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BSP eyes third place in Karnataka
Vicky Nanjappa in Bangalore | December 17, 2007 11:37 IST
After a stunning performance in Uttar Pradesh, the Bahujan Samajwadi Party is all set to make inroads in the south of India.
BSP chief Mayawati will address a convention in Bangalore on December 23, following which, the party will kick start its election campaign in Karnataka.
The BSP, a relatively new player in Karnataka politics, will be looking to make inroads into the vote banks of both the Janata Dal-Secular and the Congress.
The BSP is banking heavily on the votes of the Dalits and minorties, who form a major chunk of the electorate in the state. BSP leaders in the state say the votes of the Dalits and the minorities were with the Congress and the JD-S in the past.
The BSP is hopeful of eating into this chunk of voters as the trend indicates that voters are fed up with the JD-S and the Congress.
State general secretary, Jigni Shankar says they have been going from village to village in the state to understand the pulse of the people. He says the indication they are getting is that the people are willing to give the BSP a shot in the state.
Shankar says although the party may not get a majority in the state, it is hopeful of getting third place. "This is good enough for us for the first time and we will don the role of king maker, a position that the JD-S enjoyed in the state all these years," he said.
With the BSP confident of coming third in the elections, it remains to be seen which party the BSP will truck with. The party says that, in all probability, it will go with the BJP after the elections.
A pact with the Congress was ruled out as both parties are eyeing the votes from the same section of voters. The major problem that the BSP faces is the lack of leadership. It does not have the dynamism required to run a party and face elections.
At present, the party has its eyes set on leaders like M P Prakash and Siddaramaiah, both former JD-S leaders. Prakash is looking for a party, while Siddaramaiah appears to be disgruntled after joining the Congress.
The recent All-India Congress Committee meeting decided that no leader who is less than three-years-old in the party would be given a position of importance. This seems to have upset Siddaramaiah, who was promised the moon when he joined the party.
If the Congress fails to compensate him for ditching the JD-S, then this could well be a gain for the BSP.