BSP - Bahujan Samaj Party

BSP - Bahujan Samaj Party
The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) english translation - majority people's party is one of the five prominent national political parties of India. Founded in 1984 by Kanshi Ram, a member of the Dalit community, the party was formed mainly to represent Bahujans referring to people from the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Castes (OBC) as well as minorities. The party has a socialist ideology, which is 'Social Transformation and Economic Emancipation' of the 'Bahujan Samaj' or the backward communities. The Party's political symbol is an elephant and the party was the third most voted for party in the 2014 General Elections. Bahujan Samaj Party has its main base in Uttar Pradesh where the BSP president Mayawati has served as a Chief Minister (2007-2012) before losing to their rivals Samajwadi Party in 2012.Kanshi Ram, the founder of BSP was deeply inspired by the teachings of Babasaheb Ambedkar who is known as the architect of the Indian constitution and on the basis of his teachings, Kanshi Ram founded Bahujan Samaj Party on April 14, 1984. The party claims to be inspired by the philosophies of B. R. Ambedkar, Mahatma Jyotiba Phule, Periyar E.V. Ramasamy and Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Kanshi Ram remained the president of BSP until 2001 however, due to his deteriorating health in the 1990s, the party's leadership shifted to the hands of Mayawati, a former school teacher. In 1993, Mayawati made a coalition with Samajwadi Party in the assembly elections and helped Mulayam Singh Yadav in becoming the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. However on 2nd June 1995, Mayawati withdrew her support from the government after accusing Mulayam Singh Yadav for sending goons at her place, keeping her party legislators hostage at the Lucknow guest house as well as trying to break her party. She also accused Mulayam Singh Yadav that he shouted casteist abuse at her. This was a major incident in Uttar Pradesh politics and since then the BSP and Samajwadi Party have been public rivals. After withdrawing support from Samajwadi Party, Mayawati sought her support to Bharatiya Janata Party and became the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh on 3rd June 1995. In October 1995, the BJP withdrew support to her and fresh elections were called after President's rule. In 2007, BSP led by Mayawati won the elections with an absolute majority and Mayawati became the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh for full five years. The party's political symbol as approved by the Election Commission of India is an elephant which is facing left. The party uses the same symbol in all the states except Assam and Sikkim where the party has been asked to choose a different symbol. As of August 2016, the party is yet to choose a symbol for these two states. The reason for BSP to choose an elephant as their symbol is that an elephant symbolizes strength and will power. It is a large animal but usually is very peaceful. The inherent meaning of this is attached to the 'Bahujan Samaj' or the lower sections and the down-trodden sections of the society. The BSP has always stood for the lower and minority sections of the society. The BSP has always raised its strong voice against the 'Manuwadi' social system practiced by the Hindu upper caste especially the Brahmins. The symbol of BSP symbolizes its struggle against the upper caste as well as the oppression faced by them and they symbolize this with the use of the elephant which is tough, fearless, peaceful as well as full of strength.Despite Mayawati leading the party, Kanshi Ram remained the partys president until 2001. A diabetic with a host of other serious ailments, he wasn't able to lead an active political life . On December 15, 2001, Kanshi Ram in a rally in Lucknow declared Mayawati the then Vice-President of the party as his political successor. Kanshi Ram died on October 2006 due to a severe heart attack. On 9th August, Mayawati declared that she has chosen her successor from the Dalit community who is 18-20 years junior to her and she has pinned down the name in a sealed packet in a safe custody. The name of the successor will be declared after her death. The state assembly elections which occurred in May 2007 saw BSP emerge as the single majority party. The BSP got 206 seats and was the first party since 1991 to do so. The BSP President Mayawati was elected as the Chief Minister and she began her fourth term as the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. She took over the office on 13th May 2007. The most unique and powerful achievement by BSP in the 2007 elections was to take away the party's ability to take away a majority of the upper caste votes which usually belonged to the BJP. However the party was able to manage only 80 seats in 2012 compared to 206 in 2007 assembly elections. BSP then replaced Swami Prasad Maurya by Ram Achal Rajbhar as the President of the UP unit. The BSP government from 2007 to 2012 had implemented several policies and welfare schemes and all the developmental policies of BSP follow in their aim "Sarvajan Hitay- Sarvajan Sukhay"which means the peace and prosperity of all the members of the society. Some of the welfare schemes and policies implemented by BSP include schemes initiated in UP to help poor families like 'Uttar Pradesh Mukhyamantri Mahamaya Garib Arthik Madad Yojana', 'Savitribai Phule Shikhsha Madad Yojana', 'Dr Ambedkar Gram Sabha Samagra Vikas Yojana', etc. These schemes have facilitated support for the families below poverty line by means of providing access to free education, affordable housing and other assistance from BSP. Notable amendments were made in the "Zamindari Kanoon" or the rules of the patriarchal landed property of the Zamindars. The BSP government is also praised for maintenance of law and order in Uttar Pradesh and for their significant contributions in the field of infrastructure and medical facilities in the rural and urban areas.
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