Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati has decided not to take on the BJP’s PM nominee Narendra Modi and SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav in eastern UP for now, but she made it clear that she won’t ally with either of them after the polls.
BSP supremo Mayawati releases the list of party candidates at a press conference in Lucknow. (PTI photo)
While announcing candidates for all the 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh on Thursday, she, however, said that her doors would be open for others in the post-poll scenario.
She said, “Right now, our aim is to emerge as a balancing factor at the Centre and join a secular front to check the NDA.”
Also, preferring to swim against the tide this election by not peddling popular faces, she announced that she won’t field either the BSP’s Brahmin face SC Mishra or Muslim face Naseemuddin Siddiqui.
She accused Yadav of playing the communal card, while ruling out any possibility of supporting the BJP. She said the BSP had formed government with the BJP thrice, but it never worked. “They indulge in the communal politics to garner votes.”
The BSP chief has fielded 17 Dalit candidates, 15 backwards, 21 Brahmins and eight Rajputs. And to eat into the SP and Congress vote-banks, she has given tickets to 19 Muslims, mostly from western UP and Rohilkhand.
Read: Mayawati’s Dalit icon status rests on thin ice
The BSP won 20 seats in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, of which only 10 have been re-nominated. The rest have been dropped as weak candidates. The party will also play the gender card in the election, fielding seven women.
Since around 6.07 crore of the total 13.43 crore voters are women, the BSP will woo them by urging them to make the daughter of a Dalit the next Prime Minister, a BSP leader said.
The BSP did not release any election manifesto, but Mayawati released a booklet, appealing for support.
She will launch her campaign for the Lok Sabha elections in UP at a rally in Bijnore on April 3.
The BSP will also field candidates in other states where the party has contested the assembly elections, including Delhi, Haryana, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Jharkhand.
In 2009, to everyone’s surprise, national parties Congress and the BJP did extremely well, while regional biggies SP and BSP did worse than expected. The results showed a vote-split among the SP, BSP and the Congress, each of them winning a fair share of seats in the state.