A day before the state-level senior office bearers’ conference, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati has made it clear to the party leaders that national coordinator Akash Anand will be second in command in the party.
The name of Akash Anand figured at the second place in the list of BSP’s star campaigners for the Himachal Pradesh assembly election released by the party on Friday.
The names party’s national vice-president Anand Kumar and national general secretary Satish Chandra Mishra do not figure in the list of the 40-star campaigners that the BSP has submitted to the Election Commission of India.
In the 2017 U.P. assembly and in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Mishra and Kumar had campaigned for the party candidates in Himachal Pradesh, said a BSP leader.
Akash Anand, who is BSP chief Mayawati’s nephew, has also been entrusted with the task of gearing up the party cadre for the assembly election and restructure the party organisation in Gujarat, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.
Himachal Pradesh will go to polls on November 12 while assembly election in Gujarat is likely to be held at the year end. The assembly election in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan will be held next year.
“The assembly election in four states will be the launch pad for Akash in the electoral battle,” a BSP leader said and added the party chief had been grooming him in politics after he returned from London in 2017 where he was pursuing an MBA degree. In the 2019 Lok Sabha election, he had managed the election campaign strategy of the BSP chief while in the 2022 Uttar Pradesh assembly election, he handled the social media of the party during the campaign, he said.
Akash was made national coordinator of the BSP in 2019 when Mayawati rejigged the party organisation after breaking alliance with the Samajwadi Party. The BSP has decided to contest the Himachal Pradesh assembly election on its own. The party will field candidates on all 68 assembly seats, said BSP Himachal Pradesh unit president Narayan Azad. He said the party released the list of 34 candidates on Wednesday.
The BSP is working to emerge as the third alternative in Himachal Pradesh. Party chief Mayawati and national coordinator Akash Anand will address a series of the party rallies in Himachal Pradesh.
In the 2007 assembly election, the BSP had polled 7.26% votes and bagged one seat in Himachal Pradesh. In the 2012 assembly election, its vote share declined to 1.7% and in the 2017 assembly election, the BSP polled mere 0.5% vote. It failed to open account in 2012 and 2017 assembly election. The 2022 assembly election will be a challenge for Akash Anand to regain the lost base of the party in Himachal Pradesh.