NEW DELHI – The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati has reinstated her nephew Akash Anand as the party’s national coordinator and her “lone successor.”

Mayawati revealed her decision during a review meeting in Lucknow on Sunday to assess the causes of the worst ever performance of the party in a general election.

Anand was stripped of his party post and successor tag on May 7 during the peak of the election campaign for “being immature”.

However, reversing her decision, Mayawati issued a statement saying: “I am hopeful that he will emerge completely as a ‘mature leader’ at every level in the interest of the party and movement. Party people will also encourage him by giving more respect than earlier so that he lives up to my expectations,” media reports said on Tuesday.

Known for changing her mind quite often for political exigencies, Mayawati’s decision on Anand breaks her own record of doing it so quickly. On May 7 she had sacked Akash saying her decision would be in force “in the larger interest of the party and movement…until he attains maturity”.

The decision to strip Anand of his coveted position was taken when during an election meeting at Sitapur where he was booked for reportedly promoting hatred and enmity by describing the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as “‘aatankwadiyon ki sarkar’ (a government of terrorists)”.

Party insiders are perplexed at the developments. It is learnt that during the review meeting several candidates who lost the elections expressed the view that a sizable section of Muslim and even Jatav supporters switched loyalties to the INDIA bloc candidates during after Anand was humiliated and removed from his post.

Unlike Mayawati, Anand had been unambiguously attacking the BJP for its failure to address people’s issues like poverty, health, law and order, education and so on.

The results now prove that BSP is down and completely out. It did not win a single seat, which it didn’t even in 2014, but then its vote share remained at 19.77 percent.

In 2024, BSP’s vote share plummeted to 9.39 percent from 19.43 percent in the 2019 Lok Sabha election, when BSP had won 10 seats in alliance with the Samajwadi Party. In the 2022 state assembly polls when BSP won a solitary seat its vote share was still 12.88 percent. Worse still, the BSP candidates were not even runner ups in any of the 80 seats it contested in Uttar Pradesh or even the 488 it contested nationwide, the highest among the national parties. Many of its candidates have not been able to save their deposits.

Another reason for Mayawati’s decision to bring back her nephew is that while in the 18th Lok Sabha the BSP will go unrepresented, another young assertive Dalit leader has emerged and would be present in the Lok Sabha to be the voice of the Dalits – 36-year old Chandrashekhar Azad, President of the Azad Samaj Party-Kanshi Ram. Azad won the Nagina reserved seat in Bijnor on his own by a huge margin of 1.53 votes relegating the BSP to the fourth position. This seat has a predominant Dalit and Muslim vote.

A party leader who was present at the review meeting said requesting anonymity that since the BSP has no Lok Sabha MP now and Azad will raise the issues of Dalits and Muslims in the House and across the country. “This will help him evolve as a Dalit leader and as an alternative to Mayawati, further weakening the BSP. To control this damage, Akash Anand’s return was important.”