The decision of BSP supremo Mayawati on Monday to break her party's alliance with the Samajwadi Party led by Akhilesh Yadav flows from the fact of the abject defeat of their so-called “Magathbandhan” alliance in Uttar Pradesh at the hands of the BJP in the recent Lok Sabha election.
But even in defeat, the BSP pulled off as many as 10 seats in the state, as against no seats in 2014 (in contrast to only five for the SP). This can be said to be mainly due to her combining forces with the SP, no matter how inefficiently the coalition may have worked on the ground.
The BSP now says it will contest all future elections — “big or small” — on its own. In the present context, this suggests that the BJP, which has been given a fresh lease of life with the big win recently, will have a much easier time fighting off challengers in India's largest state since all its opponents are down and out at present.
It also appears that the BSP may, at least for now, turn out to be a pale shadow of its old self. Many dalit sub-caste groups seem to have deserted the BSP, preferring the BJP. Also, Ms Mayawati may also acquire the tag of being a fair-weather friend.
Ordinarily, the stunning defeat for the BJP's opponents in parts of the country where the saffron party has a base might have been expected to lead to introspection and greater coordination among them to take on the ruling party. But the path the BSP has chosen to tread suggests that the BJP's way will remain smooth in the foreseeable future....