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Maya’s magic sweeps UP
Shahira Naim
Tribune News Service

Lucknow, May 11
Mayawati’s magic worked in Uttar Pradesh. Proving all poll pundits way off the mark the state’s voter has bestowed an absolute majority to the Bahujan Samaj Party ending 14 years of political flux in the state.

From the word go BSP had the upper hand. The seven leads available in the first hour of counting were all going to her. The trend never reversed throughout the day. By noon the leads and victories of BSP added up to 200.

By noon when the lead crossed the 200 mark her main rival Samajwadi Party national president and Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav conceded defeat.

Accompanied by his principal secretary a crestfallen Yadav later submitted his resignation to Governor T.V. Rajeswar at 3 pm. Accepting the “people’s verdict” he however blamed the Election Commission for his party’s rout.

His party does not hope to win even 100 seats, making it a very poor second indeed. Almost 50 per cent of its sitting MLAs lost. The party did not go anywhere near its previous tally of 143 seats.

A humiliating defeat was also in store for the BJP, which may just about complete half a century as compared to 88 in the outgoing assembly. Even its state president Keshar Nath Tripathi could not retain his seat from Allahabad. Many of its leaders, including leader of opposition Lalji Tandon, barely scraped through in Lucknow East after trailing behind his SP rival for the better part of the day.

Congress, which had won 25 seats in the 2002 election, may also be down by two seats. Rahul Gandhi’s visibly successful road shows across the state may not have been converted into votes but sister Priyanka’s intensive campaigning in the Lok Sabha constituencies of Amethi and Rae Bareli has definitely worked better.

In Rae Bareli district the Congress has won four of the seven seats improving from its 2002 tally of one. In Sultanpur district of which Amethi is a segment the Congress has pocketed two and is leading in another two, which is a slight improvement on its 2002 score of three.

Most of the underworld don-turned politicians virtually sailed through. Voters gave a favourable verdict to at least four contestants, who were behind the bars, Amarmani Tripathi in Laxmipur , Mukhtar Ansari from Mau, Akhilesh Kumar Singh from Rae Bareli Sadar and Anand Sen from Milkipur. Other strongmen like Raja Bhaiyya and D.P. Yadav also won from Kunda and Sahsawan, respectively.

The Kurmi vote bank supposedly represented by Beni Prasad Verma of Rashtriya Samajwadi Dal and Sonelal Patel of Apna Dal also did not work as both of these leaders lost as well most of their candidates.

After waiting and watching the Muslims, too, seem to have shifted their vote to the BSP, which had appeared to be in a position to defeat the BJP and not the Congress as was being hoped.

The poll results have proved beyond all doubt that Mayawati’s strategic social engineering of converting Bahujan Samaj into Sarvjan Samaj has reaped rich dividends.



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