The SP feud has almost submerged the party differences occurring in the BSP. With two ministers marching out of the party wings levying corruption charges on the her, Mayawati could be seen struggling to regain her image.
Many within the party cadres would support general secretary Swami Prasad Maurya and former minister RK Chaudhary alleging that Mayawati is selling party tickets, but in a hushed tone. This, especially when the supremo herself and her close aides disagree blatantly.
A thing to worry
Apart from the minister duo mentioned above, there are already many detractors from her party. For instance, former party colleagues, family members of BSP founder Kanshi Ram, switched to other parties. Some of them also run independent campaigns against her.
Meanwhile, Maurya's amd Chaudhary's exit threatens to disbalance the vote bank that Mayawati has been expecting. Maurya was pitched as an OBC face my Mayawati and also hails from the numerically powerful Maurya-Khushwaha caste. His exit will land a severe blow to the votes coming from this community. Similarly, Chaudhury's exit will hit the votes coming from the Pasi sub-caste of Dalits.
Further consider, Maurya has won four elections of assembly and Chaudhury has been an MLA thriceIn fact, Chaudhury had polled more than 3 lakh votes from Mohanlalganj seat in the 2014 elections even though he had failed to win.
Maurya further accuses Mayawati of ignoring 56% OBCs during ticket distribution, which makes a leader primarily of the Jatavs. This is not going down too well with the party cadres.
In fact, party members are losing their trust on her, even though she continues to show her power on them by revoking the expulsion of two MLAs after Maurya's exit. Moreover, she has not brought any major changes in her party's functioning ever since her poor performance in the last two elections.
Members may leave and the exit may not be silent. Maurya and Chaudhary have showed them the way.
Maya casts a spell
Mayawati's defence comes instantly as she sites the reason why Maurya left, because she did not issue a ticket to his son and daughter. She also said that she was working against "nepotism". Kanshi Ram too is alleged to have quit because he did not get the status that he hoped for.
However, the argument does not appeal many, especially those who have seen family members of BSP leaders get tickets. However, they may still back her after her pitch to consolidate Muslim votes in Uttar Pradesh. In fact, she urges her Muslim audience saying that they should not vote for Congress or Samajwadi as that will indirectly benefit the BJP, a party the Muslims hesitate to vote for.
"In such circumstances Muslims should not waste their ballot by voting for them or else it will help the BJP.... Similarly Congress does not have a vote base and voting for it will also benefit BJP," Mayawati said. She further stressed, "To stop the BJP, the vote should not go to either the Samajwadi Party or the Congress as with every Assembly seat having 22 to 23 percent Dalit votes, BSP can sail through with the help of Muslim votes or else the same scenario can emerge that was seen in 2014."
So much for the Dalit-Muslim consolidation.
But it remains to be seen whether Mayawati is able to win back the confidence of her party cadres before the UP elections are announced.