The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) (Hindi: बहुजन समाज पार्टी) is a centrist national political party in India with socialist leanings. It was formed to chiefly represent Bahujans (literally meaning "People in majority"), referring to people from the Hindu Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Castes (OBC) as well as Buddhists. The party claims to be inspired by the philosophy of B. R. Ambedkar. The BSP was founded by the high-profile, charismatic leader Kanshi Ram in 1984. The party's political symbol is an Elephant. In the 13th Lok Sabha (1999–2004) it had 14 (out of 545) members and in the 15th Lok Sabha had 21. The BSP has its main base in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh has formed the government several times.
Mayawati has been National President of the BSP since 2003. The deep and mutual hostility between the BSP and the Samajwadi Party – the other leading party in Uttar Pradesh whose constituents are mainly drawn from OBC sections - has led the BSP into allying itself many times with its erstwhile enemies, the BJP. On June 23, 2008, the party withdrew support to an Congress-led alliance called the United Progressive UPA, then in power at the centre..
The BSP has recently been embroiled in controversy due to its leader, Mayawati's penchant for erecting statues of political mentor Kanshi Ram,and B.R. Ambedkar throughout the cities of Lucknow and Noida. It has also been criticised for its continuously shifting political alliances.
Success in 2007 UP assembly elections
The May 11, 2007, the Uttar Pradesh state assembly election results saw the BSP emerge as the single majority party, the first in fifteen years since 1991. The BSP President Ms. Mayawati began her fourth term as Chief Minister of UP and took her oath of office along with 50 ministers of cabinet and state rank on May 13, 2007, at Rajbhawan in the state capital of Lucknow.
BSP is now the third largest national party of India having more than 10% vote share across the country.
Secret Successor of Mayawati
On 9th Aug 2003, Mayawati declared that she had chosen a successor from the 'chamar' community and is 18–20 years her junior. She has penned down his name in a sealed packet left in the safe custody of two of her close confidantes. The name of the successor will be disclosed on her death.