Explained: How Did BSP's Pact With Gondwana Gantantra Party Fall In Chhattisgarh And MP, What Are Other Alliances It Has Ditched?

Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has seen a sharp reversal of fortunes over the past decade as it has been reduced to just one MLA in its bastion and home-state of Uttar Pradesh where it had stormed to power with a full-majority with 206 MLAs in 2007.


Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo and former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati

Weeks ahead of the 2024 general elections, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has ended the alliance with the Gondwana Gantantra Party (GGP) in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh and is set to contest the polls solo in these states.

The GGP is a tribal-centric party and the BSP-GGP alliance was an attempt to bring a Dalit-Adivasi unity in these two states. The lack of expected returns is being understood to be the primary reason behind the BSP quitting the pact.

The BSP-GGP pact is not the only one that the BSP has quit lately. It has also quit the alliance with the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) in Punjab with which it had allied in 2021. This time, it has also not partnered with Samajwadi Party (SP) or Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) in Uttar Pradesh, which were BSP's partners in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.


The quitting of alliances means that the BSP will fly solo in the upcoming parliamentary elections. The Mayawati-led BSP has seen a sharp reversal of fortunes over the past decade as it has been reduced to just one MLA in its bastion and home-state of UP where it had stormed to power with a full-majority with 206 MLAs in 2007. In the Lok Sabha, the party has 10 MPs, all of whom are from UP.

Here we explain why the BSP ended the alliance with GGP and why it has walked out of other alliances over the years.

Why Did BSP Quit Alliance With GGP?


The BSP has ended the alliance with the GGP as it did not produce the desired results. The BSP understands that the intended outcome, the Dalit-Adivasi unity, did not take place as the voters of the GGP did not get transferred to the BSP candidates.

The BSP had hoped if its "alliance experiment" with the GGP worked in the two state polls, it would benefit the party in the tribal-inhabited districts of UP, too, both in the Lok Sabha and assembly polls, reported The Indian Express. But that did not happen.

The BSP-GGP combine contested the Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh assembly elections, both of which were won by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). In numbers, the MP has the largest tribal population in the country, numbering at around 1.53 crore with a share of around 21 per cent.

While Ramakant Pippal, the MP BSP president, acknowledged that the GGP votes were not transferred to the BSP candidates, he also accused the GGP of not following the spirit of the coalition.

"But the BSP made no gain from this alliance in the Assembly polls. The BSP could not win any seat in both the states and the party's vote share too came down. The GGP could not transfer its votes to BSP candidates. Also, the GGP did not follow the gathbandhan spirit and fielded a candidate in the Jabera seat where the BSP was contesting. But the BSP voters supported the GGP candidates. So the BSP has decided to not continue with the alliance and contest all Lok Sabha seats alone," said Pippal to The Express.


The paper further reported that the vote share of the BSP actually came down in both the states instead of rising because of the alliance.

As per the seat-sharing agreement, the BSP contested 178 seats and the GGP 52 in MP that has 230 assembly seats. The BSP did not win any seat and saw the fall of its vote share from 5 per cent in the 2018 polls to 3.4 per cent this time. Last time, it won two seats in the state. The vote share of GGP also fell from 1.8 per cent to 0.9 per cent. In Chhattisgarh, BSP contested 53 seats and the GGP contested 37 seats. While the BSP did not win any and saw a decline in vote share to 2 per cent from 3.9 per cent in 2018 polls, the GGP secured one seat and saw its vote share fall to 1.4 per cent from 1.7 per cent in 2018.


While the BSP has said it has quit the alliance, Kuldeep Prajapati, the GGP’s Chhattisgarh Working President, said that none of the party had any alliance for the Lok Sabha and the pact was only for the assembly polls and that the performance could have been better if the announcement would have been made a few months earlier.

Other Alliances That BSP Has Quit

The BSP-GGP alliance is not the first that the Mayawati-led BSP has quit lately.

Earlier this month, the BSP announced that it is also walking out of the alliance with the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) in Punjab. The SAD and BSP had been in an alliance in Punjab since 2021. The state has the highest share of Dalits in any state in India at around 32 per cent of the state's population.


The news that the BSP had quit the alliance with the SAD came after Union Home Minister Amit Shah announced that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and SAD were in talks but nothing had yet materialised from the talks. The decision of the break-up was announced by a meeting of the party's state committee by BSP Punjab in-charge Randhir Singh Beniwal.

In a statement issued after the meeting, Punjab BSP said the SAD was continuously ignoring BSP and was aligning with BJP and "the saffron was working to change the Constitution apart from supressing the Dalits, backward classes, minorities and farmers", reported The Times of India.


"BSP can never have alliance with BJP because it is working to change the Constituon and there are Panthic, farmers and Sikh prisoners issues," said the BSP, as per ToI.

Following the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the BSP also walked out of the alliance with the Samajwadi Party (SP) and Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD). While both of these parties joined the INDIA bloc along with the Congress party, the BSP did not join the INDIA bloc as well. Earlier this month, however, RLD left the INDIA bloc to join the BJP-led NDA.

Why Is BSP Flying Solo?

Mayawati-led BSP is primarily walking out of alliances because of the understanding that the alliances may benefit its partners but not the BSP. As mentioned above, this was among the reasons for quitting the alliance with the GGP in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.


Earlier in 2019, the BSP felt that it suffered losses because of the alliance with the Samajwadi Party (SP) as it believes that not all SP voters were transferred to the BSP's candidates. Notably, the SP and BSP have been bitter rivals for decades and the supporters and cadres of the two parties have clashed over the years. While the understanding behind the alliance was that the coming together of the parties' leaders would mean that the voters too would converge, that did not happen.

One of the reasons could be the risk of the dilution of the Dalit voter base of the party in attempts to broaden the social base of the party. Even as the BSP has suffered electoral setbacks over the years, it has retained a sizeable chunk of vote share in UP. The failures of the Dalit-OBC-Muslim unity plank in 2019 and the Dalit-Adivasi unity plank in MP and Chhattisgarh in 2023 general elections could be the reasons behind for going solo.