Born on March 15, 1934 in a Dalit family of Punjab, Kanshi Ram founded the Bahujan Samaj Party in 1984 on the birth anniversary of Babasaheb Ambedkar, i.e. on April 14, 1984 and carried forward the political legacy of Babasaheb. Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Backward Classes were at the center of Kanshi Ram’s politics.
Kanshi Ram was in government job before joining politics. He first formed an organization in 1978 to protect the interests of Dalit workers in government organizations. Later he formed a political platform – Dalit Shoshit Sangharsh Samiti – in 1981. After this, he left the government job and founded the Bahujan Samaj Party in 1984. Then he had announced that he would not work for any organization other than Bahujan Samaj Party. Unmarried Kanshi Ram was transformed from a social worker to a politician.
Political anecdote – 2: BJP was so angry with Mayawati, whom she used to call ‘Ravana’, the government was made for her
After this he struggled a lot to strengthen his party in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Delhi and Haryana. In 1987, he contested the first election against VP Singh. By-elections were being held for the Allahabad Lok Sabha seat then but Kanshi Ram lost. The next year, the 1989 Lok Sabha election, Kanshi Ram contested from the East Delhi seat, but then he lost. After two electoral defeats, Kanshi Ram managed to win the 1991 Lok Sabha elections from Etawah, a Yadav stronghold. This is the same election in which Mulayam Singh Yadav helped Kanshi Ram and he won by more than 20,000 votes against the BJP candidate.
In 1992, when the Ram temple movement was at its peak across the country, these two political stalwarts joined forces to stop the BJP’s victory chariot. After the demolition of Babri, when the assembly elections of Uttar Pradesh were held in 1993, the slogans of the union of these two veterans started resonating in the political circles. ‘Meet Mulayam Kanshi Ram, Jayshree Ram flew away in the air’ and ‘The rest of the Ram false Ram, the real Ram Kanshi Ram’. These slogans had then reversed the equations of the politics of the country along with Uttar Pradesh.
Political anecdote – 4: When Kalyan Singh blocked Rajnath Singh becoming CM, PM Vajpayee’s phone was not picked up
In the UP elections, then Mulayam Singh’s newly formed party Samajwadi Party won 109 seats and BSP 67 seats. The BJP then got 33.3 percent of the votes and won 177 seats. After this Mulayam Singh became the Chief Minister of UP for the first time. In 1995, Mayawati withdrew support to the Mulayam government. After this his government fell.
In an interview, Kanshi Ram had told that Mulayam Singh Yadav had formed his new Samajwadi Party only on his behest. Kanshi Ram used to say – ‘The bigger the number, the more his share.’ In 2001, Kanshi Ram handed over the BSP to Mayawati, then the slogan also changed. Under Mayawati’s leadership, the slogan changed to ‘Jiske ji bhi preparation, ki ki shai hai’.
Political anecdote – 3: Due to Mulayam’s kindness, Raja Bhaiya saw the face of twin sons for the first time, Mayawati had imprisoned 10 months
It is worth noting here that BSP had 14 MPs in the 13th Lok Sabha, which became 17 in the 14th and 21 in the 15th Lok Sabha, but in the current 16th Lok Sabha, there is not a single BSP MP.