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BSP chief Mayawati will not contest UP polls

Lucknow: Bahujan Samaj Party president Mayawati will not contest the upcoming Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls, party general secretary S C Misra said here on Tuesday.

Misra said he will also not contest the state elections, which will be held in seven phases starting February 10.

Since elections are being held in five states, including Punjab, Uttarakhand, and Uttar Pradesh, the BSP president will not contest the polls and help party candidates win, he said.

Later, he told PTI, “The decision of the party for now is that Mayawati ji and I will not fight Uttar Pradesh assembly elections. However, future decisions will be taken by Mayawati ji herself.”

Mayawati is neither a legislator nor an MP. Misra is a Rajya Sabha member.

The BSP has decided to contest all 403 seats in Uttar Pradesh alone. It has entered into an alliance with the Shiromani Akali Dal in Punjab.

Over poll surveys claiming that the BSP is already “out of the race” for power in Uttar Pradesh, Misra claimed his party will form government in the state and Mayawati will take over as chief minister for the fifth time.

Mayawati had served as chief minister of Uttar Pradesh in 1995, 1997, 2002 and 2007. She was a member of the legislative council in 2007.

The BSP is trying to revive its 2007 winning formula of Dalits-Brahmins combination in the state. As part of their this time-tested social engineering, Misra has been crisscrossing Uttar Pradesh to promote “bhaichara” (brotherhood) among the Dalits and Brahmins.

Addressing a ‘Brahmins sammelan’ in Lucknow last year, Mayawati had said her party would work for the development of Uttar Pradesh and improve its law and order if voted to power in the Assembly elections.

Though neither the BJP nor the Samajwadi Party talking much against the BSP during their campaign, the Mayawati-led party, with a strong support base among Dalits in the state, has the potential of upsetting their apple carts.

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