday evening. She has banked largely on Muslims, other than her traditional Dalit voters, in the current election , in the state and the constituencies which have gone to polls in this phase have heavy Muslim presence.
Seven out of the eleven districts have as much as 30 per cent Muslims. Two other districts of Rampur ande Moradabad have more than fifty per cent people belonging to the minority community. Clearly, if her gamble does not pay off and if Muslims do not overwhelmingly favour the party ,she has much to worry about.
In the 2007 poll she had done almost as well as her main rival ,Samajwadi Party winning 23 out of the total 67 seats where polling is being held. The SP was only one seat better. In the next poll in 2012 she had not performed well bagging only 18 seats against 34 by the rival.
However, in both these elections, she had depended mainly on Dalits and not tried to woo Muslims as much as she has done this time. In addition to allotting a larger number of seats to them she has roped in several Muslim clerics who have already appealed to members of the community to vote in her favour.
She has even gone to the extent of declaring that she will have no truck with the Bhartiya Janta Party , she had formed government with once ,much before the end of the election just to ensure that they did not share votes with the SP to a large extent,
Under the circumstances, if she does not get the overwhelming support from the community on these seats ,she will have to re-think about them in the next election.
She is under tremendous pressure also because she had not fared well in last two elections, In 2012 she had lost to the SP which formed the government and 2014 Lok Sabha poll she drew a blank. In the parliamentary election ,the BJP, which later formed the government at the Centre, had led in 49 assembly segments in 11 districts. The party had won 16 Lok Sabha seats in this belt.
The SP is also facing the heat because it has allied with the Congress for the first time to cause setback to the BSP. For the Party's new chief, Akhilesh Yadav, especially, these seats matter much. The reason is that the party had won a majority of seats in the previous election when his father was at the helm of affairs. He has to do at least equally well to avoid criticism. The BJP had done poorly in these constituencies in the previous election. So, any addition to its 12-seat tally will be a bonus.