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BSP declares all 80 LS candidates in Uttar Pradesh

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Lucknow, March 20 :

The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) Thursday released the names of party candidates for all the 80 Lok Sabha (LS) seats from Uttar Pradesh.

BSP supremo and former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati said the party had nominated candidates in accordance with its belief and commitment in ‘samajik sadbhavna’ (social harmony).Chief Minister, Uttar PradeshAge: 51The feisty and single Kumari is the first untouchable, or Dalit, woman to become the head of an Indian state, and this is her fourth term in office. She was mentored by the crafty Kanshi Ram, who founded and headed the Bahujan Samaj Party in India's largest and most politically influential state, Uttar Pradesh, which is also among the poorest. Mayawati has modernized along the way. She now sports a short haircut, wears big diamond studs in her ears and nose, and attracted unwanted attention for her extravagant 47th birthday party in 2003, which featured 100,000 sweet cakes, 5,000 bouquets of flowers, and a 50kg birthday cake. She has also often been accused of grand corruption: Last year she tried to sell the land around the famous Taj Mahal to set up tourism and pocket the proceeds. New Delhi slapped corruption charges on her that she is still fighting. In June, she declared assets worth $13 million, 400% more than at the time of the 2004 elections.

“We believe in ‘sarvajan hitay, sarvajan sukhay’ and have given representation to all sections of the society,” she said.

She said the party has fielded 17 candidates belonging to the scheduled castes category, 15 from the backward castes, 19 Muslims, 21 Brahmins and eight candidates who belonged to the Thakur community.

Taking a jibe at other national parties for “releasing candidate lists in innstalments”, the Dalit leader said her party was releasing the names in one go.

Mayawati said her party’s aim was to emerge as a “balance of power” at the centre after the general elections, and added that in case her party was in a position to form the government at the centre, she will ensure development for all.

She also announced that she will travel across the country March 22 onwards and address public rallies, but said she would spend 90 percent of her campaign time to canvass support for party candidates in Uttar Pradesh.

She accused the national parties of not paying attention to serious issues like poverty, economic crisis, price rise and instead making it a secular versus communal election.

Mayawati, however, added that she was on the side of secular forces and would do everything to prevent the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) led by the Bharatiya Janata Party from coming to power.

She also alleged that BJP’s prime ministerial hopeful Narendra Modi’s nomination from Varanasi in the state was a “well thought of and serious conspiracy to strengthen communal forces” that need to be defeated.

The BSP chief also issued a written appeal to voters seeking support for party candidates. BSP does not, as a principle, release election manifesto.

Prominent names in the fray are: Vijay Pratap Jaiswal (Varanasi), Akbar Hussain (Rampur), Shah Alam (Azamgarh), Qadir Rana (Muzaffarnagar), Mukul Upadhyaya (Ghaziabad), Satish Awana (Noida), Seema Upadhyaya (Fatehpur Sikri), and Narayan Singh (Agra).

Anees Ahmad is the party candidate from Pilibhit and would contest against BJP’s Maneka Gandhi; Parvesh Singh from Rae Bareli has been pitted against Congress president Sonia Gandhi; Dharmendra Pratap Singh against Rahul Gandhi in Amethi and Nakul Dubey against BJP national president Rajnath Singh in Lucknow.

Pawan Pandey will contest on BSP ticket from Sultanpur against BJP’s Varun Gandhi.

(IANS)