Updated: January 23, 2022 5:07:22 am
Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) president Mayawati on Saturday released a third list of candidates for 51 of the total 54 seats going to polls in the second phase on February 14. The list included 23 Muslim candidates, including Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Imran Masood’s brother Nauman Masood, compared to 25 on these seats in 2017. Of the 51 candidates, 49 are new.
Besides eight seats reserved for Scheduled Castes (SC), the party has fielded two more candidates from the community for Bareilly Cantonment (Anil Kumar Balmiki) and Saharanpur (Ajab Singh) seats.
For Deoband, Mayawati has chosen Chaudhary Rajendra Singh against BPJ’s Brijesh, who had defeated two Muslims candidates of the SP and BSP in 2017.
The BSP fielded Imran’s brother Nauman, who was the runner-up from the Gangoh seat in Saharanpur district in the last election, from the same constituency. Imran has recently joined the SP from the Congress. Ruchi Vira, who lost the previous election on an SP ticket, would challenge her rivals from Bijnor.
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n the 2017 polls, the BSP drew a blank on these seats spread over Saharanpur, Bijnor, Moradabad, Sambhal, Rampur, Amroha, Badaun, Bareilly and Shahjahanpur districts. The BJP won 38 seats, followed by SP’s 15 and Congress’s two. A total of 11 Muslim candidates — all from SP — emerged victorious. The SP was the runner-up on 27 seats, BJP on 13 and BSP on 11.
Mayawati also released a party slogan: “Har polling booth ko jeetana hai, BSP ko satta me lana hai. (Win in every booth is victory for BSP).” “I hope that party people will honestly follow party’s guidelines and help the BSP form the next government with absolute majority,” she said.
She is yet to kickstart her physical campaign. A party leader said, “The party is waiting for the next campaign guidelines from the EC. Behenji will plan her campaign accordingly. Our other leaders are canvassing on ground…”
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