Mayawati starts selection of 2019 Lok Sabha candidates | lucknow | Hindustan Times
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Mayawati starts selection of 2019 Lok Sabha candidates

Screening of candidates has started and by the year end names will be finalized for the 80 Lok Sabha seats.

lucknow Updated: Jul 08, 2017 16:02 IST
Rajesh Kumar Singh
After finalizing the candidates, Mayawati  will collect feedback from the office bearers and loyal party workers regarding the winnability of the candidates.
After finalizing the candidates, Mayawati will collect feedback from the office bearers and loyal party workers regarding the winnability of the candidates. (File Photo)

Amid talks of joining the Congress led grand alliance, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati has started preparation for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

A meeting of the senior BSP leaders, zonal coordinators, divisional and district committees office bearers will be held under her chairmanship in the state unit office on Saturday. She will review the working of the party organizations and various committees.

Talking to HT, a senior party leader who did not wish to be named, said, “though a year and half is left for the Lok Sabha elections, behanji (Mayawati) has directed the party leaders to start preparation. Screening of candidates has started and by the year end names will be finalized for the 80 Lok Sabha seats. After finalizing the candidates, she will collect feedback from the office bearers and loyal party workers regarding the winnability of the candidates. If the candidate is found on sticky wicket he will be replaced by a strong candidate”, he said.

When asked about joining the Congress led grand alliance, the party leader said, ‘Leaders of the opposition parties including Congress, RJD, TMC, CPI, CPI (M), SP have talked to behanji over joining the anti- BJP alliance. But the talks are yet to take a concrete shape. Behanji has directed the party leaders to start preparation for the Lok Sabha elections,” he said.

After three consecutive defeats - 2012 assembly election, 2014 Lok Sabha election and 2017 assembly elections- Mayawati is striving hard to regain the lost base. The rise of Bhim Army in the West UP and inroads made by the saffron brigade in her vote bank has made the BSP camp anxious. To counter the strategy of the rival political parties, she plans to start early preparation for the 2019 Lok Sabha election.

Though she has extended support to UPA presidential candidate Meira Kumar, in a meeting of the party leaders held in Lucknow in June she gave an indication that she might rethink over joining the anti BJP front.

Addressing a meeting of the party leaders, she had said, “rather than the BSP, the alliance partners always benefitted in the election.” Recounting the experience of the 1993 alliance with Samajwadi Party (SP) and 1996 alliance with the Congress, she said both parties gained but the BSP failed to get desired seats in the assembly elections”.

Mayawati has not disclosed her stand over the grand opposition rally planned by RJD chief Lalu Yadav in Patna on August 27, but her statement triggered a buzz among the party leaders that she might rethink joining the anti- BJP front.

A senior BSP leader said, “even if behanji attends the Patna rally, she will give green signal to joining the anti-BJP front only after mulling over the effect the alliance on the party. In the recently concluded assembly election, though BSP bagged merely 19 seats, it polled over 20% votes. If the BSP joins alliance who will be the face of the coalition - Akhilesh, Mayawati or a Congress leader? Several issues needed to be settled before behanji joins hands.”

Mayawati requires support of the SP and Congress in the re-election to Rajya Sabha when her term expires in April next year. “The Rajya Sabha election might give an indication of the shape of the united opposition front against BJP,” the BSP leader said.

BSP state unit president Ramachal Rajbhar said, “in Saturday’s meeting party Mayawati will review the working of the organization and preparation for the coming urban local bodies election”.