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Mayawati’s risky calculus

D2G wears no responsibility of the views published here by the respective Author. This Editorial is used here for Study Purpose. Students are advised to learn the word-meaning, The Art of Writing Skills and understand the crux of this Editorial.
MEANINGS are given in BOLD and ITALIC


After the shock of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections when it got no seats in Uttar Pradesh, the Bahujan Samaj Party has sought to forge (the act of beating)  a Dalit-Muslim alliance to revive (to return to life)  its fortunes in the coming Assembly elections in the State. The party has fielded 98 Muslim candidates, the highest number for any party or alliance in the fray (fright), and a clear departure from the grand social alliance (sarvajan hitay) with which it had swept the 2007 Assembly elections. The party would also be counting on its traditional pitch (to cover ; to darken) of ensuring law and order compared to its rivals (a competitor with the same goal as another).

This is why the induction into the BSP of Mukhtar Ansari, an eastern U.P. strongman who faces serious criminal charges, along with his relatives, puts the spotlight on how the party chief, Ms. Mayawati, may be refining her strategy — and how her back-to-basics social alliance will square off against her party’s record of being tough on the law and order front. Mr. Ansari had been expelled (to eject ; to remove from membership) from the BSP in 2010 for alleged criminal activities. His antecedents (earlier, either in time or order)  made news recently when he merged his political party, the Quami Ekta Dal, with the Samajwadi Party in October 2016. This had Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav rise in protest against his uncle Shivpal Yadav and use the development to project himself as a ‘clean’ politician.

For Ms. Mayawati, Mr. Ansari’s return to the BSP could help consolidate (to make stronger ; to combine into a single unit)  support from Muslims on the basis of identity, as she tries to secure her old vote banks. Dalits are 21% of the population in U.P. When it first came to power with a full majority in the Assembly in 2007, the BSP adopted a “sarva-samaj” rhetoric (the act of using language), assured of support from its Dalit base. But since then, Dalits have steadily moved away, notably (as a pointed example in a useful manner)  to the Bharatiya Janata Party in the communally charged 2014 election, without any fresh accrual (an increase, something that accumulates, especially an amount of money) of support from other communities.

Ms. Mayawati has realised over time that she has to appeal (to be attractive) to her core support base among Dalits — which she has done over the past year after attacks on the community in different parts of the country sharpened the contradictions in the Sangh Parivar’s Dalit outreach. Reaching out to Muslims was the next logical step — they constitute 18% of the population in the State, and a Dalit-Muslim alliance is the BSP’s way of forging (to move forward ; to advance gradually but steadily)  a winning strategy. Ms. Mayawati’s gamble of relying on narrow identity politics to counter her rivals is a risky one, and how the party’s appeal compares to the SP-Congress alliance’s is still an open question.

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