BSP CHIEF Mayawati announced Wednesday that she will not contest the Lok Sabha elections in UP, and said that the priority is to ensure that the SP-BSP-RLD alliance wins each seat in the state.
She, however, added that “after the elections, I can get any seat vacated and contest from there to go to the Lok Sabha”. In a tweet posted on her official Twitter account, she appealed to her supporters not to be “disheartened” by her “decision not to contest LS poll now”. Click here for election stories
Issuing a signed statement, Mayawati said: “Despite me asking my party members to not pay special attention to the seat I contest from, they will do it, so I can secure a win with a huge margin. This is something that will affect our performance on other seats and I don’t want that.” “As far as contesting elections is concerned, the BSP is not just a political party, but also a movement for the upliftment of the oppressed. It is the movement, which is most important to me,” she said.
Explained | Why Mayawati has opted out of the LS race
Slamming the BJP for “being against the poor, labourers, farmers and unemployed”, she said: “It is important for the SP-BSP-RLD alliance to win each seat in the state to get rid of the arrogant, autocratic, casteist and communal BJP government.”
In the statement, she said that “apart from the party and the movement, the people of this country also don’t want me to contest the polls”.
Mayawati also tweeted about her decision, saying that when she “became UP CM first time in 1995 I was not member of either UP Assembly or Council”. She pointed out that there is a “provision at the Centre” where a person has to be “a LS/RS member within 6 months of holding office” of a minister or PM.
Mayawati’s decision is on expected lines because the big challenge for her party is to retain its relevance in UP, and repeat the results of the Gorakhpur, Phulpur and Kairana Lok Sabha by-polls. More so, because the party has been sliding over the last three elections in UP — it lost power in 2012, drew a blank in 2014 Lok Sabha polls, managed just 19 seats in the Uttar Pradesh polls last year.