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Bahujan Samaj Party
AbbreviationBSP
PresidentMayawati[1]
Secretary
Lok Sabha leaderKunwar Danish Ali[5]
Rajya Sabha leaderSatish Chandra Mishra
FounderKanshi Ram
Founded14 April 1984 (36 years ago) (1984-04-14)
Preceded byDSSSS
Headquarters12, Gurudwara Rakabganj Road, New Delhi, India-110001
NewspaperBahujan Samaj Bulletin
IdeologySocial equality[6]
Social justice[7]
Self-respect[8]
Colours  Blue
ECI StatusNational Party
Alliance (2020-Present)
Seats in Lok Sabha
10 / 543
Seats in Rajya Sabha
4 / 245
Seats in Vidhan Sabha & Vidhan Parishad
national level political party in India that was formed to represent Bahujans (literally means "people in majority"), referring to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and Other Backward Castes (OBC), along with religious minorities.[10] According to Kanshi Ram, when he founded the party in 1984, the Bahujans comprised 85 percent of India's population, but were divided into 6,000 different castes.[11][12] The party claims to be inspired by the philosophy of Gautama Buddha, B. R. Ambedkar, Mahatma Jyotiba Phule, Narayana Guru, Periyar E. V. Ramasamy and Chhatrapati Shahuji Maharaj.[13] Kanshi Ram named his protégée, Mayawati, as his successor in 2001. The BSP has its main base in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh where it was the second-largest party in the 2019 Indian general election with 19.3% of votes[14] and in the 2017 Uttar Pradesh elections with over 22% of votes.[15] Its election symbol is an elephant.

Etymology

"Bahujan" is a Pali term frequently found in Buddhist texts, and literally refers to "the many", or "the majority". It appears in the dictum "Bahujana Hitaya Bahujana Sukhaya", or "The benefit and prosperity of the many", articulated by Gautama Buddha.[16][17][18] In his writing, B. R. Ambedkar used the term to refer to the majority of people in Hindu society that experienced discrimination and oppression on the basis of caste. Jotirao Phule used the term in a similar context, and compared the lower castes of India to slaves in the United States. Dalit and lower-caste writers have suggested this proportion was 85 percent of the population.[18][19] Lower-caste people are sometimes collectively referred to as "bahujan samaj", or the majority community.[20][21] The term has also been translated as "subaltern".[21] The precise set of caste groups described as "Bahujan" has varied with context; in the state of Maharashtra, for example, the term has often excluded Dalits. However, it always refers to non-Dvija, or twice-born, castes, and thus does not include Brahmins, Kshatriyas, or Vaishyas.[22][23][24]

Ideology and political positions

Ideology

Its self-proclaimed ideology is "Social Transformation and Economic Emancipation" of the "Bahujan Samaj". The "Bahujan Samaj", to them, consists of the lower-caste groups in India like the Scheduled Castes (SC), the Scheduled Tribes (ST) and the Other Backward Classes (OBC). It also includes religious minorities like Sikhs, Muslims, Christians, Jains and Parsis. They see these groups as victims of the "Manuwadi" system for millennia, a system which benefited upper-caste Hindus only. B. R. Ambedkar, a champion of lower-caste rights, is an important ideological inspiration. The party claims not to be prejudiced against upper-caste Hindus. In 2008, while addressing the audience, Mayawati said: "Our policies and ideology are not against any particular caste or religion. If we were anti-upper caste, we would not have given tickets to candidates from upper castes to contest elections".[25] Satish Chandra Mishra, a BSP senior leader, is upper caste. The party also believe in egalitarianism and hold a strong emphasis on social justice.[26]

Strategy

Ideology

Its self-proclaimed ideology is "Social Transformation and Economic Emancipation" of the "Bahujan Samaj". The "Bahujan Samaj", to them, consists of the lower-caste groups in India like the Scheduled Castes (SC), the Scheduled Tribes (ST) and the Other Backward Classes (OBC). It also includes religious minorities like Sikhs, Muslims, Christians, Jains and Parsis. They see these groups as victims of the "Manuwadi" system for millennia, a system which benefited upper-caste Hindus only. B. R. Ambedkar, a champion of lower-caste rights, is an important ideological inspiration. The party claims not to be prejudiced against upper-caste Hindus. In 2008, while addressing the audience, Mayawati said: "Our policies and ideology are not against any particular caste or religion. If we were anti-upper caste, we would not have given tickets to candidates from upper castes to contest elections".[25] Satish Chandra Mishra, a BSP senior leader, is upper caste. The party also believe in egalitarianism and hold a strong emphasis on social justice.[26]

