The BSP supremo Kanshi Ram refused to commit his support either to Atal Behari Vajpayee or Deve Gowda. He had, in fact, a vision of his own to lead the BSP independently to establish government. In 1996 Kanshi Ram won his parliamentary seat from Hoshiarpur (Punjab) but lost the one in U.P. He, nevertheless, failed to make his presence felt in the 12th Lok Sabha.
His number two Mayawati, former C.M. of U.P., however, was successful. BSP lost quite some ground after 1996. Electorally, its presence in the 12th Lok Sabha was dismal, its overall percentage of votes polled, however, remains strong. In Maharashtra, U.P., Madhya Pradesh and Punjab, it continues to have its pockets of influence.
Mayawati sprang a major surprise during the April-May 2007 elections in U.P, when on its own the BSP secured a majority and formed the govt. She tried to consolidate her position by reaching out to not only the Dalits and OBC but also segments of the Kayasths, Brahmins and Thakurs. They were no longer ridiculed in the election campaign; rather their full co-operation was solicited.
Mayawati has a grand vision for her party, she is making determined efforts to open her account in Gujarat and Maharashtra. She toured the two states in 2007 to garner support. Understandably, Bahujan Samaj Party’s Founder Leader, Kanshi Ram was a national leader and he had gathered funds for the functioning of the party from various sources, which, his successor Mayawati usurped.
There could have been some implicit understanding between the Mentor Kashi Ram and the disciple Mayawati; and the latter in pursuit of that faith reposed in her by Kanshi Ram is morally bound to project the founder’s image and install statues and memorials, besides setting up institutions for the uplift of the downtrodden who constitute the rank and file of the party.
The Supreme Court fortunately intervened & prevented massive transfering State resources on construction of status of memorials. Both in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh elections of Dec. 2007, Mayawati garnered the Dalit votes and were instrumental in the defeat of Congress candidates in a number of constituencies.
The Congress has to tread carefully; otherwise its niche vote bank will get eroded. Her Dalit agenda remains firm; she supported the disgraced Judge Dinkaran for elevation to The Supreme Court.