Loyalty, SP deserters, caste factor get preference
THE BAHUJAN Samaj Party (BSP) has taken a lead over rival political parties by finalising names of candidates for 160 Vidhan Sabha seats.
Caste equation and loyalty was the major criteria according to which BSP chief Mayawati picked the ‘team’ on Wednesday at a meeting of party leaders from seven divisions. The names of candidates for the remaining seats will be announced by December 15.
Mayawati had called a meeting of MLAs, election coordinators, district presidents and probable candidates of seven divisions including Lucknow, Kanpur, Varanasi, Mirzapur, Allahabad, Jhansi and Chitrakoot today.
All the sitting MLAs heaved a sigh of relief as Mayawati gave the green light to them to contest the Vidhan Sabha elections again. In an earlier meeting, held two months back, she had announced the name of 200 candidates as the probables of the BSP. Today, 10 per cent of these candidates were dropped and replaced with new faces.
Though, no official announcement of the candidates was made by the BSP, Mayawati still kept the candidates on tenterhooks. She told them that the party would keep a close watch on their activities. “If there was any suspicion over the loyalty of the candidates, their name would be deleted from the list,” she said.
While finalising the names of the candidates Mayawati kept the caste equation of the constituency in mind. While a large number of Dalit candidates got the ticket, among the others—brahmin, thakur, bhumihar and kayastha—tickets were given according to caste dominations in the particular areas.
Muslims and other Backward Castes too got a lion’s share in the seat distribution. Along with ‘chamar’ other castes belonging to the Dalit community too, got tickets. “Behanji did not wish to annoy any caste before Vidhan Sabha elections. She assured that all the castes get representation in the ticket distribution,” said a BSP leader.
Candidates for all the eight Vidhan Sabha seats located in Lucknow district were finalized. While Nagendra Srivastava will contest from Lucknow Central, Gopal Das Mishra Lucknow East, Nakul Dubey Mahona, Arvind Tripathi Cantonment, Neeraj Bora Lucknow West, Purnima Verma Mohanlalganj, Jagdish Chandra Malihabad and sitting MLA Irshad Khan will contest from Sarojini Nagar Vidhan Sabha seat.
Mayawati rewarded the MLAs who had deserted the Samajwadi Party (SP) and joined BSP. All including Badshah Singh, Ratan Lal Ahirwar, Mahesh Chandra Trivedi got ticket. Manish Kuril son of SP MLA Sunderlal Kuril got BSP from Safipur Vidhan Sabha constituency in Unnao district.
Mayawati directed the candidates to start preparation for the Vidhan Sabha election. She directed the coordinators to bring amendment in their working and establish direct communication with all the party leaders in the district. She changed the district president of Pratapgarh district and announced that RD Gautam would be new district president. The party leaders were directed to observe her birthday in all the Vidhan Sabha constituency on January 15.