BSP will not have an election manifesto for Uttar Pradesh polls, its president Mayawati said on Sunday as the party announced a list of 101 candidates for eastern UP, giving a bulk of tickets to upper castes and backwards, in a move take on ruling SP and BJP in the state.
Uttar Pradesh goes to polls from February 11 in seven phases that will end on March 8. The results would be announced on March 11.
Addressing BSP leaders and office-bearers at its state unit office here, Mayawati said other parties make populist announcements in election manifestoes, but these remained “limited to elections”. After forming government, they forgot these promises and “implemented anti-people policies”.
“BSP will not release election manifesto as people know our party keeps its promises. BSP fulfilled all the promises made to the people after forming the government in 2007,” she said, adding that voters have faith in her.
The former UP CM highlighted how Narendra Modi had made several promises, including “ache din (good days)” ahead of 2014 general elections, but these have remained a distant dream for the people two-and-a-half years after he became Prime Minister.
She also hit out at Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, whose SP had released election manifesto ahead of the 2012 assembly election.
“Instead of good governance, the SP rule will be known for lawlessness. The common people are harassed due to SP’s casteist policy,” she said.
The BSP leader said her party would contest assembly election on the formula of ‘sarvjan hitay, sarvjan sukhay’ (welfare of all communities).
However, the party’s casteist calculations were evident in its list of candidates for eastern UP, which had 36 upper caste and 30 backward caste leaders, and 20 seats have been reserved for Scheduled Caste candidates. While only 10 Muslims have been fielded in the region, which has a number of weavers, leaders of the community have been given the lion’s share of tickets in western and central UP.
“Mayawati has fielded Muslim candidates on those seats on which they have a sizable population and can influence the outcome of the poll,” a senior party leader said on condition of anonymity.
“In eastern UP, Brahmins and Thakurs are influential and dominate a large number of seats in Gorakhpur, Basti, Ballia, Ghazipur Varanasi, Jaunpur and Sultanpur,” he said.
BSP had suffered a major blow in the region in the 2012 polls, winning just 13 seats.
Prominent leaders who have been given tickets include Ram Prasad Chaudhary (Kaptanganj), Ganesh Shankar Pandey (Paniyara), Deo Narayan Singh (Sahjanwa), Jai Prakash Nishad (Chauri Chaura), Vinay Shankar Tiwari (Chillupar), Shah Alam alias Guddu Jamali (Mubarakpur), Sukhdeo Rajbhar (Didarganj), Uma Shankar Singh (Rasra), T Ram (Ajgara), Rakesh Tripathi (Varanasi-South) and Rang Nath Mishra (Bhadohi).
To motivate cadre, Mayawati has denied tickets to 73 candidates who contested 2012 polls.
The party has also changed candidates on five seats that it won in the last election—Chillupar, Mughalsarai, Bansgaon, Padrauna, and Shivpuri—as sitting MLAs defected to rival parties.
BSP has so far declared candidates for 401 seats and is yet to announce names for Obra and Duddhi in Sonbhadra district.
Mayawati, who is likely to start campaigning in west UP next week, also directed candidates to follow the Election Commission’s model code of conduct. The leaders were asked to inform the EC if any officer was found working in a biased manner or violating EC’s guidelines.