Strategy

The Bahujan Samaj Party was founded on the birth anniversary of B. R. Ambedkar, 14 April 1984, by Kanshi Ram,[27] who named former schoolteacher, Mayawati, as his successor of BSP in 2001.[28]

Lesser-known figures from the Indian Rebellion of 1857 have been used as Dalit icons by the BSP, such as Avantibai, Uda Devi, Mahaviri Devi,[29] Jhalkaribai,[30] Matadin Bhangi, Ballu Mehtar, Vira Pasi, Banke Chamar[31] and Chetram Jatav,[32] the social scientist Badri Narayan Tiwari has noted that

Dalit intellectuals supported by BSP, which is trying to mobilize grassroot Dalits using local heroes, histories, myths and legends found a wealth of resources in the oral history of the regions of [Uttar Pradesh] centering around the 1857 rebellion. The political strategy of the party is to tell and retell the stories of these heroes, build memorials and organize celebrations around their stories repeatedly to build a collective memory in the psyche of the people. The stories are narrated in such a manner that the Dalits imagine the story of the making of a nation in which they played a significant role.[33]

Organisation and structure

The BSP has no separate youth wing; however, youth representation is over 50%.[34] BSP has no social media accounts or website.[35] Sudhindra Bhadoria, a senior party leader, is the only official spokesperson of the BSP.[36] Its organisation involves Bhaichara Committees (brotherhood committees) for gaining support from Forward castes, Other Backward Classes, Dalits and Muslim communities.[37][38][

Its self-proclaimed ideology is "Social Transformation and Economic Emancipation" of the "Bahujan Samaj". The "Bahujan Samaj", to them, consists of the lower-caste groups in India like the Scheduled Castes (SC), the Scheduled Tribes (ST) and the Other Backward Classes (OBC). It also includes religious minorities like Sikhs, Muslims, Christians, Jains and Parsis. They see these groups as victims of the "Manuwadi" system for millennia, a system which benefited upper-caste Hindus only. B. R. Ambedkar, a champion of lower-caste rights, is an important ideological inspiration. The party claims not to be prejudiced against upper-caste Hindus. In 2008, while addressing the audience, Mayawati said: "Our policies and ideology are not against any particular caste or religion. If we were anti-upper caste, we would not have given tickets to candidates from upper castes to contest elections".[25] Satish Chandra Mishra, a BSP senior leader, is upper caste. The party also believe in egalitarianism and hold a strong emphasis on social justice.[26]

Strategy

The Bahujan Samaj Party was founded on the birth anniversary of B. R. Ambedkar, 14 April 1984, by Kanshi Ram,[27] who named former schoolteacher, Mayawati, as his successor of BSP in 2001.B. R. Ambedkar, 14 April 1984, by Kanshi Ram,[27] who named former schoolteacher, Mayawati, as his successor of BSP in 2001.[28]

Lesser-known figures from the Indian Rebellion of 1857 have been used as Dalit icons by the BSP, such as Avantibai, Indian Rebellion of 1857 have been used as Dalit icons by the BSP, such as Avantibai, Uda Devi, Mahaviri Devi,[29] Jhalkaribai,[30] Matadin Bhangi, Ballu Mehtar, Vira Pasi, Banke Chamar[31] and Chetram Jatav,[32] the social scientist Badri Narayan Tiwari has noted that

Dalit intellectuals supported by BSP, which is trying to mobilize grassroot Dalits using local heroes, histories, myths and legends found a wealth of resources in the oral history of the regions of [Uttar Pradesh] centering around the 1857 rebellion. The political strategy of the party is to tell and retell the stories of these heroes, build memorials and organize celebrations around their stories repeatedly to build a collective memory in the psyche of the people. The stories are narrated in such a manner that the Dalits imagine the story of the making of a nation in which they played a significant role.[33]

[34] BSP has no social media accounts or website.[35] Sudhindra Bhadoria, a senior party leader, is the only official spokesperson of the BSP.[36] Its organisation involves Bhaichara Committees (brotherhood committees) for gaining support from Forward castes, Other Backward Classes, Dalits and Muslim communities.[37][38][39]

List of Chief Ministers

Chief Ministers of Uttar Pradesh

The results of the May 2007 Uttar Pradesh state assembly election saw the BSP emerge as a sole majority party, the first to do so since 1991. Mayawati began her fourth term as Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh and took her oath of office along with 50 ministers of cabinet and state rank on 13 May 2007, at Rajbhawan in the state capital of Lucknow.[45] Most importantly, the majority achieved in large part was due to the party's ability to take away maj

