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BSP not in race,but Mayawati keeps partymen on their feet

Officially the BSP is not contesting the urban local body elections.

Written by Express News Service | Lucknow | Published: June 18, 2012 2:59:34 am

Officially the BSP is not contesting the urban local body elections. But party president and former chief minister Mayawati has given special focus to ensuring good performance of the party-supported candidates in the local body polls across the state.

Mayawati has postponed her monthly meetings with the party’s zonal coordinators in view of their preoccupation with the local body ‘ elections.

“Although she disallowed her party workers from using the party flag and symbols in the local body elections,she regularly collects inputs from every district about the party-supported candidates’ preparation for the elections,” a source in the BSP said. Mayawati has been camping in Lucknow for the last 10 days for the first time since her entry into the Rajya sabha.

Local body elections were never in the BSP’s political priority area in the past. Mayawati had made deliberate attempts to delay local body elections in the state during her tenure as CM. Soon after her defeat in the Assembly elections,she had even announced that her party workers would not contest the local body elections. Later,however,she took a U-turn and allowed her party cadres to contest the local body elections without using the party flag,symbol and photographs of party founder Kanshiram.

Sources in the BSP said Mayawati wants to strengthen her party’s base in urban areas by ensuring good performance of BSP-supported candidates. Party leaders felt the BSP government had undertaken several development projects in urban areas,which should pay dividends.

BSP zonal coordinators have been tasked to regularly monitor the party’s preparation for the local body elections. “Aligarh is one example. The BSP-supported candidate is Razia Khan. Aligarh Municipal Corporation has 70 wards. The party has deployed one senior leader in five wards each and his task is to stop the chances of division of votes among the BSP candidate,” a source in BSP’s Aligarh unit said.

Similarly,the party leadership has deployed its two prominent coordinators — former Speaker Sukhdeo Rajbhar and former MLA Tribhuvan Dutt — in Varanasi and Azamgarh division. “The party has cleared the name of one Pramod Gupta as BSP-supported candidate for contesting the election for Varanasi mayor,” a source said. If there is more than one BSP worker in the fray,the coordinators contact all such candidates and select one of them.

Varun back from woods,hits campaign trail

After lying low for a year,BJP national secretary and youngest MP Varun Gandhi will address a public meeting in support of party candidates for mayor and corporators in Meerut on Monday.

Varun also plans to address similar public meetings in Moradabad and Agra.

The BJP has fielded Harikant Ahluwalia in Meerut,Veena Agarwal in Moradabad and Indrajeet Valmiki in Agra for the post of mayor. Veena is the wife of party leader Vinod Agarwal. Sources said Vinod and the other two candidates are close to Varun and the party has given tickets to them on his suggestion.

Varun denied comment on why he was joining the local body election campaign but confirmed that he planned to visit Moradabad and Agra in the next few days.

Sources said the BJP central leadership,as well as party workers in Lucknow,had asked Varun to campaign across UP but Varun had not confirmed the programme for other districts yet.

BJP’s national executive meeting held in Lucknow in June 2011 was the last party programme in UP that Varun attended. He was also missing during the two phases of L K Advani’s Jan Chenta Yatra in UP. The BJP had named Varun in its list of star campaigners in UP Assembly polls,but Varun did not step out of Pilibhit and campaigned only in the five Assembly constituencies there.

Sources said that the party can give an important responsibility to Varun in UP before the Lok Sabha elections and hence it wants his movement across the state. Party insiders said Varun is beginning his activity in UP as he views the conditions as favourable for him.

Rajnath slams Akhilesh govt

Lucknow: Campaigning for the local body elections in Lucknow on Sunday,BJP leader Rajnath Singh flayed the SP government for “failing to check corruption and improving law and order in the state”. People are disenchanted with the three-month rule of the Akhilesh Yadav government,he told a gathering.

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