In a move ostensibly to gain first-mover's advantage for the party amid brinkmanship between the SAD-BJP alliance and the Congress, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has announced the names of candidates for four of the 13 Lok Sabha seats in the state.
Bhagwan Singh Chohan would be BSP candidate from Hoshiarpur (reserve), Ram Kumar Prajapati from Ferozepur, Jarnail Singh Kamboj from Patiala and Succha Singh Mann from Khadoor Sahib seat during the 2014 general election.
In the wake of its decision to contest all 13 Lok Sabha seats in Punjab, the BSP has formed selection panels for choosing the nominees for the remaining nine seats. The nominees for these seats too will be announced very soon in consultation with the BSP high command.
The BSP national general secretary and incharge of Punjab, Narindra Kashyap chaired a meeting of the Punjab unit of his party here on Thursday before announcing the names of the candidates for four seats. Others who were present in the meeting included state BSP chief Parkash Singh Jandiale, Parkash Bharati, coordinator for Punjab, state general secretary Ravinder Hans and others.
Addressing the media, Kashyap said that the BSP was in "ready mode" and even if the polls are held before the scheduled date or time, the party would be ready to face the electorate. These elections are extremely crucial and important for the BSP considering the national scenario where the popularity graph of the UPA was at its lowest ebb and the NDA was short of alliance partners and there were internal bickerings in the BJP, he added." The people are looking for an alternative to the Congress and the BJP. In such a scenario, the BSP will have an important role to play in tilting the balance of power in favour of a third alternative", he claimed.
Replying to a query on the BSP being part of a third front, Kashyap felt that it was too early to comment on this issue. However the BSP will definitely not like to be part of the NDA which comprises of a communal party like the BJP and has a leader like Narendra Modi, whose hands are tainted with the blood of innocent persons, he said.
Kashyap sounded optimistic about the party doing well in Uttar Pradesh (UP), its stronghold. The law and order situation in UP has gone from bad to worse and there are other issues involved which will give the BSP a upper hand, he added.