Mayawati then obtained support from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to become Chief Minister on 3 June 1995. In October 1995, the BJP withdrew their support and fresh elections were called after a period of President's Rule. In 2003, Mayawati resigned from her own government to prove that she was not "hungry for power"[42] and asked the BJP-run Government of India to remove Union Tourism and Culture Minister, Jagmohan.[43] In 2007, she began leading a BSP-formed government with an absolute majority for a full five-year term.[44]

The results of the May 2007 Uttar Pradesh state assembly election saw the BSP emerge as a sole majority party, the first to do so since 1991. Mayawati began her fourth term as Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh and took her oath of office along with 50 ministers of cabinet and state rank on 13 May 2007, at Rajbhawan in the state capital of Lucknow.[45] Most importantly, the majority achieved in large part was due to the party's ability to take away majority of upper castes votes from their traditional party, the BJP.[26]

Flags of "Bahujan Samaj Party" at Shivaji Park, Mumbai.

The party could manage only 80 seats in 2012 as against 206 in 2007 assembly elections. BSP government was the first in the history of Uttar Pradesh to complete its full five-year term.[46] On 26 May 2018, Ram Achal Rajbhar was replaced by R S Kushwaha as the president of UP unit.[47]

Silver jubilee

Bahujan Samaj Party on 14 April 2009 celebrated its silver jubilee.[48] Manywar Shri Kanshi Ramji Shahri Garib Awas Yojna, housing scheme for poor was launched by Lucknow Development Authority (LDA).[49] Role of Mayawati was discussed in BSP's success.[50] Mass rally was organised in Lucknow with 10000 police personnel on duty.[51] It was 305th and largest rally of BSP si

Bahujan Samaj Party on 14 April 2009 celebrated its silver jubilee.[48] Manywar Shri Kanshi Ramji Shahri Garib Awas Yojna, housing scheme for poor was launched by Lucknow Development Authority (LDA).[49] Role of Mayawati was discussed in BSP's success.[50] Mass rally was organised in Lucknow with 10000 police personnel on duty.[51] It was 305th and largest rally of BSP since 1984.[52] As per Observer Research Foundation, within 25 years BSP became third largest political party of India.[53]

2014 Lok Sabha Elections

Vidhan Sabha Term Bihar
Assembly Election
Seats
contested
Seats
won
% of
votes
% of votes in
seats contested
10th Vidhan Sabha 1990 164 0 0.73 1.41
11th Vidhan Sabha 1995 161 2 1.34 2.66
12th Vidhan Sabha 2000 249 5 1.89 2.47
13th Vidhan Sabha Feb. 2005 238 2 4.41 4.50
14th Vidhan Sabha Oct. 2005 212 4 4.17 4.75
15th Vidhan Sabha 2010 243 0 3.21 3.27
16th Vidhan Sabha 2015 228 0 2.1 2.2[68]

Delhi Legislative Assembly

Vidhan Sabha Term Delhi
Assembly Election
Seats
contested
Seats
won
% of
votes
% of votes in
seats contested
1st Vidhan Sabha 1992 55 1 3.90 2.42
2nd Vidhan Sabha 1998 58 0 3.15 3.63
3rd Vidhan Sabha 2003 40 0 5.76 8.96
4th Vidhan Sabha 2008 70 2 14.05 14.05
5th Vidhan Sabha 2013 69 0 5.33 5.44
6th Vidhan Sabha 2015 70 0 1.31 1.31

Haryana Legislative Assembly

Vidhan Sabha Term Haryana

Assembly Election

Seats
contested
Seats
won
% of
votes
% of votes in
seats contested
10th Vidhan Sabha 2000 83 1 5.74 6.22
11th Vidhan Sabha 2005 84 1 3.22 3.44
12th Vidhan Sabha 2009 86 1 6.73 7.05
13th Vidhan Sabha 2014 87 1[69] 4.37[70] 4.52
14th Vidhan Sabha 2019 87 0 4.14 4.31

Himachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly

Vidhan Sabha Term Himachal Pradesh
Assembly Election
Seats
contested
Seats
won
% of
votes
% of votes in
seats contested
7th Vidhan Sabha 1990 35 0 0.94 1.76
8th Vidhan Sabha 1993 49 0 2.25 3.0
9th Vidhan Sabha 1998 28 0 1.41 3.28
10th Vidhan Sabha 2003 23 0 0.7 2.02
11th Vidhan Sabha 2007 67 1 7.40 7.37
12th Vidhan Sabha 2012 67 0 1.7 2.02
13th Vidhan Sabha 2017 42 0 0.49 0.79

Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly

Vidhan Sabha Term Jammu and Kashmir
Assembly Election
Seats
contested
Seats
won
% of
votes
% of votes in
seats contested
9th Vidhan Sabha 1996 29 4 6.43 15.07[71]
10th Vidhan Sabha 2002 33 1 4.50 7.86[72]
11th Vidhan Sabha 2008 83 0 3.73 3.73[73]
12th Vidhan Sabha 2014 50 0 1.41 2.07[74]

Jharkhand Legislative Assembly

Vidhan Sabha Term Jharkhand
Assembly Election
Seats
contested
Seats
won
% of
votes
% of votes in
seats contested
3rd Vidhan Sabha 2009 78 0 2.44 2.55[75]
4th Vidhan Sabha 2014 61[76] 1[77] 1.8 2.4

Karnataka Legislative Assembly

Vidhan Sabha Term

Assembly Election

Seats
contested
Seats
won
% of
votes
% of votes in
seats contested
10th Vidhan Sabha 2000 83 1 5.74 6.22
11th Vidhan Sabha 2005 84 1 3.22 3.44
12th Vidhan Sabha 2009 86 1 6.73 7.05
13th Vidhan Sabha 2014 87 1[69] 4.37[70] 4.52
14th Vidhan Sabha 2019 87 0 4.14 4.31

Himachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly

Vidhan Sabha Term Himachal Pradesh
Assembly Election
Seats
contested
Seats
won
% of
votes
% of votes in
seats contested
7th Vidhan Sabha 1990 35 0 0.94 1.76
8th Vidhan Sabha 1993 49 0 2.25 3.0
9th Vidhan Sabha 1998 28 0 1.41 3.28
10th Vidhan Sabha 2003 23 0 0.7 2.02
11th Vidhan Sabha 2007 67 1 7.40 7.37
12th Vidhan Sabha 2012 67 0 1.7 2.02
13th Vidhan Sabha 2017 42 0 0.49 0.79

Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly

Vidhan Sabha Term Jammu and Kashmir
Assembly Election
Seats
contested
Seats
won
% of
votes
% of votes in
seats contested
9th Vidhan Sabha 1996 29 4 6.43 15.07[71]
10th Vidhan Sabha 2002 33 1 4.50 7.86[72]
11th Vidhan Sabha 2008 83 0 3.73 3.73[73]
12th Vidhan Sabha 2014 50 0 1.41 2.07[74]

Jharkhand Legislative AssemblyKerala Legislative Assembly

Vidhan Sabha Term Kerala
Assembly Election
Seats
contested
Seats
won
% of
votes
% of votes in
seats contested
13th Vidhan Sabha 2011 122 0 0.60 0.70
14th Vidhan Sabha 2016 74 0 0.24 0.45

Maharashtra Legislative Assembly

Vidhan Sabha Term Maharashtra

Assembly Election

Seats
contested
Seats
won
% of
votes
% of votes in
seats contested
8th Vidhan Sabha 1990 122 0 0.42 0.98
9th Vidhan Sabha 1995 145 0 1.49 2.82
10th Vidhan Sabha 1999 83 0 0.39 1.24
11th Vidhan Sabha 2004 272 0 4.0 4.18
12th Vidhan Sabha 2009 287 0 2.35 2.42
13th Vidhan Sabha 2014 280[78] 0 2.25[79] 2.33
14th Vidhan Sabha 2019 262 0 0.92 1.00

Punjab Legislative Assembly

Vidhan Sabha Term Punjab
Assembly Election
Seats
contested
Seats
won
% of
votes
% of votes in
seats contested
10th Vidhan Sabha 1992 105 9 16.32 17.59
11th Vidhan Sabha 1997 67 1 7.48 13.28
12th Vidhan Sabha 2002 100 0 5.69 6.61
13th Vidhan Sabha 2007 115 0 4.13 4.17
14th Vidhan Sabha 2012 117 0 4.29 4.30
15th Vidhan Sabha 2017 111 0 1.52 1.59

Telangana Legislative Assembly

Electoral performance in the Telangana Legislative Assembly
Election Leader Votes Seats Position Resulting government
# % # ±
2014 Mayawati 4,58,762 1.00
2 / 117
0 2.25[79] 2.33
14th Vidhan Sabha 2019 262 0 0.92 1.00

Punjab Legislative Assembly

Vidhan Sabha Term Punjab
Assembly Election
Seats
contested
Seats
won
% of
votes
% of vote