|Secretary-General||Satish Chandra Mishra|
|Rajya Sabha leader||Satish Chandra Mishra|
|Headquarters||12, Gurudwara Rakabganj Road,|
New Delhi, India-110001
|Founded||14 April 1984 |
(34 years ago)
|Volunteer's wing||Bahujan Volunteer Force|
|ECI Status||National Party|
|Seats in Lok Sabha||0 / 545|
(currently 539 members + 1 Speaker)
|Seats in Rajya Sabha||4 / 245|
|Seats in Uttar Pradesh||19 / 403 (Legislative Assembly)|
09 / 100 (Vidhan Parishad)
The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) is the third largest national political party in India.It was formed mainly to represent Bahujans (literally meaning "People in majority"), referring to people from the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Castes (OBC), as well as religious minorities that together consist of 85 percent of India's population but still divided into 6000 different castes.
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.It was founded by Kanshi Ram in 1984, who named his protégée Mayawati as his successor in 2001.
The BSP was the third most voted-for party in the 2014 general election but still failed to win any seats in the 16th Lok Sabha.The BSP has its main base in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. In 2017 Uttar Pradesh elections, BSP was second largest party in terms of vote share with over 22% votes despite winning only 19 seats.It has an elephant as its election symbol.
The Pali word "Bahujana" is popularly found in the literature of Buddhist texts. Gautama Buddha used this word to guide his disciples to work for the Bahujana Hitaya Bahujana Sukhaya (tran. Benefit and prosperity of majority people).The BSP used this slogan extensively to campaign in her political rallies.
The BSP's primary focus is on the uplifting of what it sees as the nation's downtrodden groups. Its self-proclaimed ideology is "Social Transformation and Economic Emancipation" of the "Bahujan Samaj". The "Bahujan Samaj", to them, includes 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, Parsis and Buddhists. They see these groups as having been victims of the "Manuwadi" system for millennia, a system which benefited upper-caste Hindus only. They hold B.R. Ambedkar, champion of lower-caste rights, as one of their key icons and ideological inspirations. They also believe in egalitarianism and hold a strong emphasis on social justice.
The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) was founded on the birth anniversary of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar (i.e. 14 April 1984) by Kanshi Ram,who named former schoolteacher Mayawati as his successor in 2001.
Speaking of lesser-known figures from the Indian Rebellion of 1857 who have been used as Dalit icons by the BSP, such as Chetram Jatav, the social scientist Badri Narayan Tiwari has noted that
Dalit intellectuals supported by BSP, which is trying to mobilise 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 this nation in which they played a significant role.
The party's power grew quickly with seats in the Legislative Assembly of Uttar Pradesh and the Lok Sabha, the lower house of the Parliament of India. In 1993, following the assembly elections, Mayawati formed a coalition with Samajwadi Party President Mulayam Singh Yadav as Chief Minister. On 2 June 1995, she withdrew support from his government, which led to a major incident where Yadav was accused of sending his goons to keep her party legislators hostage at a Lucknow guest house and shout casteist abuses at her.Since this event, they have regarded each other publicly as chief rivals.
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" and asked the BJP-run Government of India to remove Union Tourism and Culture Minister, Jagmohan.In 2007, she began leading a BSP-formed government with an absolute majority for a full five-year term.
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.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.
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.On 11 July 2012, the party in a major revamp, replaced Swami Prasad Maurya by Ram Achal Rajbhar as President of UP Unit.
The 2014 national Lok Sabha elections saw the BSP become the third-largest national party of India in terms of vote percentage, having 4.2% of the vote across the country but gaining no seats.
On 9 August 2009; Mayawati declared that she had chosen a successor from the Dalit community who is 18–20 years her junior. She has penned down his name in a sealed packet left in the safe custody of two of her close confidantes. The name of the successor will be disclosed on her death.