Bahujan Samajvadi Party’s forey into Kerala is unlikely to succeed at this juncture. Party leader and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati had undertaken a well planned tour of Southern States including Kerala. However, she is unlikely to find political space in State politics dominated by the United Democratic Front (UDF) and the Left Democratic Front (LDF)
Because of their ties with BSP at the national level, the Left parties would come under some compulsion to accommodate the BSP in the LDF. However, it is in the interest of the CPI (M) in Kerala that it did not create a competitor for its base among the backward classes. It would not be near impossible for the BSP to press for accommodation, especially when it comes to seat sharing for the Lok Sabha elections, since the party has hardly established any base in Kerala.
The BSP had been fielding candidates in the Lok Sabha elections from Kerala for long. However, its votes had hardly ever exceeded a few thousand votes. Its votes share has been just 0.50 per cent. (This, however, marked a three to four fold increase from vote share in the previous elections when party’s votes hardly ever exceeded the three digit figures.) As of now, she would not be able to improve upon it significantly without getting into coalition politics in Kerala.
The UDF and LDF has fairly good base among dalit communities and they are trying to consolidate that base further. Mayawati has apparently realised that the LDF would not relish her eating into their base. So, she sought to appeal to economically backward among the forward classes by speaking for job reservation for them. In Uttar Pradesh, she had been expanding her appeal to forward classes. However, her stand in favour of reservation for the economically backward classes goes against the basic Constitutional tenet on reservation which is based on social and educational backwardness.
Though reservation based on economic status would appeal to organisations like the NSS, they are not going to put their eggs in Mayawati’s basket unless she demonstrates her prowess in the State. This, as mentioned before, will be an uphill task. The kind of politics that leads to killing PWD engineer by politicians for refusal to pay political contributions is not going to appeal to Keralites. The State leader of the party A. Neelalohitadasan Nadar too lacks a good image.