Mayawati to contest 2019 Lok Sabha polls

| | Lucknow

In a move to galvanise cadres and to send out a strong message of fighting the BJP, Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati is mulling to contest the 2019 general elections.

The BSP had earlier shown interest for Opposition unity in UP during the Lok Sabha polls and held several rounds of talks with Samajwadi Party and other Opposition parties over seat sharing.

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

A BSP leader said on Wednesday that the party was already on the job to identify the mostsuitable seat for the BSP chief.

"It would most likely be Ambedkarnagar constituency adjoining Faizabad.Another probable seat could be Bijnore," he said.

However Amedkarnagar, earlier called Akbarpur before 2009 elections, could be the final choice for the BSP chief as cuurently four of the five Assembly segments has BSP MLA.  Mayawati represented the seat in Lok Sabha in 1998, 1999 and 2004.

“The 2019 Lok Sabha election is crucial for the BSP to revitalise party cadres, who are somewhat demoralised after three successive poll drubbing - 2012 and 2017 Assembly polls and 2014 Lok Sabha poll. Mayawati is likely to lead by contesting from Ambedkarnagar,” the BSP leader said.

After becoming BSP national president in 2003, Mayawati had in principle decided not to contest direct polls. Though she had won 2004 Lok Sabha poll from Ambedkarnagar but she resigned and was re-elected to Rajya Sabha. Since then, Mayawati has been a Legislative Council member, while being Chief Minister of UP. In 2012, after losing power in UP, she went to Rajya Sabha before resigning from the Upper House last year.

Ambedkar Nagar located next to Faizabad has often been seen as a cradle of BSP's politics. Ambedkar Nagar Lok Sabha seat came into existence after delimitation in 2008 and prior to that it was known as Akbarpur seat.The seat has been witness to 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 the alliance between BSP and SP comes through. Mayawati also represented Bijnor LS seat in her early days of politics.  



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