Mayawati likely to contest Lok Sabha polls

TNN Bureau. Updated: 7/11/2018 2:00:10 PM Politics

Lucknow, Jul 11: Bahujan Samaj Party(BSP) president Mayawati, in a move to galvanise the party cadres and to give a strong message of resistance against the BJP, is mulling to contest the 2019 polls.

The BSP had already shown its interest for an opposition unity in UP during the Lok Sabha polls and also held a couple of rounds of talks with Samajwadi Party and other opposition outfits over seat sharing.

But Mayawati's move to revisit her strategy of not contesting the general elections and now showing interest in it could give another political dimension to UP in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. If she does contest the polls, it will mark a tactical shift from her earlier policy of not contesting polls herself in order to focus on the party organisation.

A senior party leader said here on Wednesday that the party is already on job to identify the best seat for BSP chief.
" Most likely it would be Ambedkarnagar constituency adjoining Faizabad, while another probable seat could be Bijnore ," the leader said.

But Amedkarnagar seat, which was earlier called Akbarpur seat before 2009 elections, could be the ultimate choice for the BSP president as cuurently four of the five assembly segments has BSP MLA. Ms Mayawati had represented the seat in Lok Sabha in 1998, 1999 and 2004.

“The 2019 Lok Sabha election is crucial for the BSP to revitalise the party cadres, who are demoralised after three successive defeats — 2012 assembly election, 2014 Lok Sabha poll and 2017 assembly election. The BSP chief is likely to lead the fight by contesting from Ambedkarnagar,” a the BSP leader said.

After becoming the National president of BSP in 2003, Ms Mayawati has taken in principle decision , not to contest the direct polls. Though she had won the 2004 LS poll from Ambedkarnagar seat and she resigned and was be elected to Rajya Sabha.

Since then Mayawati had been a member of the upper house of Uttar Pradesh Assembly, while being the Chief Minister of the state and then in 2012 after losing power in UP, she had gone to Rajya sabha. She resigned from Rajya Sabha last year.

Ambedkar nagar district located next to Faizabad has often been seen as cradle of BSP's politics. Ambedkar nagar Lok Sabha seat came into existence after de limitation in 2008, before that it was called the Akbarpur Lok Sabha seat.
Past history of Akbarpur and then Ambedkar nagar LS seat shows clear dominance by the BSP.

Mayawati had been an MP first from Akbarpur and then Ambedkar nagar several times starting from 1998.

Bijnor in west UP is also a suitable seat if alliance between BSP and SP materialises. Mayawati had also been an MP from Bijnor in her early days of political career.

Given the prevailing scenario, while Ambedkar nagar seems to be the most favored choice, for Mayawati as a candidate search also is on for other possible seat.

While Akhilesh has already declared to contest from Kannauj, Mayawati's almost certain candidature will surely give a big boost to Joint opposition's moral in UP.

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