Mayawati May Relaunch Akash Anand To Counter Chandra Shekhar Aazad

(MENAFN- IANS) Lucknow, June 13 (IANS) More than her own Bahujan Samaj Party's stunning defeat in the just concluded Lok Sabha elections, it is the emergence of Chandra Shekhar Aazad of Azad Samaj Party that has rattled BSP President Mayawati.

Chandra Shekhar Aazad won the Nagina reserved Lok Sabha seat with a huge margin even though he was pitted against BJP, BSP and SP in the constituency.

Mayawati, according to sources, sees his victory as a direct threat to the existence of BSP and her leadership among Dalits.

Another Azad Samaj Party candidate Amarjeet Singh who contested the Domariyaganj seat, ranked third with over 81,000 votes.

The BSP ranked fourth in both the constituencies.

According to sources close to Mayawati, the BSP president now plans to counter the increasing popularity of Chandra Shekhar by 'relaunching' her nephew Akash Anand.

Mayawati had withdrawn her nephew from the midst of the election campaign, claiming that he lacked maturity.

“The fact is that Akash Anand, with his aggressive speeches, had started drawing huge crowds, especially the youth. The BSP thought that he might ruffle some feathers and called him back from the campaign. Now Mayawati knows that she can counter Chandra Shekhar with Akash Anand but it remains to be seen whether she will give him enough freedom,” said a senior BSP functionary.

Interestingly, the BSP's failure to win even a single seat in the Lok Sabha elections has dealt a severe blow to its reputation of representing the voice of Dalits.

In 2019, BSP won two reserved seats, Nagina and Lalganj -- and was runners-up on eight. The party has been winning Lalganj since 2009 but in 2024, Samajwadi Party wrested the seat this time.

In 2024, BSP candidates trailed in third and fourth positions in most seats.

Sources said that Mayawati's biggest problem in reviving the BSP was that the party did not have any second rung Dalit leadership that could reach out to the voters.

“The problem is that she does not trust anyone -- not even her nephew -- but now the challenge is staring her in the face in the form of Chandra Shekhar and she will have to decide soon,” the functionary said.



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