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The rise and rise of the BSP

April 25, 2007
At the end of the fourth polling day of the seven-phase Uttar Pradesh assembly election, exit polls show that the Bahujan Samaj Party is on a steady rise, on its way to becoming the single largest party.

So, how has the party, founded only in 1984 by the late Kanshi Ram, grown so steady -- it formed the government in Uttar Pradesh with the help of the Bharatiya Janata Party for brief stints in 1995 and 1997, and fairly longer term in 2002.

How has this young party managed to do well consistently, while all the big parties have been steadily losing ground in the state?

A Ganesh Nadar tries to discover the story behind the march of the elephant, which is the BSP's electoral symbol. Photographs: Uttam Ghosh

Image: A scene from Mau village on the outskirts of Moradabad town

Also see: Meet one of Mayawati's 89 trump cards

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